…And Out Come the Wolves is the third studio album by the American punk rock band Rancid. It was released on August 22, 1995 through Epitaph Records. Rancid's popularity and catchy songs made them the subject of a major label bidding war (hence the title, ...And Out Come the Wolves taken from a poem in Jim Carroll's The Basketball Diaries) that ended with the band staying on Epitaph. With a sound heavily influenced by ska, which called to mind Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman's past in Operation Ivy, Rancid became one of the few bands of the mid-to late-1990s boom in punk rock to retain much of its original fanbase. In terms of record sales and certifications, …And Out Come the Wolves is a popular album in the United States. It produced three hit singles: "Roots Radicals", "Time Bomb" and "Ruby Soho", that earned Rancid its heaviest airplay on MTV and radio stations to date. All the singles charted on Modern Rock Tracks. …And Out Come the Wolves was certified gold by the RIAA on January 22, 1996. It was certified platinum on September 23, 2004.
Along with Bad Religion's Stranger than Fiction, Green Day's Dookie and The Offspring's Smash, ...And Out Come the Wolves helped revive mainstream popular interest in punk rock in the mid-1990s, signaled the initial rise of mainstream punk rock, and proved to be a massive success for the band, making them possibly the most popular American punk rock band to be signed onto an independent record label. Since 2004, the album has continued to sell millions of digital copies.
Rancid formed in Albany, California in 1991. They signed to Epitaph Records (founded by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz) in 1992 and released their eponymous debut album, Rancid, a year later to rave reviews. While Rancid was already writing another album, Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, one of the band's friends, joined them to co-write the song "Radio". This led to him playing a live show with the band, and Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong eventually asked him to become a member of the band, but he decided to continue playing in Green Day. Armstrong had previously asked Lars Frederiksen to be Rancid's second guitarist, but he turned down the request. After Billie Joe declined, Frederiksen changed his mind and decided to join the band. Rancid's second album, Let's Go, was released in 1994 to unexpected success and acclaim. After the release of Green Day's Dookie and The Offspring's Smash later that year, Rancid was pursued by several major labels, including Madonna's Maverick Records, but eventually turned them down. They decided to stay on Epitaph and soon began recording a follow-up album.
...And Out Come the Wolves was recorded mainly between February and May 1995. The recording took place at not only Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California (where Let's Go was recorded), but also at the famous Electric Lady Studios (built by Jimi Hendrix) in New York City. This was the first time Rancid recorded an album at more than one studio. Jerry Finn reprised his role as the album's producer.
...And Out Come the Wolves was released on August 22, 1995 and peaked at number 45 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Five months after its release, the album was certified gold.
The album received positive reviews, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic described the album as having "classic moments of revivalist punk". Erlewine praised the music and claims the album "doesn't mark an isolationist retreat into didactic, defiantly underground punk rock". The album received a rating of four and a half out of five stars, while "Time Bomb," "Ruby Soho" and "Roots Radicals" earned Rancid its heaviest airplay on MTV and radio stations to date. In 2005, ...And Out Come the Wolves was ranked number 368 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.