Sublime (album)

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Studio album by Sublime
Released July 30, 1996
Recorded February–May 1996 at Pedernales Studio in Austin, Texas & Total Access Recording in Redondo Beach, California
Genre Ska punk, alternative hip hop, dub, alternative rock,[1] reggae rock
Length 58:31
Label MCA
Producer Paul Leary & David Kahne
Sublime chronology
Robbin' the Hood
Second-hand Smoke
Singles from Sublime
  1. "What I Got"
    Released: August 27, 1996
  2. "Santeria"
    Released: January 7, 1997
  3. "Wrong Way"
    Released: May 25, 1997
  4. "Doin' Time"
    Released: November 25, 1997

Sublime is the third and final album released by ska punk band Sublime. Originally intended to be titled Killin' It, the band and MCA Records agreed to substitute an eponymous title due to lead singer Bradley Nowell's death prior to the album's release. The surviving members decided to end Sublime (though a temporary reunion with new singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez occurred in 2009 before changing the name to Sublime with Rome).

The album was a major commercial success, selling over 6 million copies by 2010 and etching Sublime into a permanent place among the stars of mid-90s alternative rock. The album was faithful to Sublime's ska, punk, dub and reggae influences, with tempos ranging from the frantic — such as "Seed," "Same in the End," and "Paddle Out" — to the slow and deliberate, such as "Pawn Shop" and "Jailhouse."

Sublime was the band's only album on a major label (MCA) after several releases on Skunk Records.


Sublime formed in Long Beach in 1988 by Bradley Nowell (vocals and guitar), Bud Gaugh (drums) and Eric Wilson (bass guitar). Their debut album, 40oz. to Freedom, was released on Skunk Records in 1992 to mixed critical reviews. The album established Sublime's blend of reggae, punk, ska, and hip hop, and helped to further strengthen the group's growing California following. Initially being sold exclusively at their live shows, the album became widely known in the greater Los Angeles area when the modern rock radio station KROQ began playing the song "Date Rape" in 1995.

Sublime returned to the studio in 1993 to begin recording their second album, Robbin' the Hood. Released in 1994, the album noted low production values (the album sleeve boasts of its "13 self produced 4-track home recordings"). Following the release of Robbin' the Hood, Sublime embarked on a successful tour and co-headlined the first annual Vans Warped Tour in 1995. Following the success of then-current acts such as The Offspring, Green Day, and Rancid, Sublime was signed to the label Gasoline Alley of MCA Records by Jon Phillips, who subsequently became the band's manager.

In early 1996, Sublime headlined the very first SnoCore Tour. By this time, they had begun writing and recording what would comprise the band's self-titled third record and their major label debut album. They completed it before Nowell died of a heroin overdose on May 25, 1996 at the Oceanview Motel in San Francisco, two months prior to the release. Following Nowell's death, the surviving members disbanded Sublime.

Musical style[edit]

The musical styles throughout the album vary nearly as much as the subjects discussed, ranging from the mellow Hip hop groove of "Doin' Time" and reggae beat of "Caress Me Down" to the ska "Same in the End" and the hardcore punk sound of "Paddle Out", and even the Jimi Hendrix influenced "Under My Voodoo". The genre-crossing musical diversity expressed on the album is one of the more compelling reasons for the record's wide mainstream appeal.[original research?]


  • "What I Got" is based on Half Pint's "Loving" and features a similar melody to The Beatles's Lady Madonna.[2][3][4]
  • Sublime also covers Bob Marley's 1965 song "Jailhouse", combining it with a partial cover of Tenor Saw's "Roll Call" in "Jailhouse".[5]
  • "The Ballad of Johnny Butt" is largely a cover of a Secret Hate song from their Vegetables Dancing + Live & More album.[6]
  • Additionally, "Doin' Time" is a loose cover of the Jazz standard "Summertime" by George Gershwin.[7]
  • "Get Ready" is largely based on Frankie Paul's 1987 single of the same name.

