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Music / Blind Melon

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Blind Melon's original line-up. From left to right: Brad Smith, Glen Graham, Shannon Hoon, Rogers Stevens and Christopher Thorn
I know we can't all stay here forever,
so I'll write my words on the face of today

Blind Melon is an Alternative Rock band formed in Los Angeles, California. It was formed by guitarist Rogers Stevens, bassist Brad Smith, drummer Glen Graham, rhythm guitarist Christopher Thorn, and vocalist Shannon Hoon. The band was active from its inception in 1990 to Shannon Hoon's death in 1995. After Hoon's death, the band went on hiatus before officially disbanding in 1999. In 2006, they reformed with a new singer, Travis Warren, with whom they have toured and written a new album. Their biggest hit was "No Rain"

Studio discography:

  • Blind Melon (1992)
  • Soup (1995)
  • Nico (1996)
  • For My Friends (2008)

Blind Melon provides examples of:

  • Black Comedy: "Skinned," which is told from Ed Gein's point of view.
  • Bookends: Not counting the hidden track in the pregap, Soup begins and ends with instrumental brass pieces in the style of a New Orleans jazz funeral.
  • Car Song: "Galaxie" is about Shannon Hoon's 1964 Ford Galaxie.
  • Darker and Edgier: The band followed up their very successful Self-Titled Album with the much darker Soup, which dealt with the subject matter of murder, suicide and serial killers. It didn't sit well with some — especially those who had used the first album to do nothing but put "No Rain" on repeat. Even among fans, the shift from the more light, almost hippieish jam band feel of the first album to the darker and heavier feel of the second took some getting used to. The shift in tone is not only for creative reasons, but the increasingly erratic behavior and near constant drug use of primary songwriter Shannon Hoon. The album was also recorded in New Orleans, and the influence of the music and culture of that city on the album is salient.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Shannon Hoon's first name was actually Richard. He started using Shannon, his middle name, to avoid confusion with his father.
  • Hidden Track: Happened twice on Soup.
    • "Hello Goodbye", which is a rejected intro to the album's final track, "Lemonade" — it's unlisted and is on the same track as "Galaxie".
    • There is also a two minute piece in the pregap featuring the band jamming to a guitar piece and backwards lyrics from "New Life".
  • Lead Bassist: Brad Smith, the bassist, did most of the songwriting, but he would credit the entire band.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "Skinned" is an upbeat, bluegrass-inspired song featuring banjos and kazoos. It is sung from the perspective of Ed Gein.
    • Heck, even their Signature Song "No Rain" sounds like a fairly upbeat Psychedelic Rock song, but the lyrics are about Depression.
  • Music Video Overshadowing: "No Rain" is about isolation and depression. Good luck figuring that out watching the music video, which is about a girl in a bee costume trying to find people who enjoy her dance routine.
  • Packaged as Other Medium: The booklet of Soup was made to look like a diner menu.
  • Posthumous Collaboration: A few songs from Nico were finished up by the rest of the band without Shannon Hoon — the rest were either already completed outtakes or home demos that were recorded by Hoon alone and left untouched.
  • Rearrange the Song: The "Ripped Away Version" of "No Rain", which is a much slower, blues-influenced version of the song. Around 1993 or so, the band had begun adding a bluesy intro to "No Rain" during live performances, which would then undergo a Song Style Shift into the more familiar album version - the "Ripped Away" version is the full song performed in that style.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: "Car Seat (God's Presents)" is about Susan Smith's murder of her two small children which happened when the band were recording Soup.
  • Rockumentary: All I Can Say, edited entirely from footage shot by Shannon Hoon himself between 1990 and 1995.
  • Self-Titled Album
  • Song Style Shift: "I Wonder" and "Holyman" from Blind Melon.
  • Spoken Word in Music: The second half of the song "Car Seat (Gods Presents)" from Soup is a recitation of a poem written by Shannon Hoon's great-grandmother.
  • Studio Chatter: "Mouthful Of Cavities" starts with Shannon Hoon saying "Listen, man, I got the window open, hear the cats?". If you listen carefully, you can in fact hear some faint meowing as he says this.
  • The Band Minus the Face: After Shannon Hoon's death, the band tried to find a new singer, but they ultimately failed and did not create music together again until 2006.