Nobody listens to Blind Melon anymore. Why? They watched the same shows as children that I did!
That was Blind Melon covering ‘Three Is A Magic Number’ off of Schoolhouse Rocks in such a way as to make you begin to wonder if the song is, in fact, not about numbers at all. Cosmic.
But seriously, forget ‘No Rain.’ Yes, it was a massive single. No, they never attained that much success with one song again. I don’t care. Neither should you. This band put out several albums of really great classic rock / funk / punk / psychedelic (far out, man) music without the benefits of such things most take for granted, like stylists, competent management or sobriety.
Take a second listen.
And here’s the opening track to the first album, redone acoustically. Hoon’s voice is rough, like he’s been slurping spilled whiskey off of asphalt, but the incredibly evocative, heart-rending tear in his voice just comes through and grabs you.
Their two main albums–self-titled (with the bee girl on the cover) and ‘Soup’–offer two totally different sides of the band. The first plays like early Red Hot Chili Peppers, if early Red Hot Chili Peppers had a way better singer, and the second is sort of a depressed junkie’s take on the same subject material. I find myself drawn much more towards ‘Soup,’ because the subject material’s a little darker, but also because it features some really interesting switches and instrumentation. The album opens with a New Orleans Dixieland-style funeral behind lead singer Shannon Hoon that serves to almost frame the rest of the record as a eulogy. Like he’s giving his own eulogy. But, in places, he’s not upset about it; he seems to really relish his sickness on tracks like ‘Skinned.’
Yes, it’s a joke song. No, it’s not just a joke song.
I don’t find any of the other records as solid. ‘For All My Friends’ actually has a real late-90s alt-rock-FM-radio vibe that really bugs me, compared to the vibrance and color I find with the first two records. But those two, damn, what great records.
Blind Melon. So much more than ‘No Rain.’