Original Compositions[edit]

Some of the album's original compositions also have borrowed elements:

  • While "April 29, 1992" is an original song it features samples from "La Di Da Di" by Doug E. Fresh featuring MC Ricky D (a.k.a. Slick Rick), "Original Gangster of Hip-Hop" by Just-Ice, and "Shook One (Part 1)" by Mobb Deep.[8]
  • The heavy bass line of ""Garden Grove"" is based on Courtney Melody's 1988 7' single "A Ninja Mi Ninja",[9] and a synth loop in the third verse is lifted from The Ohio Players' "Funky Worm."
  • Much of the rhythm and melody of "Wrong Way" was borrowed from The Specials "It's Up To You" off their 1979 self-titled album.[10]
  • Part of the melody from "Seed" was taken from The Bel-Airs 1961 single "Mr. Moto".[11]
  • The guitar solo and chords in "Santeria" were a reuse of the ones in their song "Lincoln Highway Dub" featured on the previous album, Robbin' the Hood.[12]
  • "Burritos" is a reworked version of one of Sublime's earliest recordings called "Fighting Blindly," albeit with vastly different lyrics
  • The bass line of "Caress Me Down" features the famous Sleng Teng riddim from Wayne Smith's 1985 song "Under Me Sleng Teng" and lyrics and melody are primarily from the 1980s 12" single "Caress Me Down" by Clement Irie.[13]
  • "Pawn Shop" is a cover of "War Deh Round A John Shop" by The Wailing Souls with modified lyrics.

Critical reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly B[14] 5/5 stars[15]
Robert Christgau A−[16]
Rolling Stone 4.5/5 stars[17]

Sublime met high critical reception upon release, and is now considered a classic ska album by fans and critics. It also revived popular interest in ska to the mainstream. The album reached #13 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart and was the band's first Gold record for sales of (over) 500,000 copies, making Sublime one of the biggest American rock acts in 1996 and 1997. This was done without support through touring. It is certified 5× Platinum in the U.S., with over 5 million copies shipped in the U.S. alone. Almost every song now has radio play, with "What I Got", "Santeria", "Wrong Way", "Doin' Time" and "April 29, 1992 (Miami)" receiving the heaviest airplay. Nielsen Soundscan reported in June 2010 that the album had sold 6,110,757 in the United States.[18]

Track listing[edit]

Original 1996 Release[19][edit]

  1. "Garden Grove" – 4:22
  2. "What I Got" – 2:51
  3. "Wrong Way" – 2:16
  4. "Same in the End" – 2:36
  5. "April 29, 1992 (Miami)" – 3:53
  6. "Santeria" – 3:03
  7. "Seed" – 2:10
  8. "Jailhouse" – 4:53
  9. "Pawn Shop" – 6:06
  10. "Paddle Out" – 1:15
  11. "The Ballad of Johnny Butt" – 2:11
  12. "Burritos" – 3:55
  13. "Under My Voodoo" – 3:25
  14. "Get Ready" – 4:50
  15. "Caress Me Down" – 3:31
  16. "What I Got (Reprise)" – 3:01
  17. "Doin' Time" – 4:14

Special 2-CD set (1996)[edit]

A limited edition of the original release contained an extra CD, with:

  1. "Doin' Time"(Eerie Splendor Remix)"
  2. "Date Rape" 3:37
  3. "All You Need" 2:45
  4. "Lincoln Highway Dub" 2:21
  5. "Rivers of Babylon" 2:29
  6. "What I Got (Demo)"

Deluxe edition (2006)[edit]

On August 15, 2006, the album was re-released to commemorate its tenth anniversary as a deluxe two-disc set through Universal Music.[20] The album was restored to its "original" track listing including a cover of Bob Marley's "Trenchtown Rock" and the original version of "Doin' Time."

Copies of the deluxe edition purchased from Best Buy include a sticker on the packaging with instructions for downloading an exclusive WMA track, a live version of the 40 Oz. to Freedom track, and "We're Only Gonna Die for Our Arrogance", which is a Bad Religion cover song. The sticker also mentions that the track is from a "Rarities" box set.

