So Long, Astoria

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So Long, Astoria
The Ataris - So Long, Astoria cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 4, 2003
RecordedAugust 19 – November 1, 2002
Studio
GenrePop punk
Length48:55
LabelColumbia
Producer
The Ataris chronology
End Is Forever
(2001)
So Long, Astoria
(2003)
Welcome the Night
(2007)
Singles from So Long, Astoria
  1. "In This Diary"
    Released: February 11, 2003
  2. "The Boys of Summer"
    Released: June 3, 2003
  3. "The Saddest Song"
    Released: September 9, 2003

So Long, Astoria is the fourth studio album by American rock band The Ataris, released on March 4, 2003. The album's title song alludes to the 1985 film The Goonies, which is set in Astoria, Oregon.

Background[edit]

In February 2001, The Ataris released their third album End Is Forever through independent label Kung Fu Records.[1] In May, vocalist/guitarist Kris Roe revealed that the group would start writing for their next album later in the year.[2] In June, guitarist Marco Peña left the group due to creative and personal differences. He was replaced by their guitar tech John Collura, formerly of the band Beefcake.[3] Roe said Collura "definitely brought us back to [being the] best of friends", as well making them "realize that this band has got a lot of life in it".[4] Also in June, the group contributed a new track to the Warped Tour 2001 compilation, "Looking Back on Today". The band signed with major label Columbia Records in July.[2] Roe explained: "We wanted to go somewhere where we knew that even if our record didn't do well, that we would have a career still as a band".[4]

Later in July, Roe revealed that the group would be releasing their next album in mid-2002 and that it would be in the musical style of their second album Blue Skies, Broken Hearts...Next 12 Exits (1999). In October, Roe said the album was tentatively titled Don't Ever Compromise What You Believe. In December, the group said they had 13 songs that they were working on, and were planning to record in March 2002. In January 2002, the group contributed a new song to the Orange County soundtrack. In April, Roe said the group were expected to begin recording in May.[2] When looking for producers, bassist Mike Davenport said a few names came up: "Lou [Giordano] was always my choice. Ric Ocasek said [']I don't get it.' Mark Trombino told us to keep writing."[5] Davenport pushed for Giordano, "and the minute [Roe and Giordano] spoke, it worked."[5] In early July, Roe said the album would be titled So Long, Astoria.[2] Later that month, Giordano was enlisted as the album's producer and that recording would finally occur in August.[6]

Recording[edit]

Demos were initially tracked at drummer Chris Knapp's house in Hollywood, California. Roe said they "never got anything done" and subsequently went to Orange Whip Recording in Santa Barbara, California to record more demos.[7] With the aid of Angus Cooke and Thom Flowers, demos were recorded live-in-the-studio with minimal overdubs. Roe said they spent "a lot of time fine tuning" the songs before the album sessions.[7] He added that the demos "capture[d] a certain honesty" and toyed with releasing the demos in lieu of recording a proper album.[7] The group went into pre-production with Giordano, despite him thinking that the songs were "already pretty complete '"as is'", according to Roe.[7] Recording began on August 19 and ended on November 1. Sessions took place at Ocean Studios in Burbank, California, Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California and Orange Whip Recording.[8]

Giordano produced all of the songs except for "Looking Back on Today", which was produced by Thom Flowers, Elissa Meihsner and Eric Palmquist. Bradley Cooke, Andrew Alekel and Flowers acted as engineers with assistance from Jason Nelson, Dean Cupp and Dave Ashton. Giordano mixed all of the songs, except for "The Saddest Song" and "My Reply", at Larrabee Studios in Hollywood, California. "The Saddest Song" and "My Reply" were mixed by Jack Joseph Puig. Additional tracking was done by Angus Cooke and Meihsner at Orange Whip Recording, while additional tracking was done by Ashton at Larrabee Studios. Several other people contributed to the album: James Muhawi (piano on "The Saddest Song"), Angus Cooke (cello), Jonathan Cox (programming), and Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket, Mike Herrera of MxPx and Tim Pagnotta of Sugarcult (backing vocals).[8]

Composition[edit]

