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Release Round-Up: Week of April 16

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Inspiration Information Wings of LoveShuggie Otis, Inspiration Information/Wings of Love (Epic/Legacy)

Nearly 40 years after Inspiration Information, Shuggie Otis’ second and most recent LP, the R&B singer/songwriter/guitarist returns with a greatly expanded double-disc edition of that album featuring material recorded in the intervening years. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Aladdin Sane 40thDavid Bowie, Aladdin Sane: 40th Anniversary Remaster (EMI)

Ziggy goes back to America in this newly-remastered straight reissue of the 1973 classic. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Blind Melon 20Blind Melon, Blind Melon: 20th Anniversary Edition (Capitol/UMe)

The alt-rock album that gave us “No Rain” is remastered and expanded with several unreleased studio tracks. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Sun Ship Complete SessionJohn Coltrane, Sun Ship: The Complete Session (Verve Select)

One of ‘Trane’s last quartet recordings, released posthumously, is expanded as a two-disc set that covers every last second of the session that birthed the album. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Frankie Valli - HitsFrankie Valli, Hits (Rhino Flashback)

A budget reissue of Valli’s solo hits compilation from 1978. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Dust - Hard Attack and DustDust, Hard Attack/Dust (Kama Sutra/Buddah/Legacy)

A newly-remastered single CD collecting both albums by the proto-heavy metal band (featuring a young Marc Bell, who ended the 1970s as Marky Ramone). (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Jack Jones - Our songJack Jones, Our Song/For the “In” Crowd and Lady/Jack Jones Sings (Zone)

Four Kapp Records albums between 1966 and 1968 on two CDs from the crooner who welcomed us aboard The Love Boat later in his career!

Written by Mike Duquette

April 16, 2013 at 07:29

More Rain: Blind Melon’s Debut Expanded by UMe with Unreleased EP

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Blind Melon 20Two decades after that bee girl tap-danced into the conscious of pop-rockers everywhere, Capitol/UMe is reissuing Blind Melon’s debut LP with an EP’s worth of unreleased tracks.

Blind Melon began in the late 1980s with vocalist Shannon Hoon, guitarists Rogers Stevens and Chris Thorn, bassist Brad Smith and drummer Glen Graham. Their local popularity in California clubs led to a contract with Capitol Records, but it was Hoon’s friendship with fellow native Indianan Axl Rose, lead singer for Guns N’ Roses, that bought them wider exposure. (Hoon sang on the Top 10 hit “Don’t Cry”). And Blind Melon became opened for other members of the West Coast alt-rock scene, including the band Soundgarden; frontman Chris Cornell famously wore a necklace made of a bent fork given to him by Hoon in several music videos.

In 1992, the band worked with producer Rick Parashar (who’d just produced another alt-grunge classic, Pearl Jam’s Ten (1991)) on their self-titled debut. Despite local admiration and critical praise, it initially went nowhere – until the band shot a video for “No Rain.” The perky, neo-psych tune featured an unforgettable video starring Heather DeLoach, the young girl photographed on the cover of the album in her infamous bee costume. In the video, the “bee girl” sought refuge from those who mocked her appearance (heavyset, bespectacled and – let’s face it – wearing a bee suit while tap dancing) and ultimately found it, a serene narrative to go with the serene sounds.

While “No Rain” catapulted the band to success (ultimately moving four million copies of the record), the next few years were anything but rosy. Hoon was a rampant drug user during the making of sophomore album Soup (1995), and the consumption ultimately took his life while on tour that same year. The band quickly assembled a posthumous album of outtakes (named Nico after Hoon’s young daughter; proceeds from the album went to a trust fund for the girl) and slowly drifted apart through the ’90s. In 2008, the band returned with a new album, For My Friends, with new vocalist Travis Warren.

This new reissue does not include any of the bonus tracks we detailed in a very early Reissue Theory post, but the remastered album is paired with the band’s previously unreleased first recordings, cut at Sound City Studios in 1991 for shelved EP called Sippin’ Time Sessions. Chris Thorn and Brad Smith have newly remixed these tracks for this set.

Blind Melon will be available anew on April 16, days before a double-vinyl reissue of the same program will be released for Record Store Day.

Blind Melon: 20th Anniversary Edition (Originally released as Capitol CDP 7 96585 2 7, 1992 – reissued Capitol/UMe, 2013)

  1. Soak the Sin
  2. Tones of Home
  3. I Wonder
  4. Paper Scratcher
  5. Dear Ol’ Dad
  6. Change
  7. No Rain
  8. Deserted
  9. Sleepyhouse
  10. Holyman
  11. Seed to a Tree
  12. Drive
  13. Time
  14. Dear Ol’ Dad (Sippin’ Time Session)
  15. Soul One (Sippin’ Time Session)
  16. Tones of Home (Sippin’ Time Session)
  17. Seed to a Tree (Sippin’ Time Session)
  18. Mother (Sippin’ Time Session)

Written by Mike Duquette

April 10, 2013 at 15:41

Posted in Blind Melon, News, Reissues

Reissue Theory: Blind Melon

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Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we reflect on well-known albums of the past and the reissues they could someday see. Today, on the anniversary of the death of a well-known alt-rock vocalist, we reflect on his band’s first album, which would “bee” a treat if it were reissued.

“All I can say is that my life is pretty plain…” Those immortal opening lines to “No Rain,” the biggest hit by alternative rock band Blind Melon, couldn’t be any further from the truth.

The story of the California-based band involves drugs (tragically) and rock and roll. There’s a girl in a bee costume, Guns N’ Roses, and the death of a promising vocalist far too soon. Today, on the 15th anniversary of lead singer Shannon Hoon’s death at age 28 of a cocaine overdose, we celebrate the band’s self-titled debut album and the surprise hit it spawned. Our Reissue Theory continues after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

October 21, 2010 at 15:23

Posted in Blind Melon, Features, Reissues

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