Gin Blossoms Allmusic

  1. Gin Blossoms Allmusic
  2. Toad The Wet Sprocket

By blending contemporary power pop with elements of the post-grunge era, Gin Blossoms briefly emerged as torchbearers of the lighter side of alternative rock. Bassist Bill Leen and guitarist Doug Hopkins formed the band in 1987 in Tempe, AZ, rounding out the initial lineup with vocalist Jesse Valenzuela, guitarist Richard Taylor, and drummer Chris McCann. The following year saw several personnel shifts as the band struggled to solidify -- McCann was replaced by Dan Henzerling (and, shortly thereafter, Phillip Rhodes), while Taylor was fired and replaced by guitarist Robin Wilson. Wilson and Valenzuela subsequently switched roles, and the band recorded a self-released album, Dusted, in 1989. A&M signed them the following year.

Rarities is a compilation album by pop rock band Gin Blossoms. It was released in 2010 on A&M Records. It is most of the bonus disc from the New Miserable Experience Deluxe Edition, 2-disc set released in 2002, which had three extra cuts from the Dusted album. The separate release here includes nineteen tracks not found on prior albums. Gin Blossoms are an alternative rock/power pop band that formed in 1987, in Tempe, Arizona, United States, known for their melodic yet melancholic sound. The band originally consisted of Robin Wilson (vocals, guitar), Jesse Valenzuela (guitar, vocals), Doug Hopkins (guitar), Bill Leen (bass), and Phillip Rhodes (drums). New Miserable Experience is the second studio album by rock band Gin Blossoms, released on August 4, 1992. The album was released to little fanfare and relatively lackluster reviews. However, nearly a year after its release the lead single ' Hey Jealousy ' entered the top 40.


After an impressive debut EP, 1991's Up & Crumbling, the Gin Blossoms rocketed out of the college pop charts and into the mainstream with their 1993 hit single 'Hey Jealousy.' Combining the ringing guitar hooks of the Byrds and R.E.M. with a solid, rootsy drive, the band's breakthrough full-length album, New Miserable Experience (which had actually been released the previous year), was filled with songs equally as strong as 'Hey Jealousy,' including the second hit single, 'Found Out About You.' New Miserable Experience and its assorted singles dominated radio and MTV for the following year -- 'Hey Jealousy' and 'Found Out About You,' both penned by Hopkins, remained in heavy radio rotation nearly a year after their initial release -- and such success pushed the sales of their debut album to over one million copies.


All was not well within the group's ranks, however. Hopkins' battle with alcoholism and depression had taken its toll on the band during the sessions for New Miserable Experience, and he was fired shortly after the record's release, with guitarist Scott Johnson taking his place. Speculation abounded as to whether the band would be able to maintain its success without Hopkins' melancholy songwriting voice. Tragically, on December 5, 1993, Hopkins shot and killed himself, even as the songs he had written were blanketing the airwaves.


In the summer of 1995, the Gin Blossoms contributed 'Till I Hear It from You,' a song they co-wrote with Marshall Crenshaw, to the soundtrack of the film Empire Records. 'Till I Hear It from You' became a major radio hit, but was never released as an official single until it was featured as the B-side of 'Follow You Down,' the first single from the group's second album, Congratulations...I'm Sorry. Upon its release in February of 1996, Congratulations...I'm Sorry charted well, but within six months, it had disappeared from the charts. Following the supporting tour, the Gin Blossoms disbanded in 1997.


Strangely enough, the group reunited (sans Rhodes) for a 2001 New Year's Eve concert. The Gin Blossoms hit the road several months later for a summer tour, drumming up renewed interest with the release of Dusted -- originally issued in 1989 as the band's debut cassette tape -- as well as a live DVD, Just South of Nowhere. Four years later, the band unveiled its first batch of new material since the mid-'90s. Major Lodge Victory proved to be sonically similar to the band's earlier efforts, and the album earned warm critical reviews. Signing with 429 Records, the Blossoms released another collection of new material, No Chocolate Cake, in 2010.