Early in the writing process for the record, Roe found a book that gave him the theme for the album. The book, which was Go Now by Richard Hell, contained a chapter "where he had a quote that said memories are better than life ... I wanted this record to portray, that life is only as good as the memories we make."[4] Roe said the group "focus[ed] on writing good songs [and] straightforward rock songs".[4] Musically, the album's sound has been described as pop punk,[9][10][11][12] punk rock[13] and rock.[14] All of the songs were written by Roe, except for "The Hero Dies in This One" and "All You Can Ever Learn Is What You Already Know" by Roe, Collura, Davenport and Knapp, and "The Boys of Summer" by Don Henley and Michael Campbell.[8]

"So Long, Astoria" is about Roe writing songs in his bedroom in Anderson, Indiana.[4] The track's name is a reference the film The Goonies (1985).[15] "In This Diary" and "Summer '79" talk about nights out in town and pulling pranks.[4] Discussing "In This Diary", Roe said he sttempted to "encapsulate one of the most fun summers we’ve had".[16] Roe wrote "My Reply" about a fan who was in a hospital and close to death.[17] "Unopened Letter to the World" details the life of American poet Emily Dickinson.[17] "The Saddest Song" is about Roe's relationship with his estranged daughter and his upbringing without a father.[18] "The Hero Dies in This One" refers to past girlfriends that had been left behind.[4] Collura said "The Boys of Summer" was included due to Roe's nostalgia for it, and "it just kind of fit into the rest of the record."[19] Roe wrote "Looking Back on Today" about his wife, and called it the sole relationship-centric song on the album. Roe said "Eight of Nine" is about a number of "really close calls that we've had with death."[17]

Release[edit]

In October 2002, it was announced that So Long, Astoria would be released in March 2003. In November and December, the group went on a US tour with Sugarcult, Autopilot Off and Rufio. During the tour, the group premiered material from So Long, Astoria.[20] In late December and January 2003, the group embarked on the Australian leg of the Kung Fu Records Tour with The Vandals.[21] On January 12, the group posted the songs "Takeoffs and Landings" and "In This Diary" online.[22] "In This Diary" was released to radio on February 11.[23] So Long, Astoria was released on March 4 through Columbia Records.[24] The Japanese version included the bonus tracks "A Beautiful Mistake" and "I Won't Spend Another Night Alone", an acoustic version of "The Saddest Song", and a cover of the Ramones song "Rock 'N' Roll High School".[25] The following day, an in-store performance was held at a record store in Tempe, Arizona. However, due to 1,000 people showing up, the performance was moved to the Arizona State University campus.[26] A music video for "In This Diary" was posted online on March 3,[27] directed by Steven Murashige. Roe said the video was "mostly crowd-oriented" as the group wanted to "incorporate our live [performance and] show with a lot of energy".[28]

On May 19, 2003, "In This Diary" was released as a CD single. It featured "A Beautiful Mistake", a demo of "Eight of Nine", a live version of "In This Diary", and "Rock 'N' Roll High School" as B-sides.[29] "My Reply" was set to be the group's next single,[30] but "The Boys of Summer" was released to radio on June 3 instead.[23] This was a result of the K-Rock and KROQ radio stations playing the track, with others following shortly after.[30] Collura said the group did not want to release the track as a single. He added that they were naïve to assume it would be released as such, saying they "never pushed it as one. That was all American radio doing that on its own".[19] Roe revealed Columbia Records had warned the band about including the track on the album in the first place as there would be "a chance that somebody's going to put it out as a single".[30] The video treatment for the song's music video, which was directed by Murashige, was initially intended for "My Reply" until it was adjusted for "The Boys of Summer". Roe said the video was about "the story of a darker summer" and features "a girl trying to let go of a lot of the things she had in the summer."[30] In mid-June, the group performed at KROQ's Weenie Roast festival.[31]

