Blind Melon is an American rock band formed in 1990 in Los Angeles, California. The band is known for its unique sound that combines elements of alternative rock, folk, and psychedelic rock (or "acid rock"). Their self-titled debut album, Blind Melon, released on September 22, 1992 (the same day as Nine Inch Nails released their Broken EP, which is also a mood), and remains their most well-known and successful album. This is thanks to the smash hit, "No Rain."
The Blind Melon album was produced by Rick Parashar and features a mix of catchy and introspective songs, including the somewhat overlooked single, "Tones of Home." The band's frontman, Shannon Hoon, showcased his distinctive and soulful voice. When it comes to "No Rain," the song's accompanying music video, featuring the memorable "Bee Girl," generated plenty of buzz and showcased the band's range of emotion, received significant airplay on MTV, and contributed hugely to the album's commercial success.
Blind Melon select tracks and notes on a life tragically cut short
Other notable tracks from the Blind Melon"album include "Change," "Paper Scratcher," and "I Wonder." The album received positive reviews from critics and helped establish Blind Melon as a prominent band of the early '90s alternative rock scene. Despite the initial success of their debut album, Blind Melon faced challenges in the coming years, including struggles with drug addiction among band members. Also, later songs like "Galaxie" just didn't generate the attention received by "No Rain," even though fans of Blind Melon no doubt hold most (if not all) of their songs in high esteem.
Tragically, Shannon Hoon passed away on October 21, 1995, due to a drug overdose, which profoundly impacted the band's trajectory. The Dallas Morning News offered a rather judgmental take on the death in a 1995 article: “As lead singer for the rock group Blind Melon, 28-year-old Shannon Hoon had it all — the looks, the talent and, it appeared, the smarts to keep it going. A drug overdose proved otherwise.” Blind Melon has continued to release albums and perform with different singers after Hoon's death, but the band's debut album remains a standout work that defines their legacy in the alternative rock genre.
How successful was Blind Melon due to 'No Rain'?
"No Rain" reached number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100. In addition to reaching a multi-platinum status in the US, it was certified gold in Australia and silver in the UK. Heather DeLoach, who played the Bee Girl, also became a bit of an icon, not just for Blind Melon but also for MTV and music videos in the 1990s. She appeared as the Bee Girl at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards, and also in the video for "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Bedrock Anthem."
What could have been, and what still is
These days, it's easy for radio to forget that Blind Melon had other, equally viable songs. "Change" is a decent example of a Blind Melon songs that should have been a bigger hit. Fortunately, we can all find these songs on a wide variety of music streaming services, as well as material from other Blind Melon albums.
Speaking of which: The band only released two studio albums after this one, though there are a few compliations and one official live album. The band occasionally still does live gigs, apparently under this lineup: Rogers Stevens (lead guitar), Christopher Thorn (rhythm guitar), Glen Graham (drums), Travis Warren (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), and Nathan Towne (bass, backing vocals). The former members of the band include Hoon and Brad Smith (bass, backing vocals). If they roll into your town, would you be able to say "No" to attending their show? I know I wouldn't want to miss it!
And here is there smash hit, which certainly lives up to the hype: