May 25, 2024

New Fury Media

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This Day In Music History: April 8th, 1994 – The Offspring accelerates punk’s popularity with a classic ‘Smash’ hit

Pop-punk and punk rock in general had existed long before 1994. In the days before The Offspring, Green Day, Bad Religion, and a handful of other bands broke the genres wide-open to a mainstream audience, bands as varied as Ramones, Descendents, and The Clash all contributed to the sonic ideas that would become both. By 1994, rock and metal had a bit of a void to fill. While grunge was still obscenely popular, nu-metal hadn’t quite arrived yet. Heavy metal in general was on a (supposed) decline, with all four of thrash metal’s “Big Four” undergoing serious changes from a musical perspective.

Enter The Offspring’s Smash. To this day, no album released on an independent record label (Epitaph, baby!) has sold more than its 11+ million copies. While 1992’s Ignition showcased what The Offspring were capable of, Smash took things to the next level entirely. Filled with short, fast, and catchy punk-rock songs and a sharp sense of humor, the album was recorded for a paltry sum of around $20,000 – making it also one of the most impressive profit ratios of any popular recorded album ever. Led by singles “Self Esteem”, “Gotta Get Away”, and the massively successful “Come Out And Play”, it served as the springboard to success that The Offspring still found surprising. The album also helped bring pop-punk and punk rock to a larger audience, inspiring one man to form an idea for a yearly summer touring festival that brought together pop-punk and punk rock bands, skateboarding, and randomized lineups each date of the tour. What a WARPED idea, right?

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