Blind Melon – Soup: #366 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Blind Melon - Soup

So why is Blind Melon’s Soup on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

For most casual music fans these days, Blind Melon will likely ring a bell as the band that did “that bee song” (that’d be the great “No Rain”) back in the day, and perhaps little else.

I’m a big fan of the band’s self-titled debut album, Blind Melon from 1992 (#498 of best 1,000 albums ever), and I’m also very much in line with All Music writer Greg Prato’s take on their follow up album, Soup, released in 1995: “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.”

It’s Soup I’ll turn to first these days when I’m in a Blind Melon frame of mind, and therefore it warranted this relatively “higher” position in the best 1,000 albums ever hierarchy.

With respect to “No Rain,” “Galaxie / Hello, Goodbye” is the best song that Blind Melon ever produced. The opening section has a very “second line” feel that will strike a chord with anyone who has spent time exploring New Orleans’ music and culture. It then segues into a straight up gorgeous hard rock tune with a dynamite melody.

One thing that’s important to remember about Shannon Hoon is that his voice is tremendous. It’s a rock star’s voice. And it’s a troubled voice, a tragic voice in retrospect, too.

As Prato alludes to, there’s a darkness to “Galaxie / Hello, Goodbye” and to Soup that foreshadows Hoon’s death by drug overdose shortly after Soup was released.

Here’s the music video for “Galaxie” (which strips away the New Orleans-y section), which I found to be pretty cool back in the day when I would see it pop up on MTV.

Years later, I saw a music documentary that was probably an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music focused on the “rise and fall” of Blind Melon. It went into brutal detail about Hoon’s struggles with drug abuse, and I particularly recall the surviving band members talking about what a difficult music video shoot “Galaxie” was, and how bad things had gotten for and with Hoon.

I think about that story when Blind Melon comes to mind these days, and it does drape a heaviness over “Galaxie” and Soup. Nonetheless, the music holds up, and lives on.

That being said, “Skinned” has that gorgeous, ebullient spirit to it that puts it in league with the best songs on Blind Melon. Even though lyrically the subject matter is quite dark – apparently it’s about a murderer named Ed Gein – musically it’s whimsical (kazoos!) and light and wonderful.

Songs such as “Car Seat (God’s Presents)” show the band starting to stretch its musical range – in this case a beguiling Latin rhythm is introduced, which plays sweetly with Hoon’s vocals.

Which of course leaves us wondering what might have come next.  

Pop culture stuff that has something to do with Blind Melon’s Soup

Shannon Hoon died at the age of 28, putting him just outside of “27 club,” the macabre term for rock stars who died at the age of 27 which includes Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix.

Substance abuse played a role in all of the deaths I mention above. Another super talented budding rock star who died way before his time – and at the same age of 28 as Hoon – is Bradley Nowell of Sublime.

I’ll have more time to talk about Nowell and Sublime, but I’m reminded that the mid-‘90s were a time when it was disturbingly common to learn of celebrity deaths – and specifically young musicians – related to drugs.

Some stats & info about Blind Melon – Soup

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Alternative Rock
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
  • When was Soup released? 1995
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #366 out of 1,000

Blind Melon’s Soup on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Blind Melon’s Soup that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

And you’re leaving me, yeah you’re leaving me. You’re leaving me with a hated identity.

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.