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Jimmy Eat World

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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 Fucker," 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
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Albums by
Jimmy Eat World

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    1 song

    On Air

    Sure and Certain

    10 songs

    On Air

    Damage

    12 songs

    On Air

    Invented

    11 songs

    On Air

    Chase This Light

    14 songs

    On Air

    Static Prevails [Expanded Edition]

    11 songs

    On Air

    Futures

    11 songs

    On Air

    Bleed American

    32 songs

    On Air

    Bleed American [2 CD Deluxe Edition]

    16 songs

    On Air

    Invented

    15 songs

    On Air

    Clarity

    1 song

    On Air

    Get Right

    5 songs

    On Air

    Stay on My Side Tonight

    12 songs

    On Air

    Static Prevails

    15 songs

    On Air

    Clarity

    1 song

    On Air

    I Will Steal You Back

    1 song

    On Air

    My Best Theory

    1 song

    On Air

    Big Casino

    11 songs

    On Air

    Integrity Blues

    12 songs

    On Air

    Bleed American

    12 songs

    On Air

    Bleed American [Back to Black Edition]

    13 songs

    On Air

    Chase This Light [UK]

    15 songs

    On Air

    Clarity [U.S. Bonus Tracks]

    26 songs

    On Air

    Futures [UK Bonus CD]

    12 songs

    On Air

    Bleed American [Japan Bonus CD]

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Top Songs by
Jimmy Eat World

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   The Middle
  3.   Sweetness
  4.   Last Christmas
  5.   Bleed American
  6.   A Praise Chorus
  7.   Lucky Denver Mint
  8.   Sure and Certain
  9.   Always Be
  10.   My Best Theory
  11.   Pain
  12.   Big Casino
  13.   If You Don't, Don't
  14.   Work
  15.   The Authority Song
  16.   Let It Happen
  17.   Coffee and Cigarettes
  18.   Blister
  19.   Firestarter
  20.   For Me This Is Heaven
  21.   Futures
  22.   Heart Is Hard to Find
  23.   I Will Steal You Back
  24.   Clarity
  25.   Hear You Me
  26. See All Songs

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