Monday, 7 October 2013

Blind Melon - 'The Pusher'


This is one of my favourite covers, by a band that almost became huge. If you have a favourite cover, please contact us and tell us why by clicking here

Blind Melon - The Pusher (1996)

The name Shannon Hoon may not be familiar to most and his band Blind Melon aren't that well known I'm sure. They became popular in 1992 due to the video of 'No Rain' which featured a young girl dancing around in a Bee costume. After hearing the song I immediately went out and bought their self-titled debut album. It was very different to the rock/grunge music that I was listening to at the time (Nirvana, Alice In Chains & Pearl Jam) I guess if I had to pigeonhole it into a particular genre I would say folk/rock. My standout track from this album is 'Change'
Before this album was released Shannon Hoon featured on backing vocals on a few of the songs on 'Guns N' Roses' 'Use Your Illusion' albums including the single 'Don't Cry'.
Their second album 'Soup' was released in 1995 and the first single 'Galaxie' even now is one of my all time favourite songs. 8 weeks after the album was released, Shannon Hoon died of a cocaine overdose aged just 28. His gravestone has some lyrics on it from 'Change' which was the first song he ever wrote.

The following year the album 'Nico' was released. This featured songs that were either unreleased or unfinished and was named after his daughter Nico Blue who was only 5 months old when Shannon died. As well as a cover of a John Lennon track 'John Sinclair' it has a cover of the song made famous by Steppenwolf, 'The Pusher' which includes some new lyrics that Shannon Hoon added. It's the first track on the album and I like it so much I sometimes put it on repeat and forget that there another 12 songs to listen to.
I really think that if it wasn't for his tragic death in 1995, they would have become huge. I'm thankful that the catchy video for 'No Rain' brought them to my attention, but on the flipside I think that they are so much more than that song, and are probably overlooked as a result. I swear if I ever see them on a 'One-Hit Wonders' TV show I will probably cry (albeit after using a number of expletives)

NERD ALERT! - The scene in the toilet of 'Jack Rabbit Slim's' in 'Pulp Fiction where Uma Thurman snorts some coke and shouts 'I said God Damn. God Damn' is in homage to this song.
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As a bonus, I have included the version that Steppenwolf recorded. Although tey didn't write it I think it was the first recorded version.

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Blind Melon - 'The Pusher'
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7 October 2013 at 10:19

Great post and hearing about his death made me feel a little meloncholy.
and that was a goo Nerd alert too!

24 October 2013 at 10:30

I remember this song but only after reading this post, the Steppenwolf version I prefer only because I love the riff (Neneh Cherry and Trout). I bought the album as a direct result of the girl in the bee costume video, it had some very good moments. Was it really an homage to the song?

24 October 2013 at 15:55

It is indeed sir. Back when I had money to spend on such things I bought the book of the screenplay. It said something along the lines of "God Damn" Steppenwolf style