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Outside Looking In: The Best of the Gin Blossoms

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Album Review

In December 1997, the Gin Blossoms announced their breakup, and the lines of communication were severed so severely that the band didn't realize their former label was assembling a hits collection, Outside Looking In: The Best Of. The album may not have been compiled with the complete authorization of the band, but that doesn't mean it isn't good or useful. Aside from the live version of "Whitewash," a sap to collectors, this is a tight distillation of the band's two A&M albums, noteworthy for the first album appearance of "Til I Hear It From You." Some might think that a compilation of two albums is stretching the definition of compilation a little bit too much, but that's really just a reflection of the industry in the '90s — two albums and one non-LP single was the end result of a decade's worth of work. Ultimately, Outside Looking In is a good listen, from the hits to the album tracks, and it confirms that the Gin Blossoms were one of the first bands to really carve out the sound later known as adult alternative pop/rock.

Customer Reviews

Do NOT buy this CD

I am a huge Gin Blossoms fan. Congratulations... I'm Sorry is in my top 5 favorite discs of all time. I purchased this disc and discovered that it was remastered horribly. They butchered it. Buy New Miserable Experience and Congratulations and you will have all the Gin Blossoms you will ever need. Maybe you won't hear the difference but it's there. What a shame. And it's missing some choice cuts from Congratulations... I'm Sorry. My Car, Virginia, I Can't Figure You Out, Competition Smile, Highwire and the country ditty Memphis Time. Consider yourself warned. They sucked the life out of the songs. Terrible.

Outside Looking In-Gin Blossoms reunited new album to be released

As of October 2005 the Gin Blossoms are still together, after years apart they have reunited and have been on a national tour this past summer. They contunue to play together at festivals and concert venues and cruise ship events. Currently the band is working on a new album yet to be released. Recording at Mayberry Studios ( Robin Wilson's Studio) in their home of Tempe Arizona. They are looking to make a comeback as a group as their previous solo attemps ( Wilson's The Gas Giants) ( Johnson's RC& Peacemakers- left group) (Valenzuela's Lo Watts, & Solo album) were short lived.

The tip of the iceberg

This barely begins to cover the excellence of Gin Blossoms. For some fans (like me), neither this or both NME and CIS (CIS is not available on iTunes) is "all the Gin Blossoms anyone will ever need." This is a fairly nice compilation, though, even if the remastering damages some songs. The star of this collection is the energetic live version of Whitewash, however (possibly from the 1996 concert at Duquesne University). My advice? Get Whitewash from this one, and then get all of their other albums (the Just South of Nowhere DVD, Dusted, and Major Lodge Victory included).


Formed: 1987 in Tempe, AZ

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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,...
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