Blind Melon – Studio Albums Collection (1992-2008) FLAC + MP3
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 1.36 Gb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 532 Mb (incl 5%)
Genre: Alternative Rock, Psychedelic Rock | Time: 03:14:47 | Scans included
Whereas most up-and-coming alternative bands of the early ’90s borrowed from the leaders of the pack (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails, etc.), Blind Melon were an exception to the rule — their roots lay in classic rock (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin). And while a promising career lay ahead of them, tragedy would ultimately end the band abruptly. The group came together in 1989 in Los Angeles, although all their respective members had migrated there from other U.S. locales (singer Shannon Hoon from Indiana; guitarist Christopher Thorn from Pennsylvania; and guitarist Rogers Stevens, bassist Brad Smith, and drummer Glenn Graham all hailed from Mississippi).
The complete opposite of all the glossed-up glam metal that was permeating the Sunset Strip at the time, the quintet used a refreshing back-to-basics approach, both musically and visually (giving off a heavy retro vibe early on). The band considered several names — Brown Cow, Mud Bird, Naked Pilgrims, and Head Train — before agreeing on Blind Melon, a phrase that Smith’s father would use to describe a couple of hippie neighbors from back home in Mississippi.
With the band’s lineup and name solidified, Capitol Records became interested solely on the strength of a four-song demo, titled The Goodfoot Workshop. Although Blind Melon only had a limited repertoire of songs at the time, they managed to convince Capitol that they had a healthy backlog of compositions, and were signed in 1991. The band set out shortly thereafter to work on an EP, produced by longtime Neil Young producer David Briggs and titled The Sippin’ Time Sessions. But when the end results came out surprisingly slick and doctored, the project was shelved. Hoon, in the meantime, became reacquainted with an old friend of his sister’s from back home in Indiana, Guns N’ Roses’ frontman Axl Rose, who invited Hoon to sing backup on several tracks for Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion I set. Hoon lent his vocal talents to several tracks, the best-known being the ballad “Don’t Cry,” even appearing along with GNR in the song’s epic video. Doubled with a high-profile appearance on MTV’s 120 Minutes Tour in the spring of 1992 (along with Live, Big Audio Dynamite, and Public Image Ltd.), a buzz began to emerge regarding Blind Melon. The only problem was, they still didn’t have an album in the racks.
The band had gone back into the studio earlier in the year with Temple of the Dog/Pearl Jam producer Rick Parashar, and although the sessions were completed by springtime, their self-titled debut didn’t see the light of day until September 1992, by which time their springtime industry buzz had long since dissipated. For the remainder of the year and the early part of 1993, the quintet toured U.S. clubs nonstop (as well as landing arena opening slots for their pals Guns N’ Roses). Although several videos/singles came and went without much MTV/radio fanfare, the Samuel Bayer-directed clip for their upbeat ditty “No Rain” (in which Blind Melon’s album cover — which included an old picture of Graham’s sister dressed in a bumblebee-like outfit — came to life) became a smash and catapulted the single and the album to the top of the charts (Blind Melon would eventually go platinum four times over).
Blind Melon spent the remainder of 1993 on the road opening for Neil Young and Lenny Kravitz, before embarking on their own headlining tour of theaters in 1994 (during which time they were nominated for a pair of Grammys, for Best New Artist and Best Rock Performance). But it was during this time that drug use spiraled out of control for Hoon, and the band was forced to pull the plug on the remainder of the tour as Hoon sought treatment. Blind Melon managed to play a few more shows later in the year — handing in a memorable appearance at Woodstock ’94 and opening up for the Rolling Stones on select dates in September. Recording sessions began in the fall of 1994 for their sophomore effort in New Orleans, with renowned producer Andy Wallace behind the boards.
The sessions were productive but not without some turbulence — Hoon was still indulging in substances, leading to an arrest for drunkenly fighting with an off-duty policeman (Hoon would later admit that he had no memory of most of the recording sessions). Once the album was completed in the spring of 1995, Hoon checked himself into another rehab facility at the insistence of his bandmates, which pushed the release date of the album, titled Soup, to late summer. A month before the album appeared in August, Hoon’s girlfriend gave birth to the couple’s first child, which Hoon said in interviews had given him a new lease on life and a reason to straighten out once and for all. The dark and challenging Soup was a true diamond in the rough, but when it was finally released, the album was savagely bashed by fickle critics everywhere, which in turn led to a cool reception by the record-buying public (peaking at number 28 on the Billboard album charts).
Concerned but eager to get back on tour, the band hit the road once again. Drug counselors at the facility that Hoon had been admitted to warned the band’s management that Hoon wasn’t ready for the temptations of the road just yet. But Hoon convinced everyone that he was and a drug counselor/caretaker was hired to accompany him. After a month and a half of dates, the counselor was sent packing and Hoon returned to his dangerous ways. Just a few days later, on October 21, Hoon was found dead on Blind Melon’s tour bus from an apparent drug overdose, at the age of 28.
