The Offspring (album)

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The Offspring
A blurry picture of a guy on a black background
Studio album by The Offspring
Released June 15, 1989
Recorded March 1989[1] at South Coast Recording in Santa Ana, California
Genre Hardcore punk, punk rock, horror punk
Length 31:23 (Original) 26:41 (2001 printings)
Label Nemesis
Producer Thom Wilson
The Offspring chronology
The Offspring
(1989)
Ignition
(1992)
Reissue Cover
Singles from The Offspring
  1. "I'll Be Waiting"
    Released: 1986 (7")

The Offspring is the debut studio album by the American punk rock band The Offspring, released on June 15, 1989 through Nemesis Records.[2] After 6 years of discontinued print, the album was re-released by Nitro/Epitaph Records in 1995, with a different album cover. Both the re-releases on the two respective labels are nearly identical. Based on the small success of the album, the band was signed to a recording contract by Epitaph in 1991[citation needed]. The Offspring has rarely played any songs from this album live.[3] This is also the only studio album by The Offspring with less than 12 tracks; it has 11 (10 on the 2001 printings). It also includes elements of horror punk, with songs like "Demons" and "Beheaded".

Background and history[edit]

After in recording a demo tape in 1988, The Offspring began preparations for their first full-length album. They recorded it in March 1989 at South Coast Recording in Santa Ana, California, with Thom Wilson producing. During the sessions, the band re-recorded their early songs "I'll Be Waiting" and "Blackball", which both originally appeared on the band's 1986 single I'll Be Waiting.

The album was released on June 15, 1989 in limited numbers by Nemesis Records, only in 12" vinyl and cassette format. When it was released, the album initially sold 5,000 copies and it took the band two and a half years to sell them all. One of the copies was destroyed by Wally George at his show the Wally George Show in 1992,[4] thus leaving only 4,999 copies left. Some copies also have the Cargo Records logo next to the Nemesis logo on the back cover.[5] To support the album, The Offspring embarked on a six-week national tour, but Noodles was stabbed during their Hollywood anti-nuclear benefit.[6] Following the small success of The Offspring, the band signed with Epitaph Records in 1991.

"Beheaded" remains a favorite Offspring song and a staple of the band's live performances, having been played at least 20 times as of May 2014.[3] The Offspring has rarely played any songs from the rest of the album. "Crossroads" is the only song from the album that has never been played live.[3]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[7]
Kerrang! 2/5 stars[citation needed]
Punknews 3.5/5 stars [8]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[9]

The Offspring received generally mixed reviews. Allmusic writer Stephen Thomas Erlewine, who gave the album two-and-a-half stars out of five, stated that The Offspring "is a rawer, harder-edged collection than their breakthrough set, Smash, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a better record", and that it "lacks the metal guitar crunch that dominated Smash."[7] A Sputnikmusic review, which rated the album as four out of five, said that The Offspring "showed a much different and almost stranger side to The Offspring and that the Dexter Holland, the singer, can write good, even political, lyrics."[9] The album received another positive review on Punknews.org, stating that "The Offspring were a much more amazing band in the past and by far their most spectacular album is the first."[8]

The Offspring did not initially reach the Billboard 200 charts or become a commercial success. However, when the album was reissued in 1995, it reached a peak position of number 85 on the Netherlands Albums Chart for three weeks.[10]

Reissues[edit]

The Offspring was reissued several times, with formats in different countries, and with different labels (see the table below). The album was reissued on CD (and again on vinyl and cassette) in 1995 after The Offspring gained fame with their then-current album Smash. This version is nearly identical to the one released on Nemesis. It features a different artwork instead of the controversial "Guitar Alien" front cover artwork, designed by the late Marc Rude. Six years later, the album was reissued once again on Nitro. Album pressings after June 26, 2001 (July 16 in the UK) removes the closing track "Kill the President"; according to frontman Dexter Holland, it was removed to prevent legal pressure falling upon the band and Nitro.

Region Date Label Format Catalog # Notes
United States United States June 15, 1989 Nemesis Records CD
12" vinyl
NEMESIS 6 First pressing.
European Union Europe November 18, 1995 Epitaph Records CD
12" vinyl
Cassette
86460 First CD pressing; features an alternative cover.
United States United States November 21, 1995 Nitro Records CD
12" vinyl
Cassette
86460 First CD and cassette pressing; features an alternative cover.
Poland Poland 1996 Audio Max Cassette 704 Rare collector's item, released without The Offspring's consent; features an alternative cover.
United States United States June 26, 2001 Nitro Records CD 15803 Does not feature the last song "Kill the President"; features the same cover as 1995 reissue.
United Kingdom United Kingdom July 16, 2001 Nitro Records CD Does not feature the last song "Kill the President"; features the same cover as 1995 reissue.

Album covers[edit]

Two covers of this album exist. The original version had gained controversy because of its artwork, which features an image of a man's body exploding as the xenomorph from the Alien franchise holding a Stratocaster guitar emerges from his chest. The 1995 re-release shows a different image which features a blurry black-and-white picture of a guy.

The shadows on the back cover of the 1995 reissue also appear on the cover of the "I'll Be Waiting" single.

Track listing[edit]

CD issue[edit]

All songs written and composed by Dexter Holland, except where noted [11]

No. Title Length
1. "Jennifer Lost the War"   2:35
2. "Elders"   2:11
3. "Out on Patrol"   2:32
4. "Crossroads"   2:48
5. "Demons (A Mexican Fiesta)"   3:10
6. "Beheaded"   2:52
7. "Tehran"   3:06
8. "A Thousand Days"   2:11
9. "Blackball"   3:24
10. "I'll Be Waiting"   3:12
11. "Kill the President" (Does not appear on the 2001 printings) 3:22
Total length:
31:23

Original vinyl issue[edit]

Side 1[edit]

No. Title Note Length
1. "Jennifer Lost the War"     2:35
2. "Elders"     2:11
3. "Out on Patrol"     2:32
4. "Crossroads"     2:48
5. "Demons (A Mexican Fiesta)"     3:10
6. "Beheaded"   Co-written by James Lilja 2:52

Side 2[edit]

No. Title Note Length
7. "Tehran"     3:06
8. "A Thousand Days"     2:11
9. "Blackball"     3:24
10. "I'll Be Waiting"     3:12
11. "Kill the President"   Does not appear on 2001 printings 3:22
Total length:
31:23

Chart positions[edit]