From June to August, the Ataris toured as part of the 2003 Warped Tour.[32] On July 11, the group appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[33] Later in the month, the group performed at the 2003 All-Star Game.[34] In August, Davenport revealed a music video had been filmed for "My Reply", but was "so far from coming out".[18] He added, "It's animated, and it's like A-ha meets White Stripes."[18] On September 8, "The Boys of Summer" was released as a CD single. It featured live versions of "Takeoffs and Landings" and "Unopened Letter to the World", "A Beautiful Mistake" and an acoustic version of "In This Diary" as B-sides.[35] "The Saddest Song" was released to radio on September 9.[23] In October and November, the band embarked on the VW Music Ed Tour with Vendetta Red.[36] In November, the group went on a US tour with Planes Mistaken for Stars, Vendetta Red, Hopesfall, The Go Reflex and Squirtgun.[37] The group appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn and The Jay Leno Show on December 1 and December 29, respectively.[38][39] In February and March 2004, the group went on a UK tour with Planes Mistaken for Stars and Cursive.[40] In April, the group went on a tour of Canada.[41] In May, the group co-headlined the RiverFusion festival with Something Corporate.[19]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic57/100[42]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars [13]
CMJ New Music ReportFavorable [9]
Exclaim!Favorable[10]
Ink 19Unfavorable[43]
Melodic3.5/5 stars [44]
The Morning CallMixed [15]
PopMattersFavorable[11]
Punknews.org3.5/5 stars[14]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars [45]
Sputnikmusic4.0/5[12]

Critical response[edit]

Initial critical response to So Long, Astoria was very average. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 57, based on seven reviews.[42]

Commercial performance and legacy[edit]

So Long, Astoria sold 33,000 in its first week, debuting at number 24 on the Billboard 200.[46] It charted at number 38 in Australia[47] and number 92 in the UK.[48] "In This Diary" charted at number 11 on the Alternative Songs chart.[49] "The Saddest Song" charted at number 27 on the Alternative Songs chart.[49] "The Boys of Summer" charted at number two on the Alternative Songs chart,[49] number 10 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart,[50] number 18 on the Adult Top 40 chart,[51] number 20 on the Hot 100 chart,[52] number 22 on the Radio Songs chart,[53] number 36 on the Mainstream Rock chart,[54] in the US. It also charted at number 17 in New Zealand,[55] number 24 in Australia,[56] number 49 in the UK,[48] number 53 in Brazil[57] and number 87 in Switzerland.[58] In August, So Long, Astoria was certified gold in the US.[59] By November, the album had sold 516,000 copies.[60] In March 2006, "The Boys of Summer" was certified gold in the US.[59] In December 2013, sales stood at 693,000 copies.[34]

The album was included at number 25 on Rock Sound's "The 51 Most Essential Pop Punk Albums of All Time" list.[61] They later ranked it at number 97 on the list of best albums in their lifetime.[62] In December 2013, the band released demos that had been recorded for the album.[63] In February and March 2014, the group performed the album in its entirety in the US.[34] They were supported by Versus the World, Authority Zero, Drag the River and Gasoline Heart.[64] To promote the tour, a short documentary was made in the style of VH1's music documentary series Classic Albums.[65] In June 2016, the group performed in Australia, playing songs solely from Blue Skies, Broken Hearts...Next 12 Exits and So Long, Astoria.[66] In February 2018, the group went on a celebratory 15th anniversary tour for the album in the UK.[67]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Kris Roe, except where noted.[8]

No.TitleLength
1."So Long, Astoria"3:22
2."Takeoffs and Landings"3:56
3."In This Diary"3:54
4."My Reply"4:14
5."Unopened Letter to the World"2:38
6."The Saddest Song"4:15
7."Summer '79"3:57
8."The Hero Dies in This One" (Roe, John Collura, Mike Davenport, Chris Knapp)4:07
9."All You Can Ever Learn Is What You Already Know" (Roe, Collura, Davenport, Knapp)3:31
10."The Boys of Summer" (Don Henley, Michael Campbell)4:18
11."Radio #2"3:27
12."Looking Back on Today"3:53
13."Eight of Nine"3:30
Total length:48:55

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from liner notes.[8]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

References[edit]