Blind Melon took an extended break to try and pick up the pieces and decide what they would do next. During the interim, the bandmembers finished off some rough tracks Hoon had completed his vocal parts for, resulting in the release of Nico in November of 1996 (the album was named after Hoon’s infant daughter, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to Musicians Assistants Program [MAP], an organization that helps artists recover from drug and alcohol addiction). In conjunction with the album’s release came the home video Letters from a Porcupine, which chronicled Blind Melon’s history via interviews and live performances (the video was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1998 for Best Long Form Music Video).
Blind Melon decided to carry on under a different name and with a new singer — placing ads in music papers and auditioning several prospective frontmen. But it didn’t click, and after an attempt at having Smith double as the lead signer in addition to his bass playing duties, the bandmembers ultimately decided to go their separate ways. Stevens formed the New York-based band Extra Virgin with singer Rene Lopez (one of the vocalists who had recently tried out for Blind Melon), who issued the album Twelve Stories High in 1999, while Smith and Thorn formed Unified Theory with singer Chris Shinn — signing with Universal and issuing a self-titled release in 2000. In addition, Thorn has produced other artists (Amy Correia, Zen Mafia, Gus, Jonny Kaplan) and played guitar on Live’s 1999 release The Distance to Here. Smith’s solo debut (under the alias Abandon Jalopy), titled Mercy, an album he began writing and recording shortly after Hoon’s death (several tracks are about his late bandmate), was released in 2001.
Later the same year, Blind Melon were featured on an episode of VH1′s popular Behind the Music series, and Letters from a Porcupine was reissued as a DVD. The Classic Masters retrospective appeared in 2002, but 2005′s Best of Blind Melon was more in-depth, offering previously unreleased live material, songs culled from soundtracks, and a bonus DVD of music videos and more live material. In 2006, Blind Melon surprised fans by announcing that they were reuniting, with new singer Travis Warren in tow. The group’s first new studio effort in nearly 13 years, For My Friends, followed in April 2008. Several months later, a book that chronicled the band’s entire history, A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon, appeared.
Blind Melon (1992)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 373 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 144 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Capitol | # 0777 7 96585 2 7, CDEST 2188 | Time: 00:55:25 | Scans included
“Managing to be equally mellow and introspective as well as rough and rocking, Blind Melon’s 1992 self-titled debut remains one of the purest sounding rock albums of recent time, completely devoid of ’90s production tricks. While the group was never the toast of the critics, their self-titled 1992 debut has held up incredibly well over time, resembling a true rock classic. For reasons unknown, the late Shannon Hoon was, unfairly, usually the brunt of reviewer’s criticisms, yet his angelic voice and talent for penning lyrics that examined the ups and downs of everyday life were an integral part of Blind Melon’s sound, as well as the band’s supreme jamming interplay. The most renowned song remains the uplifting hit “No Rain,” but the whole album is superb — the homesick rocker “Tones of Home,” the desperate “I Wonder,” the epic album closer, “Time,” and the gentle acoustic strum of “Change,” which included lyrics that turned out to be sadly prophetic for Hoon. Other highlights are a song inspired by the homeless (“Paper Scratcher”), “Sleepyhouse,” which describes the feeling of isolation the band felt recording the debut in a secluded residence, and the retro (yet refreshing) sounds of “Soak the Sin” and “Dear Ol’ Dad.” Although the album started out slow sales-wise, constant touring and the success of “No Rain” one year after the debut’s initial release proved to be Blind Melon’s breakthrough success, eventually almost topping the charts and going multi-platinum.
Review by Greg Prato, Allmusic.com
01. Soak The Sin (04:00)
02. Tones Of Home (04:26)
03. I Wonder (05:32)
04. Paper Scratcher (03:13)
05. Dear Ol’ Dad (03:01)
06. Change (03:41)
07. No Rain (03:37)
08. Deserted (04:20)
09. Sleepyhouse (04:29)
10. Hollyman (04:47)
11. Seed To A Tree (03:29)
12. Drive (04:40)
13. Time (06:02)
Soup (1995) [repost]
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 356 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 145 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Capitol | # 7243 8 33934 2 8, CDEST 2261 | Time: 00:50:16 | Scans included
“Most ’90s rock bands who enjoyed massive breakthrough success with their debut album seemed to follow it up with an effort similarly styled to its predecessor, hence guaranteeing repeat success. This proved not to be the case with Blind Melon. It appeared as though the band rejected the jovial spirit of No Rain and focused on much darker material for their follow-up, Soup. While it did not match the commercial success of the debut, Soup proved to be a challenging, gripping record that is just as strong and perhaps even more rewarding. Shannon Hoon was in the throes of drug addiction (which would prove fatal only two months after the album’s release), and his experience at a drug detox is clearly detailed in the Zep-groover, “2×4.” Hoon’s lyrics often examine his growing sense of mortality, as evidenced in “The Duke,” “St. Andrew’s Fall,” and “Car Seat,” while “New Life” shows Hoon hoping that the birth of his baby daughter will put his life back on track. The country-tinged “Skinned” is written from the standpoint of notorious killer, Ed Gein, the anthemic rocker, “Galaxie,” appears to deal with a troubled relationship, and “Vernie” is a tribute to his grandmother. Some of the tracks prove hopeful (“Walk”), while others are steeped in despair (“Toes Across the Floor,” “Wilt”). Soup deserved to be another big hit, but due to MTV and radio’s abrupt abandonment of the band, harsh reviews from close-minded critics, and worst of all, Hoon’s untimely death mid-tour, all hopes of the album receiving the attention it deserved were extinguished. Soup is one of the most underrated and overlooked great rock albums of the ’90s.
