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Jimmy Eat World

Once a trailblazing name in the mid-'90s emocore scene, Jimmy Eat World eventually found a larger audience by embracing a blend of alternative rock and power pop that targeted the heart as well as the head. The band's influence widened considerably with 1999's Clarity -- an album that has since emerged as a landmark of the emo genre -- it was the band's follow-up (specifically the infectious single "The Middle") that crowned them as major figures in commercial rock. The emo label proved difficult to shake throughout the 2000s, even when subsequent albums like Futures and Chase This Light did little to evoke the hard-edged sensitivity of Clarity, but Jimmy Eat World still remained a league above the generation of emocore torch-bearers they helped spawn.

Jimmy Eat World formed in February 1994 in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, Arizona. Jim Adkins (vocals/guitar) and Zach Lind (drums) met while attending Mountain View High School; years of playing in local bands had also introduced them to locals Tom Linton (guitar/vocals) and Mitch Porter (bass). The four musicians joined forces and derived the band's moniker from an argument between Linton's younger brothers, Ed and Jimmy. The two siblings were prone to fighting, with the heavyset Jimmy usually emerging as the victor. One day, a revengeful Ed resorted to drawing a picture of his heavyset older brother shoving the entire world into his mouth. The caption "Jimmy Eat World" was printed beneath, and the band deemed it a perfect fit. Citing influences like Rocket from the Crypt, early Def Leppard, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Fugazi, and the Velvet Underground, Jimmy Eat World outfitted themselves as a punk rock act and began playing small shows in the Phoenix valley.

Over the course of 1994 and early 1995, Jimmy Eat World released several EPs and singles on Wooden Blue Records, an imprint based in the nearby town of Tempe. Limited-edition pressings of "One, Two, Three, Four," "Back from the Dead Mother F**ker," and split EPs with Christie Front Drive, Emery, and Blueprint would later run out of print, as would the band's self-titled debut album. The band's audience was steadily growing, and Capitol Records responded by signing Jimmy Eat World in mid-1995, when bandleaders Adkins and Linton were only 19 years old. Porter soon exited the group; Linton's best mate since seventh grade, bassist Rick Burch, was enlisted as a replacement, and the band marked their major debut with the release of 1996's Static Prevails.

Three years passed; by 1999, Jimmy Eat World had officially transformed themselves into an emo outfit with the release of their intricate sophomore album, Clarity. The record marked Adkins' first time as the group's lead singer and principal songwriter, two roles that Linton had previously handled. Unfortunately, Capitol Records had also experienced some significant changes, ultimately culminating in the departure of president Gary Gersh -- the same man who signed Jimmy Eat World in 1995. Capitol's new management balked at Clarity's sensitive sound and started to shelve the album; it wasn't until several key radio stations (including L.A.'s influential KROQ) started airing the song "Lucky Denver Mint" that the label relented and released Clarity in February 1999. "Lucky Denver Mint" proved to be popular on the radio and in the movies, where it scored a spot in the Drew Barrymore comedy Never Been Kissed. Jimmy Eat World's fan base continued to grow, but their relationship with Capitol progressively soured. After the label shelved the band's third LP, Jimmy Eat World decided to leave the label, and Capitol was happy to let them go.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Eat World's music was attracting an audience overseas, where Clarity had become a hit in countries like Germany. The band responded by financing and promoting a tour throughout the European continent. Singles, a collection of unreleased B-sides and rarities, was released that same year on the independent label Big Wheel Recreation. A split EP with Australian rockers Jebediah was also released, and the band scraped together the profits from those ventures before entering the studio to record Bleed American (whose title would later be changed to Jimmy Eat World after the events of September 11, 2001). Enlisting the help of Clarity's producer, Mark Trombino, the band independently created the record that would effectively launch their high-profile careers. Jimmy Eat World then used the completed product to land a contract with Dreamworks, who released the album in July 2001. While the hard-hitting title track did moderately well, it was the record's second single, "The Middle," that landed Jimmy Eat World a spot on the pop/rock map. Featuring a video filled with scantily clad teenagers, the song also enjoyed heavy exposure on MTV, where a younger audience latched onto the band's summery appeal. A year after its release, Jimmy Eat World was still a fixture on the Billboard charts and modern rock radio. A third single, "Sweetness," was released in summer 2002, and "A Praise Chorus" followed soon after, allowing the album to go platinum.

