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#ThrowbackThursday: “Self Esteem” By The Offspring

The Offspring "Smash" Epitaph Records
  – The Offspring "Smash" Epitaph Records

By Craig Clizbe

Yesterday Alternative Rockers, 311 and, Punk Rock band, The Offspring kicked off their co-headlining Never-Ending Summer Tour.To help celebrate the event, both 311 and The Offspring recently surprised fans and took each other’s signature hits for a spin.  311 recorded a rocking reggae-infused cover of The Offspring classic “Self Esteem,” while The Offspring injected their signature punk rock energy into a cover of 311’s smash “Down.” It is with that in mind that I decided to dedicate both this week’s, and next week’s #TBT articles to telling the story behind each of these songs. The first of these is telling the story behind The Offspring’s 1994 single, “Self Esteem.”

When discussing 311’s approach to their version of the song, which was released by BMG Rights Management on July 6, Nick Hexum of 311 commented, “‘Self Esteem’ is my favorite Offspring song. It’s a great melody, and the lyrics really tell a story. I like when a singer is vulnerable and doesn’t try to act all cool. We’ve all been in relationships we know we shouldn’t be in, so most people can relate. Our first version was more reggae, but we realized that it needed to rock—like the original. We revved it up to be rocking riffs with reggae rhythms. I guess we ‘311-ized’ it. It was a lot of fun. SA kicked ass on this one. The vocal requires a lot of range and he really belted it out. We had to work hard to live up to Offspring’s killer cover of ‘Down’! I love the way they reimagined it. It kicks ass! I’m glad they really took liberties instead of being faithful to the original roadmap. I love the punk parts and hearing Dexter do SA’s raps. Nice job dudes!”

“Self Esteem” was released as the second official single from The Offspring’s third studio album, Smash in December of 1994. It was released to help keep up the momentum from the album’s first single, “Come Out And Play (Keep Em Separated)”, which was considered the band’s commercial breakthrough. “Come Out And Play” introduced the world to The Offspring, who were largely only part of the under ground Punk scene prior. Despite releasing two albums before the release of Smash, The Offspring only released one single before “Come Out And Play” with “I’ll Be Waiting ” in 1986.

However thanks to the release of several landmark Alternative Rock albums in 1994 like Nirvana’s Nevermind, Stone Temple Pilot’s Purple, Bush’s Sixteen Stone and most importantly, Green Day’s Dookie, The Offspring would find themselves in the middle of a Grunge Rock hungry audience of the mid 90s.  Thanks to Green Day’s massive crossover success as one of the first Punk bands of that time with a major deal and Pop radio play, The Offspring would join them in playing a huge part in helping usher Punk Rock into the mainstream when it came time to release Smash on April 8, 1994. Smash was released independently on the Punk label, Epitaph Records, founded by Bad Religion’s guitarist, Brett Gurewitz. In fact thanks to the success of “Come Out And Play,” and later, “Self Esteem” and “Gotta Get Away”, Smash would become the first album released through Epitaph to receive gold or platinum status. Many fans could connect with the melodic sound paired with a raw production of a real message. Lead singer, Dexter Holland said most songs on Smash “were just about whatever was happening in front of me.” at the time of being a grad student at the University of Southern California.

When it came time for The Offspring to release “Self Esteem” as a second single, “Come Out And Play” gave the band their first major hit, reaching Number One on The Billboard Modern Rock Charts. They became a Alternative radio staple after they were discovered by Jed The Fish Of KROQ FM in Los Angeles. By the time the music video for “Self Esteem” came along in the summer of 1994, The Offspring were already the most successful band to ever sign to Epitaph. It became a worldwide hit, reaching number 1 in Latvia, Norway, and Sweden, becoming one of the most successful singles released by the band. Much of this was attributed to the song’s music video receiving high rotation on MTV at the time. As a result of the MTV airplay combined with its worldwide chart success,”Self Esteem” was even nominated for the 1995 MTV Europe Music Awards.

“Selef Esteem’s” success got things moving faster than ever before. They were inspired to re-release their previous two albums for their millions of new listeners. The Offspring’s 1992 album cut, “Kick Him When He’s Down” from the Epitaph release Ignition even received a fair amount of Rock radio air play. This eventually helped Ignition earn a gold certification in early 1996. Smash would eventually sell over 11 million copies worldwide, and still holds the record as the best selling independent album of all time.

