Smash (The Offspring album)

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Smash
Studio album by The Offspring
Released April 8, 1994
Recorded October–December 1993 at Track Record in North Hollywood, California
Genre Punk rock, grunge
Length 46:47
Label Epitaph
Producer Thom Wilson
The Offspring chronology
Ignition
(1992)
Smash
(1994)
Ixnay on the Hombre
(1997)
Singles from Smash
  1. "Come Out and Play"
    Released: March 10, 1994
  2. "Self Esteem"
    Released: December 22, 1994
  3. "Gotta Get Away"
    Released: February 2, 1995
  4. "Bad Habit"
    Released: March 15, 1995 (radio only)

Smash is the third studio album by American punk rock band The Offspring. After touring in support of their previous album, Ignition (1992), The Offspring began recording Smash in October 1993 at Track Record in North Hollywood, California. Recording and production were finished two months later, and the album was released on April 8, 1994 on Epitaph Records. Smash incorporates elements of punk rock and grunge.

In the United States, Smash has sold over six million copies[1] and has been certified 6x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Peaking at number four on the US Billboard 200, it has sold at least 20 million copies worldwide,[2] making it the best-selling independent label album of all time.[3] It was also the first album released on Epitaph Records to obtain gold and platinum status.[citation needed] Smash was The Offspring's introduction into worldwide popularity and critical acclaim, and produced a number of hit singles including the hugely successful "Come Out and Play", "Self Esteem" and "Gotta Get Away" singles. Alongside Bad Religion's Stranger than Fiction, Green Day's Dookie and Rancid's ...And Out Come the Wolves, Smash was responsible for bringing punk rock back into mainstream, and helped define the sound of the emerging pop punk scene in the 1990s.[4][5][6] As a fan-favorite, the album received generally positive reviews from critics and garnered attention from major labels, including Columbia Records, with whom The Offspring would sign in 1996. Smash is the only release where the band was referred to as "Offspring".

Background and recording[edit]

In 1991, The Offspring released the Baghdad 7". This EP was the turning point for the band; due to its success the band signed with Epitaph Records. Thom Wilson, who produced The Offspring's first two albums, had been trying to get the Offspring to switch to Epitaph, a label run by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. Gurewitz felt that The Offspring was just not quite pronounced enough for his label, but Baghdad convinced him to give the band a shot. Wilson and The Offspring entered the studio again and recorded Ignition. Released in 1992, Ignition exceeded all of the label's and band's expectations.[7] Following the subsequent touring to support Ignition, The Offspring began writing new material for their third album in mid-1993. Recording sessions for Smash took place during October to December 1993 at Track Record in North Hollywood. On the recording process of the album, frontman Dexter Holland told Flux Magazine in 1994, "When we recorded this album, our last one has sold maybe 15,000 copies, so the possibility of us getting played on the radio or anything like that was pretty much nonexistent. Especially because this kind of music is not generally considered acceptable by the mainstream - so, for something like this to happen, it really took us by surprise."[8]

Writing and composition[edit]

"Come Out and Play" and "Self Esteem" have been played at almost every live show.

Although Smash has a dark, punk rock sound, the album is heavily influenced by the emerging pop punk scene (as opposed to the hardcore punk influences on their first two albums). Bands like Green Day and Rancid were gaining popularity, and riding on this wave of popularity, Smash's singles became modern radio rock hits. An example of this was the success of The Offspring's first major single release, "Come Out and Play", which reached #1 on Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. "Come Out and Play" features a Middle Eastern-influenced guitar riff.[9] The lyrics discuss gang violence in high schools.[9]

The second single released from the album, "Self Esteem", became a radio hit, managing to peak at number 4 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, although it didn't hit number 1 like its prior hit, "Self Esteem" was actually more popular and more successful worldwide. The lyrics are about an abusive relationship in which the girl takes advantage of her boyfriend, as he has "no self-esteem" to stand up to her. Contrary to popular belief, the song is not autobiographical. In an interview Dexter revealed that it is about one of his old friends.[citation needed] This song was the most successful and most popular of the album's three singles.

