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Hey Jealousy

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"Hey Jealousy"
Single by Gin Blossoms
from the album New Miserable Experience
ReleasedJune 1993 (1993-06)
Songwriter(s)Doug Hopkins
  • Gin Blossoms
  • John Hampton
Gin Blossoms singles chronology
"Mrs. Rita"
"Hey Jealousy"
"Until I Fall Away"

"Hey Jealousy" is a song by American rock band Gin Blossoms. The song was included on the group's debut album, Dusted (1989), and was re-recorded for their 1992 album, New Miserable Experience. It was written by lead guitarist Doug Hopkins, who was fired from the band before New Miserable Experience was released.

"Hey Jealousy" became the band's signature song, reaching number 25 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1993. It peaked at number 20 in Iceland, number 24 in the United Kingdom, number 28 in Australia, and number 39 in Canada. "Hey Jealousy" was certified gold.


"Hey Jealousy" was inspired by Hopkins' desire to get back with his ex-girlfriend Cathy Swafford, who had left him because of his drinking and cheating.[4] Ed Masley of The Arizona Republic describes the song this way:

...[A guy] shows up at his ex's house too drunk to drive and asks if he can spend the night, a case he tries to make with "You can see I'm in no shape for driving and anyway, I've got no place to go."
She was the best he'd ever had, he admits before bringing the verse to a humiliating close with "If I hadn't blown the whole thing years ago, I might not be alone." But he's not giving up just yet, heading into the chorus full of hope as he attempts to sell her on a promise of "Tomorrow we can drive around this town and let the cops chase us around/ The past is gone but something might be found to take its place".
There's too much self-awareness here to win a reasonable person over ("If you don't expect too much from me, you might not be let down.").[5]

Hopkins originally included the line "you can trust me not to drink" in "Hey Jealousy", but lead singer Robin Wilson insisted on changing "drink" to "think," having grown tired of Hopkins' lyrical references to his drinking problem.[6] Wilson explained:

Yes, because there were so many references to drinking, you know, in our songs. I would try to steer it away from that all the time. The band was called Gin Blossoms, which, as you know, is a reference to heavy drinking. We had all of these lyrics about it, and it was something we seemed to be talking about too much. I didn't think it was that big of a deal to change one word.[7]

Hopkins, who was dismissed from the band due to alcohol abuse before New Miserable Experience was released,[8] was upset that Wilson changed the lyric. When asked about the song after it became a hit, Hopkins expressed discomfort with the track, stating that he turned it off when he heard it on the radio.[9]


"Hey Jealousy" was included as a track on Gin Blossoms' 1989 debut album, Dusted.[10] It was re-recorded[11] and released as a track on New Miserable Experience.[10] Although New Miserable Experience initially stalled in the charts, it received a second promotional push that benefited "Hey Jealousy" in the form of a new music video. Wilson noted,

One day we get a call from the label that they were going to try 'Jealousy' again and make another video for it. The budget for the first [video] was five grand; the second was ten grand; and the third was forty grand. That's when I was like, "Holy shit, they're serious." At that point we had been in the van for six months, just a blur of college cafeterias, interviews and opening for whoever we can.[12]

"Hey Jealousy" made its debut on the Billboard Top 100 on July 24, 1993.[13] It was the band's first hit single, peaking at number 25 on the Billboard chart on October 16, 1993.[5] Guitarist Jesse Valenzuela joked, "It got everywhere. You can hear it at the Lowe's hardware".[12] "Hey Jealousy" has become known as the band's signature song[5][14] and one of its most enduring hits;[12] it was certified gold by the RIAA.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

A review by Rolling Stone called the song "manna for radio", highlighting "the ease with which this quintet casts hooks".[15] AllMusic staff writer Rick Anderson identified "Hey Jealousy" and "Until I Fall Away" as the two songs from New Miserable Experience "that leave the deepest impression".[16]

Ed Masley of The Arizona Republic listed the song as the Gin Blossoms' best song on his list of the band's top 30 tracks, writing, "It's the obvious choice for a reason -- the signature song that started as the breakthrough hit that made the whole thing possible. And it's a great song, brilliantly arranged so as to maximize the tension and release, its understated verses taking on intensity in a wave of distorted guitars as the song makes its way to that singalong chorus."[5]

In a review of the single, Ryan Wasoba of Crawdaddy! considered "Hey Jealousy" more closely in light of Hopkins's struggles, arguing:

With Hopkins functioning as the protagonist, "Hey Jealousy" outlines a cause for intervention. Coming from the mouth of an alcoholic, the deprecating claims in the song ... sting with accuracy. Other lines become the simplistic slurrings of a friend who’s had one too many ... Even the song’s peppy chorus is recontextualized, its hopefulness shriveled into empty promise.[17]

But despite this context, Wasoba still lauded the track as a "bona fide have-a-kick-ass-summer jam": "Through all the potential melancholy, 'Hey Jealousy' is still a party. The guitars still jangle, the tambourine still shimmies. The solo is still totally bitchin'."[17]

