Version 95

Born in the mid 80’s through high school friends Bryan ‘Dexter’ Holland, and Greg Kriesel, alongside their friend and school custodian Kevin ‘Noodles’ Wasserman, the Offspring have been a dominant force in the punk rock world for over a decade. After their high school band ‘Manic Subcidal’ gained a drummer in Ron Welty, only 16 at the time, the band decided on a name change and began recording songs in 1987 under the name ‘the Offspring’.

Earning a deal with small time punk label ‘Nemesis’ in 1989, the Offspring began recording in a professional studio. Their first LP was titled ‘Baghdad’, featuring the title song (later reworded to Tehran to fit in with the gulf war, and rerecorded for the self titled album) also featured a punk version of Jimi Hendrix’ ‘Hey Joe’ and ‘Get It Right’ - a song to later be re-recorded and released for 1992 album ‘Ignition’.

The band later released their first album on the label, and despite it’s low quality recording it proved a hit. The cutting edge lyrics and varied style began to shape a new style of music the Ramones had made pioneered years before. The album is now available under Dexter’s label Nitro Records.

The Offspring’s future was sealed when they signed with Epitaph Records in 1992. The band recorded a second album titled ‘Ignition’. Songs off Ignition rarely show up in set lists for the band today.

As alternative music became popular again, punk music was due for a comeback, and with Green Day releasing ‘Dookie’ to critical acclaim, the Offspring joined in the fun with their 1994 album ‘Smash.’

The album sold four million copies, making it still to this day the largest selling independent album of all time. Videos for Smash’s ‘Come Out And Play’ and ‘Self Esteem’ were regularly played on MTV, and the Offspring’s appeal sky rocketed.

The band later signed to Columbia after disputes with Epitaph, a label who they have recently had even more conflicts with. In 1996, they released Ixnay On The Hombre.

A new style of guitar work coupled with a change in lyrical content lead critics to believe the Offspring had lost their edge. Despite this, ‘Gone Away’ and ‘The Meaning Of Life’ have become two of the Offspring’s most well known and popular songs, and despite the reception the album got music fans regarded it as yet another hit.

Despite all the drama beforehand, 1995 was a real turning point in the Offspring’s career. The band released ‘Americana’ to a completely mixed reception. Whilst many of the album’s songs are classic Offspring music, a couple were just too ‘mainstream sounding’ than usual. The divide within the scene lead to more mainstream bands such as ‘Green Day’ and The Offspring balancing between mainstream and punk fans, with each side willing to abandon their music if their category didn’t fit.

The Offspring’s Pretty Fly (for a white guy) and ‘The Kid’s Aren’t Alright’ were so different that the band somewhat overcame the troubles within the fan’s communities to establish listeners in all generations.

In 2000 the band released what they promised to be their ‘heaviest’ album ever. What they delivered in Conspiracy Of One however, was another Americana. An album filled with great songs, pleasing the fans, but with two songs seemed tailored to suit the MTV audiences and bring in the sales. Many people blamed Sony Columbia for this at the time, marketing the band at a more ‘sellable’ audience. The theory was perhaps proved right as The Offspring began on their biggest selling tours to date, but was this down to sales or just a loyal growth of fans over the years?

2003’s Splinter faded into obscurity. Three kinds of fans remained for the band. Those that had disowned them, those who no longer liked them because they hadn’t had a hit in a few years and had moved on, and those who’d been with them from the start, who saw this album as somewhat a return to form, yet with a lingering mist of Americana in the air.

Edited by [deleted user] on 22 May 2010, 18:53

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Factbox

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Formed in
  • 1984
Founded in
  • Huntington Beach, California, United States

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