Four Minute Mile

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Four Minute Mile
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 30, 1997
RecordedApril 1997
StudioChicago Recording Company
GenreEmo,[1] indie rock, pop punk[2]
ProducerBob Weston
The Get Up Kids chronology
Split with Braid
Four Minute Mile
Red Letter Day EP
2001 remaster
Alternative cover for the 2001 remaster
Alternative cover for the 2001 remaster

Four Minute Mile is the debut studio album by American rock band The Get Up Kids.


The Get Up Kids evolved out of the breakup of Kingpin, which consisted of high school friends guitarist Jim Suptic, bassist Rob Pope and his brother drummer Ryan Pope. After that group's demise, vocalist/guitarist Matt Pryor formed Secret Decoder Ring with Suptic,[3] before they broke up after a six months. Pryor and Suptic started working with Rob Pope, who invited college friend drummer Nathan Shay[4] to form The Get Up Kids in 1994. Following this, the group self financed the 7" single "Shorty", which would sell over 2,000 copies.[3] Shay moved to St. Louis, Missouri to focus on his studies, eventually leaving the group in April 1996. Ryan Pope joined initially on a temporary basis as there was concern with having both brothers in the band, and with Suptic and Pope not getting along in the past.[4]

The group recorded two additional releases: one for Florida-based Outback Records, while the other was for Rhode Island-based Contrast Records. After recording four songs, the group sent copies of them to rock-centic labels listed in the publication The Musician's Guide To Touring and Promotion. The songs caught the attention of Ohio-based Doghouse Records, who was interested in signing the band. They wanted to release a 7" vinyl EP as a precursor to an album. Instead of recording another release, the group paid for the Outback release and issued it through Doghouse[4] as the Woodson EP. The group subsequently signed a two-album recording contract with Doghouse.[5]


Four Minute Mile was recorded in April 1997[4] on a budget of $4,000[6] with Shellac bassist Bob Weston acting as producer. Instead of recording at Red House Recordings, which they had used for the previous EP, they opted to track the record at the Chicago Recording Company.[7] As Ryan Pope was still at school, the members went to a local music store to stock up on guitar strings and plectrums. They ended up running over a rock, and later found out it punctured the car's exhaust manifold, causing carbon monoxide to circulate through the car and had to travel with the windows down.[8] The members waited in the parking lot of Pope's school, before he got in the car and they drove to Chicago.[9] The recording sessions took place over the course of two and a half days[4] from a Friday night to 3am on a Sunday.[10]

When making the Woodson EP, the group tracked four songs and mixed them within one and a half days. They thought that since they were able to do four in one day, they would be able to do eleven in two and a half days for Four Minute Mile. As a result, some of the songs featured the low quality production that the EP had; Pryor later stated they should have spent more time recording it, while Suptic said it "sounds like crap".[11] The short recording time was due to recording budget[11] and also so that Pope wouldn't miss school[12] the following day.[13] Pryor said Weston acted more in the vein of an engineer than a producer: "He's kind of like, 'Do you like how it sounds?' 'OK, yeah, it's cool."[14] Weston mixed the recordings in a four-hour session.[15]


As the members had an album coming out, they came to the decision to take a year off from school to do the band full-time.[4] Suptic and Pryor worked with Joe Winkle of Boys Life at Linda Hall Library. The pair learned that Boys Life were touring and used their contacts, coupled with Pryor's copy of Maximumrocknroll's Book Your Own Fucking Life guide, and started working on a touring route. This led the pair to Bob Nanna of Braid, who were also booking a tour in the same timeframe following the same route, deciding to go on tour together.[16] In June 1997, the group went on a US tour with Braid and Ethel Meserve. During this tour, the Get Up Kids played a show in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania with Coalesce, who they became friends with.[4]