Review by Greg Prato, Allmusic.com
01. Galaxie (03:31)
02. 2 X 4 (04:00)
03. Vernie (03:15)
04. Skinned (01:58)
05. Toes across the floor (03:07)
06. Walk (02:47)
07. Dumptruck (03:40)
08. Car seat (God’s presents) (02:43)
09. Wilt (02:30)
10. The duke (03:37)
11. St. andrew’s fall (04:12)
12. New life (03:35)
13. Mouthful of cavities (03:34)
14. Lemonade (07:41)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 268 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 108 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Capitol | # 7243 8 37451 0 4 | Time: 00:38:36 | Scans included
“When Blind Melon lead singer Shannon Hoon died in October of 1995, the band had only two albums to its credit. There turned out to be quite a few leftovers and demos laying around, so the surviving bandmembers decided to pay tribute to Hoon, almost exactly one year after his death, with the rarities compilation Nico (titled after Hoon’s young daughter). The 13-track collection showed that many of these songs were as strong as the ones that had appeared on their prior albums, while a portion of the proceeds from album sales were donated to the Musicians Assistants Program (MAP). Two outtakes from the Soup sessions (“Swallowed” and “Pull”) prove to be standouts, as does a selection from their very first demo (the beautiful acoustic “Soul One”) and one of their best all-time tracks, “Soup” (which strangely did not appear on the album of the same name). You’ll also find a pair of cover tunes (Steppenwolf’s “The Pusher” and John Lennon’s “John Sinclair”), a few acoustic Hoon-solo compositions (“All That I Need,” “Life Ain’t So Shitty”), an intriguing demo idea (“Hell”), and a musical answering machine message (“Letters From a Porcupine”). A fine collection of leftovers, which unfortunately marks the official end to one of the most promising new bands of the ’90s.
Review by Greg Prato, Allmusic.com
01. The Pusher (03:06)
02. Hell (02:02)
03. Soup (03:09)
04. No Rain (Ripped Away Version) (02:25)
05. Soul One (03:15)
06. John Sinclair (03:36)
07. All That I Need (02:48)
08. Glitch (03:20)
09. Life Ain’t So Shitty (01:50)
10. Swallowed (03:44)
11. Pull (03:28)
12. St. Andrew’s Hall (03:53)
13. Letters From A Porcupine (01:54)
For My Freinds (2008)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 391 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 134 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Wishbone Recordings | # none | Time: 00:50:29 | Scans included
“Of all the ’90s alt-rockers to hit the comeback trail a decade later, Blind Melon are at once the most and least likely to mount a return. Their end came suddenly when lead singer/songwriter Shannon Hoon died of a drug overdose in October 1995, just a few months after their sophomore effort, Soup, so it seemed like they had a great deal of unfinished business. Unfortunately, much of that unfinished business revolved around Hoon, who was the driving force behind the band, so it seemed like they couldn’t continue — and so they didn’t, fading away after putting out a few posthumous albums that tied up some, but not all, loose ends. About a decade later, the group rumbled back to life, defying all odds and finding in singer Travis Warren a dead ringer for Shannon Hoon who nevertheless doesn’t seem to be aping the late singer’s idiosyncratic quirks. Thanks in part to Warren, the group’s 2008 comeback, For My Friends, feels like a continuation of the band’s ’90s work, reflecting the elastic, loping Blind Melon more than the neo-psychedelic excursions of Soup. To a certain extent, this sound — lean and rootsy, even when the amps are cranked — gives Blind Melon a passing jam band feel, and that could very well be where the band might be most comfortable in 2008, as there’s a sense that the bandmembers just want to get out and play, so they’re reconnecting to the roots that led to their 1992 debut. As such, there’s not a feeling of forward movement on For My Friends, but that’s intentional: this was designed as a reboot of Blind Melon, something for themselves, their fans and friends, and while it won’t win them any new listeners — everything that the fans loved about the band is here in spades, as is everything that irritated the group’s detractors — it surely does find the band picking up where it left off.
01. For My Freinds (02:46)
02. With the Right Set of Eyes (03:45)
03. Wishing Well (04:17)
04. Sometimes (04:10)
05. Tumblin’ Down (03:16)
06. Down On the Pharmacy (04:18)
07. Make a Difference (03:55)
08. Harmfull Belly (03:56)
09. Last Laugh (04:07)
10. Hypnotized (04:10)
11. Father Time (03:51)
12. So High (03:38)
13. Cheetum Street (04:14)