The Dreamworks label closed its doors in January 2004, and Jimmy Eat World shifted their operations over to Interscope for the release of their fifth album. Futures was released in October 2004 and debuted at number six on the Billboard charts, eventually going gold on the strength of the Top 40 hit "Pain." The Stay on My Side Tonight EP appeared one year later, featuring a Heatmiser cover and several tracks that had been axed from the Futures track list. Jimmy Eat World continued to tour in support of the album before entering the recording studio with Butch Vig, a veteran musician who had produced Nirvana's Nevermind and the Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream before forming a platinum-selling group of his own, Garbage. With Vig behind the controls, Jimmy Eat World recorded their sixth studio LP, Chase This Light. The leadoff single, "Big Casino," was released in August 2007, and the album followed in October. The following year, the band announced that they were returning to the studio to work on a new album with their old producer, Mark Trombino. Two years later, Invented became their seventh release. In 2013, Jimmy Eat World released their eighth studio album, the Alain Johannes-produced Damage. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Stay On My Side Tonight (EP) (Explicit)

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Track List: I Will Steal You Back (Single)

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Track List: My Best Theory (Radio Single)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
It's only in your head,
You feel left out
Or looked down on
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I need to be me and go to good life but will never happen
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The middle that song brings back memories and it's in the movie
Zoom
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Wow, never paid attention to this song until today. Always just seemed to fade into the background.
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dada710013
Love love
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Yasss
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Love this song its inspiring lol
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kaishiple
Doesn't any one else think green day freaking rocks
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Heartbeat Song by Kelly Clarkson sounds a lot like The Middle. Just sayin'
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hashtagmakei t h a p p e n 2 9
Hey, Don't Write Ya self Off
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alabastervil l i s 0
you fools you dumb blind fools posting a chain letter. how wonderful to be hated for being a jackass
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MAD MAD LOVE!
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Love dis song PS. Follow for follow
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Anyone who follows me will get tickets to my concerts when I become famous. This goes for all my followers
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Middle
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I LOVE YOUR SONGS#
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ngold24
Follow 4 follow
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hisinkdprinc e s s
... i love this song but how did it get on my kingdom hearts station...?
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Kiss your hand 10 times
Post this on 2 other songs
Look at your hand
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Is it abnormal to see dead people?
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why dont people realize that
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those spam comments dont work-_-
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I love The Middle!
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The Middle os the best song ever! XD
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vedakits
dudes, it's all about My Best Theory FAVORITE SONG EVER!!!!!!!!
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:P
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Drake (the country boy) if u don't like them why did u coment on this (u suck)
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Hey, don't write yourself off yet
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it's only in your head to feel left out...
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shleeeeban shlaaaberrr
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madison6951
Just stop with the chain letters. It's just like wearing a sign that says "Gullible Idiot" on your back. If they were real, I'd be dead by now.
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alabastervil l i s 0
hear hear i second that motion! anyone who pushes a chain letter of any kind is a brainless dope. how stupid, hey i got a bridge i want to see anyone who wants to post a chain letter. suckers and fools
Report as inappropriate
Ok you people are idiots all right? The don't read this it actually works, say iPhone 5 times, don't work what person would believe this oh right the 30000 people I've seen put that comment on pandora. I've broken the dang chain 80 times and I'm still alive.
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Love this song.....and turtles ��
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drakeyo2002
Jimmy eat world is the gayest f**king faggots ever I never want to see this on pandora ever again
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F6
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Follow for Follow {www.rodneyv a n c e t h e a r t i s t . c o m }
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I love almost all there songs and stop posting stalker and creepy stuff
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#ToolsBelow
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AWESOME!!!!
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i freaking love this song
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Such suspicion but it's worth a try I guess :p
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love the band and love the song
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Cool sounds
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What do you people have against one hit wonders?
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I've only heard the middle, are these guys good or just a one hit wonder?
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Kiss your hand post this on 2 other songs and......NOT H I N G WILL HAPPEN my gosh people stop wih the chains
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karaoke
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Love this group!
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I needed this song :)
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