Stephen Thomas Erlewine
AllMusic.com


New Miserable Experience
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 4, 1992
RecordedFebruary - March 1992
StudioArdent Studios, Memphis, Tennessee
GenreAlternative rock,[1]jangle pop[2][3]
Length45:02
LabelA&M
ProducerGin Blossoms
John Hampton
Gin Blossoms chronology
Up and Crumbling
(1991)
New Miserable Experience
(1992)
Shut Up And Smoke
(1994)
Alternate cover
Re-release cover
Singles from New Miserable Experience
  1. 'Lost Horizons'
    Released: 1992
  2. 'Mrs. Rita'
    Released: 1993
  3. 'Hey Jealousy'
    Released: June 1993
  4. 'Until I Fall Away'
    Released: August 1993
  5. 'Found Out About You'
    Released: November 1993
  6. 'Allison Road'
    Released: 1994

New Miserable Experience is the second studio album by rock band Gin Blossoms, released on August 4, 1992. The album was released to little fanfare and relatively lackluster reviews. However, nearly a year after its release the lead single 'Hey Jealousy' entered the top 40.[4] With 'Found Out About You' following a few months later, the album eventually reached multi-platinum status.[5]

Allmusic

The band's guitarist, Doug Hopkins, was fired near the conclusion of the recording sessions for the album, ostensibly for his persistent alcohol problems. His replacement, Scott Johnson, is listed as a member of the band in the liner notes, but did not play on the album. Just as the album was becoming a success at the end of 1993, Hopkins died by suicide.

New Miserable Experience's initial release had completely different packaging. The album's original cover artwork depicted the Arizona desert. Several songs on the album were written with references to the area, people, and events surrounding the band at the time, such as 'Mrs. Rita', which is a song about a local psychic from the Gin Blossoms' hometown of Tempe, Arizona. The majority of the songs rely on a melody-driven pop style, while the final track, 'Cheatin', leans into country music. The album was re-released with a new cover without the original Arizona desert photo, in late summer 1993, in conjunction with A&M's newfound support of the album.

To celebrate the album's tenth anniversary in 2002, a deluxe edition containing an extra disc of demos, outtakes and live performances was released by the label. The Rarities Album was released separately in Abbreviated form in 2010 as Rarities, missing the three cuts from Dusted.

Track listing[edit]

Gin Blossoms Allmusic

  1. 'Lost Horizons' (Doug Hopkins) – 3:20
  2. 'Hey Jealousy' (Hopkins) – 3:56
  3. 'Mrs. Rita' (Jesse Valenzuela, Jim Swafford) – 4:25
  4. 'Until I Fall Away' (Robin Wilson, Valenzuela) – 3:51
  5. 'Hold Me Down' (Hopkins, Wilson) – 4:50
  6. 'Cajun Song' (Valenzuela) – 2:56
  7. 'Hands Are Tied' (Valenzuela) – 3:17
  8. 'Found Out About You' (Hopkins) – 3:53
  9. 'Allison Road' (Wilson) – 3:18
  10. '29' (Valenzuela) – 4:18
  11. 'Pieces of the Night' (Hopkins) – 4:33
  12. 'Cheatin' (Valenzuela, Hopkins) – 3:25

Track listing for the bonus disc included with the 2002 Deluxe Edition[edit]

  1. 'Something Wrong' (Valenzuela) - 2:40
  2. 'Slave Dealer's Daughter' (Hopkins, Bill Leen) - 2:32
  3. 'Fireworks' (Hopkins) - 3:05
  4. 'Keli Richards' (Hopkins, Leen) - 3:04
  5. 'Just South of Nowhere' (Valenzuela) - 3:26
  6. 'Angels Tonight' (Hopkins) - 3:33
  7. 'Blue Eyes Bleeding' (Hopkins) - 2:30
  8. 'Soul Deep' (Wayne Carson Thompson) - 3:05
  9. 'Heart Away' (Wilson) - 2:21
  10. 'Cold River Dick' (Wilson, Valenzuela, Leen, Phillip Rhodes, Scott Johnson) - 1:16
  11. 'Christine Irene' (Wilson, Valenzuela) - 2:42
  12. 'Number One' (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Neil Innes) - 2:35
  13. 'Idiot Summer' (Wilson) - 4:13
  14. 'Back of a Car' (Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel) - 2:43
  15. 'Allison Road '94 (remix)' (Wilson) - 3:22
  16. 'Hold Me Down (live)' (Hopkins, Wilson) - 4:55
  17. 'Hey Jealousy (live)' (Hopkins) - 3:57
  18. 'Mrs. Rita (live)' (Swafford, Valenzuela) - 4:20
  19. '29 (live)' (Valenzuela) - 4:07
  20. 'Movin' On Up (live)' (Jeff Barry, Ja'net Dubois) - 2:57
  21. 'Folsom Prison Blues (live)' (Johnny Cash) - 3:08
  22. 'Pieces of the Night (with piano ending)' (Hopkins) - 4:20
  • Tracks 1-3: from Dusted (1989)
  • Tracks 4-6: from Up and Crumbling (1991)
  • Track 7: outtake from New Miserable Experience
  • Tracks 8-11: from Shut Up and Smoke (1994); 'Soul Deep' also appears on the soundtrack album from the movie Speed
  • Track 12: outtake from Shut Up and Smoke
  • Track 13: from Music from the Motion Picture Wayne's World 2 (1993)
  • Track 14: previously unreleased; intended for a Big Star tribute album
  • Tracks 15, 22: alternate versions of songs from New Miserable Experience
  • Tracks 16-21: recorded live on May 13, 1993 at Solana Beach, CA

