Blind Melon (album)

Blind Melon is the eponymous debut studio album by American rock band Blind Melon, released on September 22, 1992 through Capitol Records. "No Rain" became Blind Melon's breakthrough single.

Blind Melon
BlindMelonBlindMelon.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 22, 1992 (1992-09-22)
RecordedFebruary – June, 1992
StudioLondon Bridge Studio, Seattle, Washington
Genre
Length55:18
LabelCapitol
Producer
Blind Melon chronology
Blind Melon
(1992)
Soup
(1995)
Singles from Blind Melon
  1. "Tones of Home"
    Released: 1992
  2. "No Rain"
    Released: June 8, 1993
  3. "I Wonder"
    Released: 1993
  4. "Change"
    Released: 1993
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Consumer GuideC+[2]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[3]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[4]
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[5]

BackgroundEdit

In 1990, lead singer Shannon Hoon moved from Indiana to Los Angeles, California. Soon he met guitarist Rogers Stevens and bassist Brad Smith, Mississippi natives who had come to Los Angeles a year earlier. They began playing together and then recruited a second guitarist, Christopher Thorn. The foursome then looked for a drummer in the local area, but months passed and their search was unsuccessful. Stevens and Smith eventually persuaded Glen Graham to come to Los Angeles and join the band.

After Blind Melon recorded a four song demo called The Goodfoot Workshop, Capitol Records became interested and signed them in 1991 although they never released the band's demo as an EP.[6] Blind Melon then collaborated with producer David Briggs to put together their first EP titled The Sippin' Time Sessions. However, the record was not released due to "slick and doctored" results that were unanticipated.[7]

In late 1991, Blind Melon decided to leave Los Angeles to record its debut album since they felt the city did not reflect their music style. A Capitol Records music manager had suggested they retreat to North Carolina.[8] Chapel Hill, North Carolina was attractive to the band because of its "good music scene", however they could not find an affordable house big enough there for them and their equipment.[8] The band eventually rented a house in Durham, North Carolina.[9]

ProductionEdit

Some recording sessions for the album took place at their Durham, North Carolina residence, nicknamed the 'Sleepyhouse'. Thorn stated, "We rehearsed in the house and recorded in the house. We became a much better band in the house, and that's where we really developed our sound."[8] However, Blind Melon recorded the bulk of the album with producer Rick Parashar (who had produced Pearl Jam's Ten) at London Bridge Studio in Seattle, Washington. The recording sessions for Blind Melon were completed in the spring of 1992.[7]

Blind Melon's production is marked by the use of outdated amplifiers and other antiquated studio technology.[10] Modern studio effects were not used in its production as the band wanted to create a pure and "intimate" sounding record.[9] Hoon stated, "We all kind of liked the production that was on a lot of early Stones records, [where] whatever it is you're playing is what it's going to sound like."[9]

On the album, Rogers Stevens' guitar playing is predominantly heard in the right channel, while Chris Thorn's is in the left.

CompositionEdit

The album's music style has been described as alternative, southern rock with a '70s retro-rock feel.[9][11] Hoon's vocals on the record are high-pitched, and "scratchy" sounding.[11] Both guitarists played in a style reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, and also show funk-rock influences. A couple of the songs on Blind Melon criticize religion. "Holyman" slams people who maintain that only their religious views are right, and "Dear Ol' Dad" is about Hoon's ex-girlfriend who left him because of religion.[9] The song "Sleepyhouse" is a recollection of a time the band spent at their residence of the same name, and with friends at a yellow house in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.[8] The lyrics to "Tones of Home" were written collaboratively.

ArtworkEdit

Blind Melon's cover art is based on a 1975 photograph of Georgia Graham, Glen Graham's younger sister, in a bee costume at a "long-ago" school play. “We were all sitting around in the living room and that picture just jumped out at us. Someone jokingly said, ‘That would make a great album cover.’ ”[12][13][14] The cover art further inspired the concept of the 'Bee Girl' character in the band's video for "No Rain". Samuel Bayer, the video's director, selected Heather DeLoach for the 'Bee Girl' role because she looked similar to Graham's sister in the photograph.[12]

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Blind Melon.

No.TitleLength
1."Soak the Sin"4:01
2."Tones of Home"4:26
3."I Wonder"5:31
4."Paper Scratcher"3:14
5."Dear Ol' Dad"3:02
6."Change"3:41
7."No Rain"3:37
8."Deserted"4:20
9."Sleepyhouse"4:29
10."Holyman"4:47
11."Seed to a Tree"3:29
12."Drive"4:39
13."Time"6:02

20th anniversary editionEdit

  • Released April 16, 2013
  • Includes bonus tracks from the previously unreleased Sippin' Time Sessions EP.
No.TitleLength
14."Dear Ol' Dad"3:03
15."Soul One"3:41
16."Tones of Home"4:51
17."Seed to a Tree"3:25
18."Mother"6:14

PersonnelEdit

Chart positionsEdit

AlbumEdit

Chart (1993) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard 200[15] 3

SinglesEdit

Year Single Chart Peak
position
1992 "Tones of Home" U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 20
1993 "No Rain" U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
1993 "No Rain" U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 1
1993 "No Rain" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 20
1993 "No Rain" U.S. Billboard Mainstream Top 40 4
1993 "Tones of Home" U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 10

ReferencesEdit

Footnotes
  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000-10-15). "Blind Melon". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 9780312245603.
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Omnibus Press. p. 2691. ISBN 9780857125958.
  4. ^ Farber, Jim (1992-11-06). "Blind Melon". Entertainment Weekly.
  5. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. pp. 84–5. ISBN 9780743201698.
  6. ^ Chapman (2008), p. 109
  7. ^ a b Prato, Greg. "Blind Melon Biography". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  8. ^ a b c d Currin, Grayson (2007-11-28). "A reunited Blind Melon reminisces about its time in Durham". Independent Weekly. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  9. ^ a b c d e Billik, Kira (1993-08-01). "Blind Melon plays in mellow tone". Associated Press. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
  10. ^ Reynolds, Simon (1993-12-05). "POP VIEW; The Perils of Loving Old Records Too Much". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
  11. ^ a b Love, Andrew (1993-01-04). "Blind Melon presents mixed musical bag". Ocala Star-Banner. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
  12. ^ a b Kaufman, Gil (2008-12-10). "Blind Melon 'Bee Girl' Grows Up, Has Eye On Acting Career". MTV. Retrieved 2011-05-16.
  13. ^ "To Bee or Not to Bee". Entertainment Weekly. 1993-09-24. Retrieved 2011-05-16.
  14. ^ Neely, Kim; Neely, Kim (1993-11-11). "Blind Melon: Knee-Deep in the Hoopla". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  15. ^ "Blind Melon: Album Info". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
Bibliography