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]
Genre Hardcore punk, horror punk
Length 31:23 (Original) 26:41 (2001 printings)
Label Nemesis Nitro Records
Producer Thom Wilson
The Offspring chronology
The Offspring
Reissue Cover
The Offspring - The Offspring.jpg
Singles from The Offspring
  1. "I'll Be Waiting"
    Released: 1986

The Offspring is the debut studio album by American punk rock band The Offspring, released on June 15, 1989 through Nemesis Records.[2] After 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. The Offspring has rarely played any songs from this album live.[3] This is also the only studio album by The Offspring with fewer 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 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 1989,[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 a performance at the Hollywood anti-nuclear benefit.[6] Following the small success of The Offspring, the band signed with Epitaph Records in 1991.

"Beheaded" was rarely ever played live, having been played at least 24 times as of July 2016.[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]


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, 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]


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, a year after The Offspring's commercial success with its third studio 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 2001 do not feature 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 12" vinyl
NEMESIS 6 First pressing. Cassette release includes bonus track "Hey Joe".
European Union Europe November 18, 1995 Epitaph Records CD
12" vinyl
86460 First CD pressing; features an alternative cover.
United States United States November 21, 1995 Nitro Records CD
12" vinyl
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 features an image of a man's body exploding as the xenomorph from the Alien franchise holding a Stratocaster guitar emerges from his chest. There is a report, which remains unconfirmed, that this album was banned from retail stores due to its "grotesque" cover.[11]

The 1995 re-release shows a different image which features a blurry black-and-white picture of a person's face. It was later admitted that the band's studio never really liked the original cover, the re-release gave them a chance to change it.

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]

All tracks written by Dexter Holland, except where noted.[12]

Original pressing[edit]

Side one
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 two
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
12. "Hey Joe[13]" Only appears on the 1989 cassette, written by William M. Roberts 2:31
Total length: 33:54


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
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


  • Track 1, "Jennifer Lost the War", is featured on Punk-O-Rama Volume 1.
  • Track 6, "Beheaded", was later re-recorded as "Beheaded (1999)" for the movie Idle Hands.
  • Track 7, "Tehran", was later re-recorded as "Baghdad", which appears on their 1991 long-out of print EP Baghdad.
  • Track 9, "Blackball", is featured on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4.
  • Track 11, "Kill the President" is removed from the 2001 issues and is replaced by 4 seconds of silence. On the official website, the song is not mentioned in the track list.


Adapted from The Offspring liner notes. The Offspring

  • Dexter Holland (Listed as "Keith Holland" on the 1989 vinyl and changed for subsequent reissues) – Lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Noodles – Guitar, background vocals on "Blackball"
  • Greg K. – Bass, background vocals on "Blackball"
  • Ron Welty – Drums

Additional musicians

  • Jason – background vocals on "Blackball"
  • Jeff 1 – background vocals on "Blackball"
  • Jeff 2 – background vocals on "Blackball"
  • Tyler – background vocals on "Blackball"
  • Rick – background vocals on "Blackball"
  • Michelle – background vocals on "Blackball"
  • Marvin – background vocals on "Blackball"
  • Cynthia – background vocals on "Blackball"




  1. ^ OFFSPRING Biography Free
  2. ^ Webvoyage titles: the Offspring
  3. ^ a b c "The Offspring Tour statistics". Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Offspring, The - The Offspring at Discogs
  6. ^ The Offspring at NIPP
  7. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Offspring - The Offspring". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  8. ^ a b "The Offspring - The Offspring". July 10, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b The Offspring - The Offspring (album review) | Sputnikmusic
  10. ^ "Discografie The Offspring" (in Dutch). Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ BMI Entry
  13. ^
  14. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  15. ^ " > The Offspring – The Offspring" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Offspring – The Offspring". Music Canada. 
  18. ^ "American album certifications – Offspring – The Offspring". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

Works cited

  • The Offspring (CD liner). The Offspring. Nemesis/Epitaph/Nitro Records. 1989. 

External links[edit]