Blind Melon - Blind Melon (180g Music on Vinyl) LP

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The ‘90s are littered with rock albums that will undoubtedly be talked about for years to come. And there’s one group whose lone two studio albums can easily stand among their peers, the woefully underrated Blind Melon. Perhaps due in part to a career cut so tragically short that they never properly received their deserved accolades, 1992’s Blind Melon and 1995’s Soup (as well as a posthumous outtakes collection, 1996’s Nico) sound as invigorating today as they did when they first appeared. 

Shortly after the dawn of 1992, Blind Melon found themselves recording their debut in a spot that was in the midst of a musical uprising - Seattle, Washington. Setting up shop at London Bridge Studios, Rick Parashar was hired to produce; the same gentleman whose name would soon be a fixture on the U.S. album charts (producing Pearl Jam’s Ten, Temple of the Dog’s self-titled release, and Alice in Chains’ Sap). Smith: “I look back on those times and I’m like, ‘There’s a real sense of musical purity and performance to that record.’ I think that’s what’s missing from today’s records – Blind Melon really captured that.”

Listening back today, Blind Melon is definitely one of the more ‘pure’ sounding rock records of the early ‘90s – modeled more after Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, rather than the usual suspects that all the grunge and industrial bands were studying at the time. While most of the tunes were finalized after the band had worked on them together, two standouts were penned entirely by lone members prior to their formation – Shannon Hoon’s acoustic 'song of hope,' "Change," and a quirky tune that Brad Smith had penned about the constantly depressed state of a former girlfriend, "No Rain."

Crisscrossing the states via van, it was during the spring of ‘93 that the band hooked up with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video director, Samuel Bayer, to shoot a clip for the upbeat ditty that always received a raucous reception at their shows, "No Rain." By combining shots of the band playing in a breezy field and of their album cover coming to life (the infamous ‘bee girl’), the feel-good video catapulted the band to the top of the charts and the rest is music history.