Gin Blossoms: Robin Wilson (vocals, acoustic guitar); Jesse Valenzuela (vocals, guitar, mandolin, harmonica); Scott Johnson (guitar, background vocals); Doug Hopkins (guitar); Bill Leen (bass, background vocals); Phillip Rhodes (drums, percussion, background vocals).
Additional personnel: C.J. Chenier (accordion); Robert Becker (piano); Art Neville (Hammond B-3 organ).
Producers: Gin Blossoms, John Hampton.
Compilation producer: Andy McKaie, Mike Ragogna.
Engineers include: Andy Barrett, John Hampton, Erik Flettrich.
Includes liner notes by Mike Ragogna.
Digitally remastered by Erick Labson (MCA Music Media Studios).
In 1993, the Gin Blossoms were all over the radio and MTV with a hard-edged power-pop sound that felt like a breath of fresh air after the dominance of grunge. The band's chiming guitar hooks and Byrds-influenced harmonies made for a sunny, instantly catchy sound that belied the introspective, self-deprecating darkness of the lyrics. The group's most gifted songwriter, guitarist Doug Hopkins, battled problems with alcohol and depression that caused his departure from the band just before the release of their breakthrough with NEW MISERABLE EXPERIENCE. The album featured brilliant pop-rock mated with poetic self-recrimination.
Sans Hopkins, the Blossoms turned out another solid album, bolstered by the fine "Follow You Down." To sweeten the pot, this compilation also includes the Marshall Crenshaw collaboration "Til I Hear It From You," originally available only on the soundtrack to the otherwise forgotten film EMPIRE RECORDS, and a blistering live "Whitewash." The Gin Blossom's star burned out far too soon, but their legacy stands as a band that managed to light a power-pop fire in the early-'90s rock wilderness.