So why is Blind Melon on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
My first instinctual response with regard to the topic of Blind Melon is that they have way more to offer than what they are typically remembered for (more on this below).
When it comes to the topic of the band’s self-titled debut album, Blind Melon, I’m transported back to the summer of 1993. Let’s start there.
It was the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college at Binghamton University. I was back at home on Long Island, New York, yet so much had changed in just a few short months. I had a serious girlfriend for the first time, for one, and had a full year of college and independence to build upon.
But in the meantime, I was living at home and working at Toys “R” Us. Luckily, a group of good friends from high school that happened to be working there at the same time. I recalled some of the adventures from those days in the entry on Rakim’s The 18th Letter (#597 of best 1,000 albums ever):
The other main thing that we focused on – beyond whatever mind-numbing stock activities we were tasked with – was aligning our lunch breaks so that we could head out together (and I’m pretty sure Taco Bell would have been our most frequent destination in those far-gone days). This was more difficult than it might seem on the surface due to the store needing coverage or some such boring rationale.
Which meant subterfuge and surreptitious methods were often necessary, in other words. And when we were able to take lunch together, it felt exciting, like we had pulled off a minor yet very real victory for All That Is Good.
Those friends included Jake, Larry, and Reeta. And I have a very specific memory of hopping in Jake’s car on a day when we had pulled off the magnificent scam of aligning all of our lunch breaks together – which, it now occurs to me, we referred to as The Deception Being Complete*.
* This is a Stars Wars reference. The Return of the Jedi more specifically. From back in the good old days when Star Wars simply consisted of The Trilogy.
Jake had a Sony Discman, and he had somehow constructed a system by which he could Velcro it to the dashboard of his car. At the time, I honestly thought this was a brilliant technological innovation-meets-DIY hack. In reality I’m sure it skipped a lot, but even still, cool stuff!
Anyway, I specifically recall Jake slipping a CD into that very Velcroed Discman, and the album was from a band called Blind Melon. We had a Taco Bell run that day in the summer of 1993 with good musical vibes aiding our journey.
As Josh Hart, Immanuel Quickley, and the New York Knicks circa 2023 might say: the vibes were immaculate.
Getting back to what Blind Melon is “typically remembered” for, it’s for one of two things: they’re the band with the “little girl in the bee costume song,” or that their lead singer (Shannon Hoon) died at a young age of a drug overdose.
Tragically, Hoon did die in 1995 at the age of 28, but before he did, Blind Melon produced two wonderful and consistently strong albums. And Blind Melon the album is much more than “No Rain.”
But let’s start with the lack of precipitation. “No Rain” is a delightful song that holds up really well – its optimistic and pretty tone bely its lyrics, which are tinged with melancholy and uncertainty. And it all pulls together based on Hoon’s charismatic voice.
And yes, there is that little girl in the bee costume from the music video.
I absolutely love “Tones of Home,” and feel it could very well be the perfect representation of early 1990s alternative rock. Blind Melon’s tone – from the guitars to Hoon’s voice to the overall production – is warm, energetic. This is not grunge, yet it still very much rocks. And what a great hook.
The harmonies deployed on “Paper Scratcher” are flat out gorgeous, and the guitars here remind me of peak era Black Crowes (which in my book means The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, which was released the same year as Blind Melon).
Some stats & info about Blind Melon
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Alternative Rock, Indie Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
- When was Blind Melon released? 1992
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #498 out of 1,000
Blind Melon on Spotify
A lyrical snippet from Blind Melon that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe
And I don’t understand why I sleep all day, and I start to complain that there’s no rain.
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.