Pitchfork said, "Wilson sings, the words rippling out uncannily smooth, their inherent desperation buffed to a shine. The levity in the song's arrangement—the jangling guitar arpeggios, the shivers of tambourine—belie the weight of the addiction and mental illness Hopkins found himself tangled in while writing, which dragged him to his death."[18]

In 2023, Tyler Golsen of Far Out called "Hey Jealousy" "a candy-coated hand grenade than can still catch you off guard 35 years after Hopkins first conceived of it". Golsen also described the song as "a strange beacon of hope and optimism" and a "mix of despondent lyrics and aggressively catchy pop-rock guitars".[8]

Track listings[edit]


Release history[edit]

Release formats for "Hey Jealousy"
Region Date Format(s) Label(s)
United States June 1993
  • CD
  • cassette
United Kingdom[37] January 24, 1994
  • 7-inch vinyl
  • CD
  • cassette


  1. ^ Al-Sharif, Rabab (August 21, 2020). "10 Pop-Punk Covers of '90s Songs". Loudwire. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  2. ^ Waldman, Scott (April 3, 2020). "10 Best Pop-Rock Songs of the '90s". Loudwire. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  3. ^ Unterberger, Andrew (August 6, 2004). "Top Ten Mediocre Post-Grunge / Alternative Bands". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on September 27, 2020. Retrieved April 30, 2022.
  4. ^ "Gin Blossoms: Doug Hopkins". VH1 True Spin. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e Masley, Ed (February 23, 2021). "30 best Gin Blossoms songs including 'Hey Jealousy,' 'Follow You Down' and 'Mrs. Rita'". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  6. ^ Geffen, Sasha (April 28, 2016). "13 Sunny '90s Hits with Surprisingly Dark Backstories". MTV. Archived from the original on April 29, 2016.
  7. ^ Clash, Jim (November 26, 2019). "Gin Blossoms Vocalist Robin Wilson Remembers The Group's Late Guitarist Doug Hopkins". Forbes. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  8. ^ a b "The story of how Gin Blossoms created 'Hey Jealousy'". faroutmagazine.co.uk. April 11, 2023.
  9. ^ Ruelas, Richard (December 6, 1993). "Ex-Guitarist for Gin Blossoms Kills Self". Associated Press. Retrieved April 7, 2021.[dead link]
  10. ^ a b Harvilla, Rob (October 22, 2020). "The Heartbreaking Story Behind Gin Blossoms' "Hey Jealousy"". The Ringer.
  11. ^ "Gin Blossoms". Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 23, 2023.
  12. ^ a b c Hudak, Joseph (March 29, 2017). "Gin Blossoms' 'New Miserable Experience' at 25: Inside LP's Dark History". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  13. ^ "Gin Blossoms - Biography, Music & News". Billboard. Retrieved July 23, 2023.
  14. ^ "Gin Blossoms go acoustic in Connecticut". The Hour. November 5, 2009.
  15. ^ "Gin Blossoms: New Miserable Experience". Rolling Stone. July 17, 1997. Archived from the original on December 30, 2007. Retrieved April 16, 2010.
  16. ^ Anderson, Rick. "New Miserable Experience - Gin Blossoms | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
  17. ^ a b Wasoba, Ryan (October 13, 2009). "Gin Blossoms "Hey Jealousy"". Crawdaddy!. Archived from the original on November 3, 2009. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
  18. ^ Sasha Geffen (September 27, 2022). "The 250 Best Songs of the 1990s". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 29, 2022.
  19. ^ Hey Jealousy (US cassette single cassette notes). Gin Blossoms. A&M Records. 1992. 314 560 242-4.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  20. ^ Hey Jealousy (UK cassette single sleeve). Gin Blossoms. Fontana Records. 1992. GINMC-3, 580 363-4.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  21. ^ Hey Jealousy (European & Australasian CD single liner notes). Gin Blossoms. A&M Records. 1992. AMCD 127, 580 127-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  22. ^ Hey Jealousy (Australian cassette single sleeve). Gin Blossoms. A&M Records. 1992. 580 356-4.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  23. ^ Hey Jealousy (UK 7-inch single sleeve). Gin Blossoms. Fontana Records. 1993. GIN3.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  24. ^ Hey Jealousy (UK CD single liner notes). Gin Blossoms. Fontana Records. 1993. GINCD 3, 580 357-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  25. ^ Hey Jealousy (UK maxi-CD single liner notes). Gin Blossoms. Fontana Records. 1993. GINCD 1, 580 363-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  26. ^ "Gin Blossoms – Hey Jealousy". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  27. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2277." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  28. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 11, no. 9. February 26, 1994. p. 14. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  29. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (11.–17. nóv.)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). November 11, 1993. p. 20. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  30. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  31. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  32. ^ "Gin Blossoms Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  33. ^ "Gin Blossoms Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  34. ^ "Gin Blossoms Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  35. ^ "U.S. Cash Box Charts" (PDF). popmusichistory. Retrieved February 7, 2023.
  36. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1993". Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  37. ^ "Single Releases". Music Week. January 22, 1994. p. 21.