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Alive [Live]
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blink-182
Jan 2002

In the radio.wazee spotlight this week is new-school punk trio blink-182. Formed near San Diego, California around guitarist/vocalist Tom Delonge, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Scott Raynor the band was originally known as simply Blink. The band debuted in 1993 with a self-released EP, Fly Swatter. After releasing the album Buddha in 1994, the trio signed to Grilled Cheese/Cargo and released Cheshire Cat the following year. The threat of a lawsuit from a similarly named Irish band forced them to change their name to blink-182, but the group earned a higher profile touring the world with Pennywise and NOFX on the 1996-97 Warped Tour, plus appearing on innumerable skate/surf/snowboarding videos.

The third Blink-182 LP, Dude Ranch, was released in 1997. Dude Ranch expanded the group's audience and won the attention of major labels. Blink-182 wound up signing with MCA, who released the band's fourth album, Enema of the State, in the summer of 1999. Travis Barker, formerly with the Aquabats, later replaced Raynor. After selling over four million copies of Enema of the State, the trio played on with the limited edition release The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back) in fall 2000. The album featured the band's radio hits on a live setting intertwined with their quirky sense of humor as well as the new song "Man Overboard". Take Off Your Pants & Jacket, issued in spring 2001, saw the band return to their SoCal punk rock roots.
thanks to John Bush, All Music Guide [ www.allmusic.com ]

It's safe to say that blink-182 is now a worldwide phenomenon, with their records reaping platinum and their concert tours packing ‘em in all across Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Americas. And earlier this year, blink-182 ventured back to the studio with producer Jerry Finn to record their fourth studio album, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (you should say the title out loud to fully appreciate the subtle, sophisticated humor).

By every indication, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket is turning out to be an evolutionary hybrid for blink-182, as hooky as 1999's multi-platinum Enema of the State, but with all the punk spirit of their MCA debut album Dude Ranch. "This is the hardest, fastest record that we've done," says blink's Tom DeLonge of the upcoming album. "It's way more punk-rock than our previous records, and we're excited about it." Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (release date 6/12/01) follows Enema of the State and last year's smash live album The Mark, Tom and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back).

The band's popularity has only increased since their formation in '93. They began building momentum with a string of popular 7"s, and in 1994 they released their first full-length album, Cheshire Cat, on Grilled Cheese (a division of Cargo Music). In 1996, they signed a joint-venture record deal with Cargo Music and MCA Records, with their first MCA release Dude Ranch (1997) setting the stage for their current success. By the end of 1998, they had emerged as one of the most popular pop-punk bands of the year – the album went platinum in the U.S. and the year-end Billboard Airplay Monitor Report (BDS) stats indicated that "Dammit (Growing Up)" from Dude Ranch earned top spins at many key radio stations.

Blink-182 took a break from the road after Christmas '98 to begin pre-production for Enema Of The State, recorded in the band's hometown of San Diego at Signature Sound. Handling production duties was Jerry Finn, whose previous credits include Green Day and Rancid. Enema Of The State shattered the standard set by Dude Ranch. World-wide sales are now over seven million copies, not to mention the fact that the CD perched high atop the upper-reaches of Billboard's Top 200 for over a year. The album's three singles, "What's My Age Again," "All The Small Things" and "Adam's Song" dominated MTV, alternative, rock and Top-40 radio.

Their summer tour, where The Mark, Tom & Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back) was recorded, sold a third of a million tickets. The aforementioned album was a 20-track collection of live versions of classic blink-182 hits produced by Jerry Finn, and also contained never-before-released songs, a new studio track, and all the hilarious potty-mouthed one liners a fan could want. In its limited release, The Mark, Tom & Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back) sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. In other Blink-182 news, a massive U.S. summer 2001 tour is on the drawing boards, and a book about the band's early days, written by Hoppus' younger sister, Anne, now carries a title, Tales From Beneath Your Mom. It's scheduled to hit bookstores in mid-September.

Then there's the ever-expanding blink-182 mercantile empire, which stretches from pole to pole, from sea to shining sea. First there's their own blink182.com website for fans and curious onlookers. Travis's "Famous Stars and Straps" is a successful retailer and website for clothes, belts and accessories. Mark and Tom's "Loserkids.com" is an equally vibrant website for clothes, skates, music, movies. But despite these ancillary success stories, Mark, Tom and Travis never lose sight of what's most important for blink-182 and their worldwide legions of fans: music and tasteless comedy at every opportunity.



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