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[6]
Chicago Tribune[7]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[9]
The Village VoiceC+[10]

Rolling Stone praised the album, saying it 'sounds both fresh and highly personal.'[8]AllMusic called the album 'a tight and lean collection of brilliant, edgy pop music.'[6]

Toad The Wet Sprocket

Chart performance[edit]

Album - Billboard (North America)

YearChartPosition
1993Heatseekers1
The Billboard 20030

Singles - Billboard (North America)

YearSingleChartPosition
1993'Hey Jealousy'Mainstream Rock Tracks4
The Billboard Hot 10025
Top 40 Mainstream20
'Found Out About You'Mainstream Rock Tracks5
Modern Rock Tracks1
The Billboard Hot 10025
Top 40 Mainstream6
'Mrs. Rita'Mainstream Rock Tracks36
1994'Until I Fall Away'Adult Contemporary23
Mainstream Rock Tracks40
Modern Rock Tracks13
Top 40 Mainstream13
'Allison Road'Mainstream Rock Tracks20
Modern Rock Tracks39
1995'Found Out About You'Adult Top 4038

Personnel[edit]

Gin Blossoms[edit]

  • Robin Wilson - lead vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Doug Hopkins - guitars (Credited for performance and writing, uncredited as an active bandmember)
  • Jesse Valenzuela - guitars, mandolin, background vocals, lead vocals on 'Cheatin'
  • Bill Leen - bass
  • Phillip Rhodes - percussion, drums

Additional Personnel[edit]

  • Robert Becker - piano on 'Until I Fall Away' and 'Pieces of the Night'
  • C. J. Chenier - accordion on 'Cajun Song'
  • Robby Turner - pedal steel guitar on 'Cheatin' and 'Cajun Song'

Production[edit]

Allmusic
  • Producers: Gin Blossoms, John Hampton
  • Engineer: John Hampton
  • Assistant Engineer: James 'Left Of' Senter
  • Mixing: John Hampton
  • Mastering: George Marino
  • Art direction: Barrie Goshko
  • Design: Barrie Goshko
  • Photography: Jay Blakesberg, Robin Wilson
  • Crew: Jim Coleman, Scott Guess, Mike Chappell
  • Recorded at: Ardent Studios (Memphis, TN), except: 'Allison Road' and 'Mrs. Rita', recorded at: AB Recorders (Phoenix, AZ) By: Andy Barret

Original 1992 release:

Blossoms
  • Art direction and design: Rowan Moore
  • Photography: Dennis Keeley
  • Radiator: Kelly Ray
Blossoms

References[edit]

  1. ^Beach, Connor (June 7, 2018). 'Gin Blossoms Come Full Circle With Latest Record'. Long-Islander News. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  2. ^Meuth, Gary (April 27, 2017). 'The Gin Blossoms define sound of jangle pop'. Salina Journal. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  3. ^Masley, Ed (September 1, 2018). 'Gin Blossoms' Robin Wilson on why 'Mixed Reality' is their best since 'Miserable' was new'. AZCentral.com. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  4. ^Hudak, Joseph (March 29, 2017). 'Gin Blossoms' 'New Miserable Experience': The Dark History of a Nineties Classic'. Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  5. ^Masley, Ed (September 1, 2018). 'Gin Blossoms' Robin Wilson on why 'Mixed Reality' is their best since 'Miserable' was new'. AZCentral.com. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  6. ^ abAnderson, Rick. 'New Miserable Experience - Gin Blossoms'. AllMusic.
  7. ^Herrmann, Brenda (August 20, 1992). 'Gin Blossoms - New Miserable Experience'. Chicago Tribune.
  8. ^ ab'Gin Blossoms: New Miserable Experience : Music Reviews (Unfinished review)'. Rolling Stone: 146. December 23, 1993. Archived from the original on December 30, 2007. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  9. ^Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 332. ISBN0-7432-0169-8. rolling stone gin blossoms album guide.
  10. ^Christgau, Robert (November 29, 1994). 'Turkey Shoot'. The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
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