The third single, "Gotta Get Away" was another rock radio hit, although it was not as successful as the previous two singles. The song reached number 6 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. Being the last song written for the album, the lyrics describe a point in Dexter's life when he was suffering from extreme pressure due to the then-upcoming deadline of the album. "What Happened To You" is driven by a Jamaican ska beat.[9]

A fourth song, Bad Habit, recived radio play in some areas, but was never officially released. However, it is often their set opener and is a favorite among fans. The lyrics discuss road rage to the point where the man the song is about, shoots at the car in front of him.

Reception[edit]

Professional reviews[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [10]
Kerrang! 5/5 stars[citation needed]
Punknews 4.5/5 stars[11]
Robert Christgau (neither) [12]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [13]
Sputnikmusic (4/5)[3]

Critical reviews of Smash were mostly positive. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic called it a "solid record, filled with enough heavy riffs to keep most teenagers happy". Erlewine praised the music as "relentlessly heavy". For the album, he claims that The Offspring had "crossed over", because of the success of its single "Come Out and Play", which "stopped and started just like Nirvana."[10] Sputnikmusic reviewer Mike Stagno called it "a fun album to listen to."[3]

Chart performance and sales[edit]

Despite obtaining early support from the Los Angeles modern rock radio station KROQ, Smash initially received little attention from radio and television stations. On October 29, 1994, it peaked at number four on the Billboard 200, and since then, was in various places on the chart for 101 weeks.[14] It also peaked at number one on the Heatseeker's Chart.[15] On June 19, 1999, Smash peaked at number 12 on the Catalog Albums chart for one week.[14]

Smash made history becoming the first album released on Epitaph Records to obtain gold and platinum status, and has been certified multi-platinum in three countries, including the US,[16] Australia,[17] and Canada.[18] Additionally, it has achieved platinum status in Sweden[19] and Switzerland[20], and gold status in Austria[21] and Norway.[22] By 2009, the album had sold over 12 million copies worldwide.[2]

On July 30, 1994, "Come Out and Play", the album's first single, topped the Modern Rock Tracks, and stayed on the chart for 26 weeks.[23] The song also charted at number 39 on the Pop Songs chart,[23] while it reached number ten on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. "Self Esteem" reached number four on Modern Rock Tracks and would remain on that chart for 26 weeks,[23] while it hit number seven on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. "Gotta Get Away", the album's third and last single, peaked at number six on the Modern Rock Tracks chart on January 14, 1995, where it would maintain some lower position on the chart for 20 weeks.[23] Although never technically released as a single, "Bad Habit" gained some minor popularity when the influential L.A. radio station KROQ began playing the song in early 1995. There was confusion over whether or not it would be released as the band's next single following the success of "Self Esteem". Unlike the first three singles, a video for "Bad Habit" was never released and it failed to chart.

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Exposure Canada 50 Greatest Albums not to make the Greatest Albums lists 2005 35
Robert Dimery United States 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die[24] 2005 1
Kerrang! United Kingdom The Kerrang! 100 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die[25] 1998 54
Kerrang! United Kingdom The Kerrang! 200 Albums For The Year 2000 (Essential '90s)[26] 1998 8
Kerrang! United Kingdom The Kerrang! 50 Greatest Punk Albums Ever[27] 1998 5
Mojo United Kingdom The Mojo Collection, Third Edition 2004 1
RAW United Kingdom 90 Essential Albums of the 90s[28] 1995 1
Visions Germany The Best Albums 1991-96[29] 1996 1
Visions Germany The Most Important Albums of the 90s[30] 1999 100

* denotes an unordered list

Legacy[edit]