Four Minute Mile was released on September 30.[1] Further tour outings included an east coat and southern tour with Jejune and Mineral in September, west coast tour with No Knife in October and November, and concluded the year with a north east tour with Jimmy Eat World in December.[4] Ryan Pope had planned to go college, until Doghouse offered to fund a European tour,[17] which took place in February and March 1998 with Braid. The following month, they embarked on a southern tour, and a west coast tour with Braid in May. Following this, the group took a break, before eventually going on a nationwide tour supporting MxPx and Home Grown in October.[4] After the conclusion of this tour, Coalesce drummer James Dewees joined as a keyboardist.[18]

A remastered version of the album was released by Doghouse Records in 2001. This was largely a way of capitalizing on the recent success of the band's second album, 1999's Something to Write Home About, which rocketed the band to international stardom. In December 2008, Doghouse re-pressed the album on vinyl.[19] Doghouse reissued the album, alongside The EP's: Red Letter Day and Woodson compilation, on cassette in 2017.[20]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Punknews.org4/5 stars[22]
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[23]

The album helped the band develop a national fanbase, as well as garnering a bidding war over the band from several major labels, including Geffen Records, Sub Pop Records and Mojo Records. The band ended up signing with Mojo, but was quickly disappointed with their choice when the label asked the band to re-record the song "Don't Hate Me", feeling that the label was underestimating their potential.

Four Minute Mile is considered a benchmark album of the emo genre,[17] influencing the likes of Saves the Day, the Early November, Midtown and Fall Out Boy.[24] In a 2005 interview with Alternative Press magazine, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy remarked that the album had a major influence on the band as a whole. "The first time I heard [The Get Up Kids] was around Four Minute Mile. I was in high school. There was an honesty and sincerity [to the album]. It seemed more about the fact that this music was "emotional," than an actual sound than labeled them". In the same interview, he remarked that "Fall Out Boy would not be a band if it were not for The Get Up Kids".

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by The Get Up Kids.

1."Coming Clean"2:07
2."Don't Hate Me"2:54
3."Fall Semester"3:21
4."Stay Gold, Ponyboy"2:55
5."Lowercase West Thomas"1:59
6."Washington Square Park"3:08
7."Last Place You Look"2:31
8."Better Half"3:25
9."No Love"3:05
11."Michelle with One "L""6:02
Total length:34:49




  1. ^ a b c Butler, Blake. "Four Minute Mile - The Get Up Kids | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  2. ^ "Did The Get Up Kids Really Invent Emo?". NME. July 29, 2009. Archived from the original on August 22, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Sharpe-Young 2005, p. 317
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "History". The Get Up Kids. Archived from the original on November 28, 1999. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  5. ^ Shea 2009, event occurs at 2:48–55
  6. ^ Shea 2009, event occurs at 34:27–8
  7. ^ Shea 2009, event occurs at 34:31–40
  8. ^ Shea 2009, event occurs at 35:02–23
  9. ^ Shea 2009, event occurs at 34:49–59
  10. ^ Shea 2009, event occurs at 35:25–32
  11. ^ a b Harkness, Geoff (December 28, 2000). "Something to write home about". Lawrence. Archived from the original on August 10, 2016. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
  12. ^ Bayer, Jonah (March 1, 2016). "40 Greatest Emo Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  13. ^ Shea 2009, event occurs at 35:36–7
  14. ^ Shea 2009, event occurs at 36:12–20
  15. ^ Shea 2009, event occurs at 37:03–5
  16. ^ Shea 2009, event occurs at 38:30–39:10
  17. ^ a b Gintowt, Richard (December 30, 2004). "The Kids Are Alright". Lawrence. Archived from the original on February 9, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  18. ^ Sharpe-Young 2005, p. 318
  19. ^ Paul, Aubin (January 15, 2009). "Get Up Kids' "Something to Write Home About" vinyl reissue planned". Archived from the original on February 25, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  20. ^ Staff (November 10, 2017). "These Cassettes Will Make Perfect Gifts This Holiday Season". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  21. ^ Hiller, Joachim (1997). "Reviews: Get Up Kids / Four minute mile CD". Ox-Fanzine (in German). Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  22. ^ River, Julie (April 18, 2004). "The Get Up Kids - Four Minute Mile". Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  23. ^ Soults 2004, p. 330
  24. ^ Shea 2009, event occurs at 3:13–22