That momentum allowed The Offspring to enter the world of the major labels. They appeared on Atlantic Records’ 1995 soundtrack for Warner Bros. Picture’s superhero blockbuster, Batman Forever. Eventually The Offspring signed a long-term major label deal with Columbia Records. This major deal helped make them one of the rock bands to appear alongside mainstream acts during MTV’s TRL Pop revival of the late 90s, thanks to future hits like “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy),” and “Why Don’t You Get A Job.”

On April 8, 2014, the 20th anniversary of Smash’s original release, The Offspring re-issued the album for the second time. They officially announced that they would be releasing a special edition of Smash on Epitaph. It was released as a special package that contained the remastered album on both CD and vinyl, restyled artwork, and a large format 24-page booklet containing never-before seen photos. The reissue was also released as a box set; it came with an art print (the first 250 of which are signed and on linen), a live photo print, tour pass replica and 20th anniversary items, including a pin, patch and guitar pick.

The album’s commercial success has left quite an impact. Loudwire placed Smash at number 4 on its “10 Best Hard Rock Albums of 1994” list, Smash was also included at number 6 on Rock Sounds “The 51 Most Essential Pop Punk Albums of All Time” list in 2014. Are you ready to check out The Offspring as they hit the road with 311? Pull your old copy of Smash out of your disc wallet, rip it into your computer and rock out to this week’s #TBT, “Self Esteem” by The Offspring.

 

The Offspring 

“Self Esteem”

From Smash 

Epitaph Records

311

“Self Esteem”

BMG Rights Management 

Related Media

The Offspring 

“Come Out And Play (Keep Em Seperated)”

From Smash 

Epitaph Records

The Offspring 

“Smash It Up” (The Damned Cover)

From Batman Forever Soundtrack 

Atlantic Records

The Offspring 

“Pretty (For A White Guy)

From Americana 

Columbia Records

The Offspring 

“Why Don’t You Get A Job

From Americana 

Columbia Records

In addition, the co-headliners will be joined by special guests Gym Class Heroesas they ignite amphitheaters coast-to-coast. See below for itinerary. Tickets are on sale now atwww.311.comorwww.offspring.com.
 

Never-Ending Summer TourDates:

 

DATE                                       CITY                            VENUE

Wednesday, July 25               Mountain View, CA     Shoreline Amphitheatre

Friday, July 27                         Salt Lake City, CA       USANA Amphitheatre

Saturday, July 28                    Las Vegas, NV           Downtown Las Vegas Events Center

Sunday, July 29                      Chula Vista, CA           Mattress Firm Amphitheatre

Tuesday, July 31                     Phoenix, AZ                Ak-Chin Pavilion

Thursday, August 2                Oklahoma City, OK      The Zoo Amphitheatre

Saturday, August 4                 Austin, TX                   Austin360 Amphitheater

Sunday, August 5                   The Woodlands, TX     Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Presented by Huntsman

Tuesday, August 7                 Jacksonville, FL           Daily’s Place

Wednesday, August 8           Charlotte, NC               PNC Music Pavilion

Friday, August 10                   Philadelphia, PA           Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing

Saturday, August 11               Gilford, NH                   Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion

Sunday, August 12                 Syracuse, NY             Lakeview Amphitheater

Tuesday, August 14               Sterling Heights, MI      Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill

Wednesday, August 15          Springfield, IL              Illinois State Fair

Tuesday, August 21               Hartford, CT                XFINITY Theatre

Wednesday, August 22          Holmdel, NJ                  PNC Bank Arts Center

Friday, August 24                   Bethel, NY                   Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Saturday, August 25               Wantagh, NY               Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater

Sunday, August 26                 Bristow, VA                Jiffy Lube Live

Tuesday, August 28               Toronto, ON                 Budweiser Stage

Wednesday, August 29          Allentown, PA             The Great Allentown Fair

Friday, August 31                   St. Paul, MN                 Minnesota State Fair

Saturday, September 1           Sioux City, IA               Battery Park at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City

Monday, September 3             St. Louis, MO              Hollywood Casino, Amphitheatre

Tuesday, September 4            Huber Heights, OH      Rose Music Center at The Heights

Thursday, September 6          Chicago, IL                  Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island

Saturday, September 8           Thackerville, OK          Winstar Casino

Sunday, September 9             Wichita, KS                  INTRUST Bank Arena