Smash is regarded by critics[who?] as one of the most influential punk rock albums of all time, and has inspired a number of musicians. During Trivium's early days, guitarist Matt Heafy performed a cover version of "Self Esteem" at his middle school talent show at Lake Brantley High School, while the British synthpop group Cuban Boys also covered that song on their only full-length Eastwood. The album's other hit, "Come Out and Play", was covered by Richard Cheese on his 2000 album, Lounge Against the Machine and again released on the 2006 album, The Sunny Side of the Moon. Brett Gurewitz, the guitarist of Bad Religion and president of Epitaph, had also mentioned that he liked Smash and described it as "a very good record".[31] New York melodic hardcore punk band After the Fall mentioned Smash in their song "1994",[32] which appears on their 2009 album Fort Orange.[33]

Along with Green Day's Dookie, Smash was among the most commercially successful punk rock albums released in 1994, a year when the genre reached arguably its greatest popularity. By the end of the year, Dookie and Smash had both sold millions of copies.[34] The commercial success of these two albums attracted major label interest in pop punk, with bands such as Rancid, NOFX and Pennywise, who had all been labelmates with The Offspring at the time, being offered lucrative contracts to leave their independent record labels, though this offer was rejected.

In November 2011, Smash was ranked number two on Guitar World magazine's top ten list of guitar albums of 1994, between Bad Religion's Stranger than Fiction and Weezer's Weezer.[35] Guitar World also ranked Smash at number 31 in their "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994" list.[36] Although The Offspring is a punk rock band, Loudwire placed Smash at No. 4 on its "10 Best Hard Rock Albums of 1994" list.[37]

Artwork[edit]

Smash, as well as the CD singles "Come Out and Play," "Self Esteem," and "Gotta Get Away" all share imagery of an X-ray style skeleton on their covers.

Smash, as well as the singles "Come Out and Play", "Self Esteem", and "Gotta Get Away" have a common artwork theme: an ominous (and highly distorted) skeleton on the cover, disc, and back of the CD case. The music videos for "Self Esteem" and "Come Out and Play" also have several scenes with a similar skeleton. This symbol is believed to represent the core motifs of the album: death, greed, suicide, violence, addiction, and abuse. The skeleton is used to represent that the continuation of these acts will inevitably lead to death (or alternatively, the end of the human race). The art direction is credited to Kevin Head and Fred Hidalgo, who also designed the artwork for the Bad Religion album Recipe for Hate.[38]

Touring and promotion[edit]

The Offspring toured for more than two years to promote Smash. They began a two-month U.S. tour in May 1994, supporting such bands as SNFU, Battery Club and Pennywise, and then that summer, the band toured North America with Guttermouth and Big Drill Car, and Europe with Desaster Area.[39] The Offspring embarked on another U.S. tour in October–November 1994, supported by Rancid, who were promoting their second album Let's Go. The band wrapped up the year with a European tour in November and a series of theater performances in December.[39]

In January 1995, The Offspring embarked on their first tour of Japan and Australia, where they co-headlined Big Day Out with Ministry, Primal Scream, Hole, and The Cult. They toured the U.S. with Quicksand and No Use for a Name in February–March 1995, and then headlined a European tour, which was followed by another U.S. tour with The Vandals and Lunachicks, and another European tour in June–July.[39] The Offspring took the rest of 1995 off before playing three shows in Southern California in December, and a one-off show in Orange, California with Rancid in April 1996.[39] In August 1996, the band played its final dates of the Smash tour in Europe.[39]

The Offspring will embark on a full-scale tour in the summer and fall of 2014 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the release of Smash. On this tour, they will play the Smash album in its entirety.[40]

Reissues[edit]

Smash has been reissued at least two times. Remastered issues of Ignition and Smash were released on June 17, 2008, the same day as The Offspring's eighth studio album Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace. On April 8, 2014, the 20th anniversary of its original release, The Offspring announced that they will be releasing a special edition of Smash in mid-August on Epitaph. It will be released as a special package that will contain the remastered album on both CD and vinyl, restyled artwork, and a large format 24-page booklet containing never-before seen photos. The reissue will also be released as a box set; it will come with an art print (the first 250 of which are signed and on linen), a live photo print, tour pass replica and 20th anniversary items, including a pin, patch and guitar pick.[40] The band will tour in support of the reissue.[40]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Dexter Holland, except where noted [41]

