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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One more time with feeling

Recently listening to blink-182's Enema of the State, along with reading through Trevor's post about the band's recent announcement of their reunion, I think about when that record came out nearly ten years ago. Never did I think it was going to be such a big success for the band and an incredibly influential record for many years to come.

I can recall talking with my friend Eddie, a guy who played in a fast pop-punk band called Thanx But No Thanx and just so happened to work at the sports gear store right next to the Best Buy I worked at, about Enema, among many other records at the time. Frankly, we just thought it was an even better record than Dude Ranch. I don't think at any point in our conversations did we believe that the record would sell millions of copies and make the band as influential as Green Day. We just liked the record, plain and simple.

Now in hindsight, I believe I learned a valuable lesson about influential records in general: nothing guarantees what can make a record a highly influential one. That's the kind of stuff that happens well after the songs are written and recorded and sent off to the record pressing plant. All that bands really can do is make the best possible record given the circumstances.

But still I can't help wonder: a band considered legends when they had jokey songs about watching girls and crank calling people, and even named an album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket? Then again, they had great songs about much more serious matters, and sang them with complete sincerity. I'm just amazed that a band that had a cameo in American Pie is taken a bit more seriously. Maybe it was the great songs, especially their experimental-but-really-works self-titled record, but their status among many is what it is.

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