What’s up, 1997? How you doin’? Still have “MMMBop” stuck in your head? Is Tara Lipinski still your hero? No? Well, you little “Sell Out”!
It’s been almost 15 years, and do you know who still hasn’t sold out? Reel Big Fish. That’s right, your favorite Ska band is still skanking around on stage and laying down crazy brass solos. Honestly, you should be proud — it’s exactly how they planned it.
Since their beginning in the mid-’90s, Reel Big Fish has had a clearly defined plan for their future. Three of RBF’s first four studio albums were part of what frontman and founder Aaron Barrett has referred to as a trilogy. The band’s first and most successful album, Turn Off The Radio, was released in 1996 and the first single, “Sell Out” stayed on the Billboard charts for 32 weeks.
The album dealt with subjects not just connected to the human experience of growing up but also to a band’s growth. The other two albums in the trilogy continued to follow the rise and fall of a band (Why Do They Rock So Hard? and We’re Not Happy Until You’re Happy). The albums marked the height of RBF’s success, but were followed by a decline in popularity.
Between continual disputes with record labels and the birth of their own, RBF has continued to do everything in their power to keep its devoted fans happy. In its 15-year career, the band has released eight albums and one concert DVD. These days, Reel Big Fish only has one original member (Barrett), but the Reel Big Fish stage is still filled out with talented musicians, including multiple members of Barrett’s side project, Forces of Evil.Ska might no longer be “trendy,” but the boys in Reel Big Fish are doing their best to keep it alive and kicking.
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