No. Title Length
1. "Time to Relax" (Intro) 0:25
2. "Nitro (Youth Energy)"   2:27
3. "Bad Habit"   3:43
4. "Gotta Get Away"   3:52
5. "Genocide"   3:33
6. "Something to Believe In"   3:17
7. "Come Out and Play" ("Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)" on the remastered edition) 3:17
8. "Self Esteem"   4:17
9. "It'll Be a Long Time"   2:43
10. "Killboy Powerhead" (The Didjits cover) 2:02
11. "What Happened to You?"   2:12
12. "So Alone"   1:17
13. "Not the One"   2:54
14. "Smash" (contains hidden track, "Come Out and Play (Acoustic Reprise)") 10:42
Total length:
46:47

Chart positions and sales[edit]

End of decade charts[edit]

Chart (1990–1999) Position
U.S. Billboard 200[61] 56

Singles[edit]

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1994 "Come Out and Play" Modern Rock Tracks 1
Mainstream Rock Tracks 10
Top 40 Mainstream 39
"Self Esteem" Modern Rock Tracks 4
Mainstream Rock Tracks 7
"Gotta Get Away" Modern Rock Tracks 6
1995 Mainstream Rock Tracks 15

Personnel[edit]

The Offspring[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Jason "Blackball" McLean – additional vocals on "Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)" (uncredited, but mentioned on Greatest Hits)
  • Lisa Johnson – Photography
  • Ken Paulakovich – Engineer
  • Eddy Schreyer – Mastering
  • Thom Wilson – Producer, engineer
  • Fred Hidalgo – Art direction
  • Mike Ainsworth – Assistant engineer
  • Ulysses Noriega – Assistant engineer
  • Christopher C. Murphy – Assistant engineer/Runner

Release history[edit]

Year Type Edition Label Catalog Ref
1994 CD Epitaph 86432 [62]
1994 LP Epitaph
1994 CS Epitaph
1994 CD Australian version Shock Records [63]
1994 CD Brazilian version Epitaph/Paradoxx Music OXX 1127 [64]
1996 CS Russian version (Unofficial Release) Global Music  ? [65]
2008 CD Remastered version Epitaph 86868 [62]
2008 LP Remastered version (translucent orange vinyl); came with a coupon for a free MP3 download
"—" denotes that it was a standard release.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General references[edit]

