90 songs of my Nineties youth : Blind Melon – No Rain

The Song

No Rain is one of those tracks that is most remembered for its’ video, which was all over MTV back in 1993, just as MTV and satellite TV more generally were starting to gain a foothold in the UK. There can’t be many who, upon hearing it, don’t immediately think of a girl dancing in a bee outfit. The song itself, like their fruit themed contemporaries The Lemonheads, perfectly captures that intersection between the jangly alt-pop of the Eighties and the grunge explosion of the early nineties.

Does it still sound good today?

Indeed, an almost perfect pop song, from the jangly, catchy strum of the intro to the instant classic chorus,it’s one of those songs that when you hear it for the first time, you assume you must have heard it before. More even than most songs in this series, it takes me back to the time when I used to listen to it, perhaps because I’ve not heard it that often since.

What happened next?

Blind Melon, the album featuring No Rain, was massively successful, in the US especially, but follow up Soup, not so much. This may well have been due to singer Shannon Hoon spending much of the time between the albums in and out of rehab. In October 1995 he overdosed on cocaine and tragically died of a heart attack. There followed rarities albums, live albums and greatest hits, before the other members of the band reformed with a new lead singer, releasing albums in 2008 and 2015.

Being honest, Blind Melon’s discography outside of No Rain, is inessential at best. Whilst it may seem a shame to only be remembered for No Rain and for Hoon’s death, to me it beats not being remembered at all. And one great song, still listened to 20 years on, is not an achievement to be dismissed lightly. In the hearts of the indie kids of the 1990s, Shannon Hoon lives on.

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