Rock act Blind Melon will be the
subject of a "Best of" CD and a live DVD this fall via Capitol/EMI
Music Catalog Marketing, and will also issue a previously unreleased
concert recording to digital download services. The projects will be
available Sept. 27, less than a month shy of the 10-year-anniversary of
Blind Melon vocalist Shannon Hoon's death from a drug overdose.
The 19-track "Tones of Home: The Best of Blind Melon"
will also be available in a limited-edition with a DVD featuring six
music videos and a live performance of the group's biggest hit, "No
Rain." According to guitarist Rogers Stevens, its release was inspired
by higher-than-expected sales for the 2002 compilation "Classic Masters."
"That exceeded [the label's] expectations of what they thought it was going to do," he tells Billboard.com. "They sold through [the pressing] -- it's not that widely available anymore, so they're going to re-do it and make it better."
After the 1996 documentary "Letters From a Porcupine"
earned a Grammy for best long form music video, Blind Melon's surviving
members were anxious to release a follow-up. But the group found it
difficult to secure live performances that met their quality standards.
"There's so much out there, in terms of what's being passed around by fans," explains bassist Brad Smith. "If
we're going to put our name on it and get behind a release, it has to
sound really good -- the playing has to be really good. It's live, [so]
it's unpredictable. We fished through a lot of stuff that was just like
everybody playing different songs basically [laughs]."
the group settled on a Sept. 27, 1995, show at the Metro in Chicago,
from which a smattering of tracks can be previewed on "Porcupine." The DVD will be bolstered with three acoustic songs from a performance on MuchMusic.
Los Angeles show recorded at the Hollywood Palace three weeks after the
Metro gig, and just two weeks before Hoon died, will be the
digital-only release. The material was mixed by Smith and Blind Melon
guitarist Christopher Thorn at their Los Angeles studio, Wishbone. "This is the only one that's been broken up onto 24-track tape," Smith says, "[so it's of] really good quality."
Of late, Smith and Thorn have immersed themselves in producing and songwriting. "Anna
Nalick -- we found her and produced demos, and once she got signed, she
came back and we did the record ['Wreck of the Day' on Columbia] in our
studio," Smith says. The
pair also recorded demos with the group American Minor, helping it get
signed to Jive, and produced its self-titled debut for the label, due
Meanwhile, Rogers Stevens is playing in the group The Tender Trio,
which features former Spacehog member Royston Langdon. The act is in
the midst of a North American tour that hits Los Angeles tomorrow (July
15). "We'll hopefully make a record this year," he says.