Disc one, "Deluxe Edition track listing" (different from original release)[edit]

  1. "Trenchtown Rock" 1:42
  2. "Doin' Time" [Original Mix] 4:13
  3. "Wrong Way" 2:16
  4. "Paddle Out" 1:15
  5. "What I Got" 2:51
  6. "Pawn Shop" 6:06
  7. "April 29, 1992 (Miami)" 3:53
  8. "Santeria" 3:03
  9. "Seed" 2:09
  10. "Jailhouse" 4:53
  11. "Caress Me Down" 3:31
  12. "The Ballad of Johnny Butt" 2:11
  13. "Under My Voodoo" 3:25
  14. "Burritos" 3:57
  15. "Same in the End" 2:36
  16. "Get Ready" 4:50
  17. "What I Got (Reprise)" 3:01
  18. "Garden Grove" 4:21
  • Track 1 was originally released on the Second-hand Smoke album.
  • Track 2 was originally released on the "Doin' Time" single as "Doin' Time (Bradley Version)."

Disc two[edit]

  1. "I Love My Dog"
  2. "Superstar Punani"
  3. "April 29, 1992 (Miami)" [Alternate Version]
    • Previously entitled "April 2, 1992 (Leary)"
  4. "Saw Red" [Acoustic Version] 2:45
  5. "Little District" [Acoustic Version]
  6. "Zimbabwe" [Acoustic Version] [Bob Marley & The Wailers Cover]
  7. "What I Got" [Alternate Version]
  8. "Doin' Time" [Uptown Dub] 3:47
  9. "Doin' Time" [Eerie Splendor Remix featuring Mad Lion]
  10. "Doin' Time" [Remix by Wyclef Jean]
  11. "Doin' Time" [Remix by Marshall Arts featuring The Pharcyde] 4:15
  12. "Doin' Time" [Marshall Arts Instrumental Version] 4:15
  13. "April 29, 1992 (Miami)" [Instrumental Version] 3:53
  14. "Caress Me Down" [Instrumental Version] 3:31
  15. "What I Got" [Instrumental Version] 2:51

Music videos (Enhanced portion of Disc 2)

  1. "What I Got"
  2. "Wrong Way"
  3. "Santeria"
  4. "Doin' Time" [Original Mix - Alternate Version]
  5. "What I Got (Reprise)"
  • A photo gallery, wallpaper and screen saver are also included on this CD.



Additional personnel[edit]

  • DJ Smash - turntables, percussion
  • Marshall Goodman - turntables, percussion, drums, drum programming
  • Michael "Miguel" Happoldt - guitar, space echo
  • David Kahne - organ, piano
  • Paul Leary - guitar
  • Todd Forman - saxophone
  • Jon Blondell - trombone
  • Lou Dog - Band Dalmatian


Chart positions[edit]


Year Album Chart Position
1996 Sublime The Billboard 200 No. 13


  1. "What I Got"
  2. "Santeria"
  3. "Wrong Way"
  4. "Doin' Time"


  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Sublime Review at AllMusic". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  2. ^ MacMichael, Ryan A. (1998). "Half Pint: Still Levelling the Vibes". Reggae Report 16 (2). 
  3. ^ "What I Got by Sublime Songfacts". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  4. ^ "sublime STP". sublime STP. 1992-04-29. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  5. ^ "Jailhouse by Sublime Songfacts". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  6. ^ "sublime STP". sublime STP. 1992-04-29. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  7. ^ "Doin' Time by Sublime Songfacts". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  8. ^ "April 29, 1992 (Miami) by Sublime Songfacts". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  9. ^ "sublime STP". sublime STP. 1992-04-29. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  10. ^ "sublime STP". sublime STP. 1992-04-29. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  11. ^ "sublime STP". sublime STP. 1992-04-29. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  12. ^ "Santeria by Sublime Songfacts". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  13. ^ "sublime STP". sublime STP. 1992-04-29. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  14. ^ Hajari, Nisid (1996-08-16). "Sublime Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  15. ^ GlassPipeMurder (2005-11-20). "Sublime - Sublime". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  16. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: Sublime". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  17. ^ Fricke, David (1996-12-02). "Sublime: Sublime : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-06-20. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  18. ^ "A TON of SoundScan sales charts leaked last week". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  19. ^ "Sublime Official Site Tracklist". Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  20. ^ Orzeck, Kurt. New Releases: Christina Aguilera, Obie Trice, Snakes On A Plane: The Album, Panic Channel, Cham & More. MTV News: August 14, 2006