Citations

  1. ^ Jeffries, Vincent. "End Is Forever - The Ataris | Release Info". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d "News". The Ataris. Archived from the original on December 21, 2002. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Roe, Kris (August 7, 2001). "What happened to Marco Pena, the old guitar player?". The Ataris. Archived from the original on April 9, 2002. Retrieved February 1, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Sculley, Alan (April 26, 2003). "Shooting straight and forward". The Morning Call. Robert York. Archived from the original on January 19, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ a b Farinella 2010, p. 143
  6. ^ Roe, Kris. "Producer for our new record.... etc". The Ataris. Archived from the original on July 25, 2002. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ a b c d Roe, Kris. "Complete Demos: So Long, Astoria". The Ataris. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ a b c d e So Long, Astoria (Booklet). The Ataris. Columbia Records. 2003. 510530 2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. ^ a b Filicky 2003, p. 17
  10. ^ a b Nay, Rob (August 1, 2003). "Ataris So Long, Astoria". Exclaim!. Ian Danzig. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ a b Haag, Stephen (March 30, 2003). "The Ataris: So Long, Astoria". PopMatters. PopMatters Media, Inc. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Atari (October 8, 2012). "Review: The Ataris - So Long, Astoria". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "So Long, Astoria - The Ataris | Release Info". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Archived from the original on October 19, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ a b Shultz, Brian (March 14, 2003). "The Ataris - So Long, Astoria". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on May 1, 2016. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ a b Terlesky, John (April 26, 2003). "The Ataris "So Long, Astoria" (Columbia)". The Morning Call. Robert York. Archived from the original on January 3, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  16. ^ Fadroski, Kelli Skye (March 1, 2014). "The Ataris reunite to celebrate 'So Long, Astoria'". Orange County Register. Ron Hasse. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ a b c Patterson, Spencer (April 11, 2003). "For the Ataris, music is much more than a game". Las Vegas Sun. Brian Greenspun. Archived from the original on February 20, 2018. Retrieved February 20, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  18. ^ a b c Wiederhorn, Jon (August 25, 2003). "Ataris Releasing Their 'Saddest Song' When 'Summer' Is Over". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  19. ^ a b c Moser, John J. (May 15, 2004). "The Ataris, Something Corporate travel a different path". The Morning Call. Robert York. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 3, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  20. ^ Goldstein, Jeremy P (October 7, 2002). "Ataris Taking Their 2600s And Friends Sugarcult On The Road". The Fader. Andy Cohn. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  21. ^ Heisel, Scott (December 18, 2002). "Kung Fu invades the planet". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  22. ^ Heisel, Scott (January 12, 2003). "Two new Ataris songs". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  23. ^ a b c "FMQB Airplay Archive: Modern Rock". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Incorporated. Archived from the original on March 22, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  24. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "So Long, Astoria - The Ataris | Release Info". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Archived from the original on February 23, 2018. Retrieved February 23, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  25. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "So Long Astoria [Bonus Tracks] - The Ataris | Release Info". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  26. ^ Weingarten 2003, p. 38
  27. ^ "News". The Ataris. Archived from the original on February 7, 2004. Retrieved February 20, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  28. ^ Downey, Ryan J (July 3, 2003). "Ataris Channel Nirvana With Their New Heart-Shaped Video". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  29. ^ "The Ataris - In This Diary". Australian-charts. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on April 10, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  30. ^ a b c d Wiederhorn, Jon (May 30, 2003). "Ataris' Plans Zapped By Radio Stations Who Can't Lay Off Their 'Boys'". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  31. ^ Corey, Moss (June 16, 2003). "Pink Teams With Transplants, Good Charlotte Unplug For Weenie Roast". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on May 4, 2015. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  32. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (January 21, 2003). "Warped Tour Dates Announced, 17 More Bands Added". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  33. ^ Paul, Aubin (July 7, 2003). "Bands on TV - Week of July 7th, 2003". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  34. ^ a b c Payne, Chris (December 17, 2013). "The Ataris Announce 'So Long Astoria' 10-Year Anniversary Tour; Share Exclusive Promo Video". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on May 5, 2016. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  35. ^ "The Ataris - The Boys of Summer". Australian-charts. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  36. ^ Staff (September 23, 2003). "For The Record: Quick News On Fred Durst, Eminem, Jack Johnson, The Who, Everlast, Quiet Riot & More". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on May 4, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  37. ^ White, Adam (October 23, 2003). "Planes Mistaken For Stars tour with The Ataris". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  38. ^ Heisel, Scott (December 1, 2003). "Bands on TV - week of 12/1/03". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  39. ^ Heisel, Scott (December 29, 2003). "Bands on TV - week of 12/29/03". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  40. ^ White, Adam (January 25, 2004). "No Idea release dates, news and tours". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
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  42. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for So Long, Astoria". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  43. ^ Jewell, Troy (August 5, 2003). "The Ataris so long, astoria". Ink 19. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
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  45. ^ Magnuson, Mike (March 4, 2003). "The Ataris: So Long, Astoria : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved February 18, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
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  54. ^ "The Ataris Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
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  62. ^ Napier ed. 2019, p. 52
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Sources

External links[edit]