With their knack for not being Candlebox and their flair for being the anti-grunge (hey, Ms. Courtney), Gin Blossoms made us work for our college radio lives with their multi-platinum ’93 (da f#$k?) record, New Miserable Experience.
Getting their start thirty years ago in Tempe, Arizona, bassist Bill Leen and guitarist Doug Hopkins formed Gin Blossoms, rounding out the tuned up troops with original lineup in vocalist Jesse Valenzuela, guitarist Richard Taylor, and drummer Chris McCann.
Much like every band goes through when they first get the career bass strummin,’ the group struggled to keep it all together in the early days–McCann was replaced by Dan Henzerling (and, shortly thereafter, Phillip Rhodes), while Taylor was fired and replaced by guitarist Robin Wilson.
However, eventually Wilson and Valenzuela switched roles in the band, and soon Gin Blossoms recorded and served a self-released set, Dusted, in 1989, all while record label A&M caught on and signed the boys the following year.
After an impressive debut EP that rocked Billboard College Radio Charts across the country, 1991’s Up & Crumbling brought them up to a new level, and soon the group recorded New Miserable Experience, and the rest is light, angsty history.
Because of the album’s MTV Top 20 Countdown ready realness and ridiculously catchy melodies, three more singles were released—-“Found Out About You,” “Until I Fall Away” and “Allison Road”–and the album wound up owning the Billboard 200 Album Chart for an entire year. However, during this time, tragedy struck the group when Hopkins shot and killed himself, even as most of the songs he wrote were taking over our My So Called lives.
But keeping in tribune to the fact that the show must go on, the Blossoms released their second set, Congratulations I’m Sorry in the summer of 1995, which was carried by “Follow You Down” and “Till I Hear It From You” another pair of light & frothy rock tracks, the second of which that also appeared on the classic Empire Records soundtrack.
Unfortunately, due to the pesky ever-changing late ’90s music market (those teeny boppers, tho..) the boys of Gin Blossoms officially went their separate ways in 1997. But they do still tour every one in a while (they were here last year, actually), which further proves that no matter how hard we try, we’ll never be able to escape “Hey Jealousy” or anything else Gin Blossoms touched our Sony Walkman headphones with back-in-the-day.