  • Smash (CD liner). The Offspring. Epitaph Records. 1994. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Offspring Still Fly as 'Days Go By' Rises on Rock Charts Billboard
  2. ^ a b c "Billboard Magazine: 300 Best Selling Albums". Billboard Magazine. 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c Sputnikmusic. "The Offspring - Smash", April 28, 2007. Accessed October 27, 2011.
  4. ^ Joe D'angelo (2004-09-15). "How Green Day's Dookie Fertilized A Punk-Rock Revival". MTV.com. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  5. ^ Melissa Bobbitt (2014-04-08). "The Offspring's 'Smash' Turns 20". About.com. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  6. ^ Barry Thompson (2014-04-08). "'Smash' It Dead: Reflecting on the Offspring's punk breakout, which turns 20 years old today". vanyaland.com. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  7. ^ Offspring Biography
  8. ^ Grad, David (1994). "Smashing Punk Kings". Flux Magazine. 
  9. ^ a b c Strauss, Neil (October 28, 1994). "POP REVIEW; Proof of Punk's Currency". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Retrieved June 20, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Smash (The Offspring album) at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 April 2004.
  11. ^ "The Offspring - Smash". Punknews.org. April 5, 2001. 
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert. "The Offspring > Consumer Guide Reviews". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  13. ^ Kot, Greg (November 3, 1994). "The Offspring Smash / Bad Religion Stranger Than Fiction > Album Reviews". Rolling Stone (694). p. 98. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2007.  Posted February 2, 1998.
  14. ^ a b Smash - The Offspring. Billboard. Retrieved 2011-02-21.
  15. ^ Chart information at Allmusic
  16. ^ a b "American album certifications – Offspring – Smash". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  17. ^ a b "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  18. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Offspring – Smash". Music Canada. 
  19. ^ a b "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  20. ^ a b "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (The Offspring; 'Smash')". Hung Medien. 
  21. ^ a b "Austrian album certifications – The Offspring – Smash" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter The Offspring in the field Interpret. Enter Smash in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  22. ^ a b "Norwegian album certifications – The Offspring – Smash" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. 
  23. ^ a b c d The Offspring Album & Song Chart History. Billboard. Retrieved 2011-02-21.
  24. ^ Robert Dimery. "Outline Page". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  25. ^ Kerrang!. "Kerrang! - The Kerrang! 100 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  26. ^ Kerrang!. "Kerrang! - The Kerrang! 200 Albums For The Year 2000". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  27. ^ Kerrang!. "Kerrang! - The Kerrang! 50 Greatest Punk Albums Ever". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  28. ^ RAW. "RAW Albums of the Year". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  29. ^ Visions. "Visions - Popular Music Best-Of-Lists List". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  30. ^ Visions. "Visions - Popular Music Best-Of-Lists List". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  31. ^ "The Offspring". The Bad Religion Page. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  32. ^ AFTER THE FALL LYRICS - 1994
  33. ^ After The Fall (2) - Fort Orange at Discogs
  34. ^ Bestseller lists and Diamond Certification available at the RIAA website: http://www.riaa.com/gp/bestsellers/diamond.asp
  35. ^ Grassi, Tony. "Photo Gallery: The Top 10 Guitar Albums of 1994". GuitarWorld.com. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  36. ^ "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994". GuitarWorld.com. July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  37. ^ "10 Best Hard Rock Albums of 1994". Loudwire. May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Smash" Linear Notes
  39. ^ a b c d e "The Offspring - Tour". offspring.com. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  40. ^ a b c "Smash 20th Anniversary". Offspring.com. April 8, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  41. ^ BMI Entry
  42. ^ " Capif.com.ar.
  43. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Smash - Chart Positions" HitParade.ch.
  44. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 61, No. 6, March 13, 1995". RPM. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  45. ^ "Media Control Charts - The Offspring" Media Control Charts.
  46. ^ "Chart Log UK (1994–2006) The O – Ozric Tentacles" Zobbel.
  47. ^ "The Offspring - Charts & Awards - Billboard Albums" allmusic.
  48. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Offspring – Smash". Music Canada. 
  49. ^ "Danish album certifications – The Offspring – Smash". IFPI Denmark. 
  50. ^ a b The first web page presents the sales figures, the second presents the certification limits:
  51. ^ "French album certifications – The Offspring – Smash" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  52. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (The Offspring; 'Smash')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  53. ^ "Greek album certifications – The Offspring – Smash" (in Greek). IFPI Greece. 
  54. ^ "Italian album certifications – The Offspring – Smash" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry.  Select Album e Compilation in the field Scegli la sezione. Select Week -- and Year ----. Enter The Offspring in the field Artista. Click Avvia la ricerca
  55. ^ "The Record > February 2003 > Certified Awards (December 2002)". Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved January 12, 2013. 
  56. ^ "Dutch album certifications – The Offspring – Smash" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  57. ^ THE FIELD id (chart number) MUST BE PROVIDED for NEW ZEALAND CERTIFICATION.
  58. ^ "British album certifications – The Offspring – Smash". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Smash in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  59. ^ The Offspring Still Fly as 'Days Go By' Rises on Rock Charts
  60. ^ NO certyear WAS PROVIDED for EUROPEAN CERTIFICATION.
  61. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). "1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  62. ^ a b Birchmeier, Jason. "Smash - The Offspring". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  63. ^ "Offspring* - Smash". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-02-06. 
  64. ^ "Offspring* - Smash". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-02-06. 
  65. ^ "Offspring* - Smash". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
Preceded by
No Need to Argue by The Cranberries
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
February 5–25, 1995
Succeeded by
Hi Fi Way by You Am I