Photo: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for iHeartRadio
The Fall Out Boy Essentials: 15 Songs That Display Their Lyrical Genius & Global Rock Star Status
As Fall Out Boy releases their highly anticipated eighth album, 'So Much (For) Stardust,' check out some of the singles and deep cuts that have helped build their remarkable legacy.
On March 22, two days before Fall Out Boy released their eighth album, So Much (For) Stardust, frontman Patrick Stump and bassist Pete Wentz graced the front of U.K. magazine Kerrang with a short-and-sweet cover line: "The saviours return."
It's a fitting sentiment for the foursome, who haven't released an album since 2018's experimental MANIA. And while some may argue the term "saviors," Fall Out Boy's decades-long success as mainstream rock artists — particularly, a group who started out as pop-punk — is practically unmatched among their peers.
Fall Out Boy's endurance, of course, stems from the music. So Much (For) Stardust will add 13 new tracks to their catalog, but as Wentz told Kerrang, "this is the start of a new thing."
In celebration of their latest album, GRAMMY.com looks back on the songs that have made Fall Out Boy both global sensations and musical masterminds.
Fall Out Boy will be performing as part of A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys on April 9. Click here for more details on the special.
"Grand Theft Autumn / Where Is Your Boy" (2003)
Although "Dead On Arrival" marked Fall Out Boy's major label debut single, "Grand Theft Autumn" first hinted at the band's commercial potential. (They had independently released two EPs before Take This To Your Grave.) While it didn't chart, it featured more polished production than its predecessor, and its undulating chorus is as catchy as FOB hooks come.
Its lyrics of unrequited love are also arguably more straightforward than many other songs in their discography. But, there's still plenty of Fall Out Boy-esque quips, including one that pokes fun at their budding fame: "Someday I'll appreciate in value/ Get off my ass and call you, the meantime, I'll sport my/ Brand new fashion of waking up with pants on/ At four in the afternoon."
Anyone who has seen Fall Out Boy live knows that "Saturday" is an essential part of their catalog, as it has served as their set closer for almost every show since 2003.
Perhaps that's because it's one of their most autobiographical songs, with Stump referencing his and Pete's "mess of youthful innocence" as they navigated band life in their early 20s. Or maybe it's because it was one of the first songs to show off Stump's impressive vocal range. Whatever the case, there's no denying it will forever be one of FOB's classics.
"Chicago Is So Two Years Ago" (2003)
Since forming in a Chicago suburb in 2001, Fall Out Boy have been adamant about honoring their hometown, whether that's in the form of a song called "Lake Effect Kid" or a headlining show at Wrigley Field. The tributes began with "Chicago Is So Two Years Ago" — which is more about a scorned past relationship in the city than the city itself, but is nevertheless about where they came from.
And while the lyrics are oh-so-FOB (i.e. "She took me down and said, 'Boys like you are overrated/ So save your breath'"), the song's arc makes it a signature piece of the band's puzzle. According to a 2013 interview with Alternative Press, Stump and Wentz fought over just about every lyric — and 20 years later, it's seemingly a band and a fan favorite.
"Sugar We're Goin' Down" (2005)
After hardly making waves with their first studio album, Fall Out Boy proved to be a force to be reckoned with upon releasing the lead single from their second album, From Under the Cork Tree. Today, "Sugar We're Down" isn't just known as their defining song — it's one of the defining songs of the emo music era.
"Sugar, We're Goin' Down" is lyrically as abstract and quirky as Fall Out Boy's first releases, but its soaring chorus and roaring guitars presented a new magnetism that helped establish FOB as a pop-punk mainstay. What's more, it's been dubbed as a "game-changer" for the genre and is part of just about every "Best Pop-Punk Songs Of All Time" list out there.
One could argue that "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" took Fall Out Boy from the underground to a household name, as the song reached the top 10 of the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. While some people may never understand the antlered man in the music video or the instant-classic line "A loaded God complex/ Cock it and pull it," there's no denying that "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" is absolutely legendary.
"Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year" (2005)
From Under the Cork Tree put Fall Out Boy's knack for witty lyricism on overdrive, both in the songs' lyrics and their titles. That's especially true on "Sophomore Slump or Comeback of the Year," whose title directly acknowledges the theory that second albums are a make-or-break moment for an artist. And while "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" almost instantly proved the album to be a win for FOB, "Sophomore Slump" delivered a cheeky confidence that makes their wit even more appealing.
"We're the therapists pumping through your speakers/ Delivering just what you need/ We're well-read and poised/ We're the best boys," Stump sings on the opening verse, which takes a direct shot at anyone who didn't believe that they were destined for success. "No matter what they say/ Don't believe a word."
"This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" (2007)
Perhaps surprisingly, "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" is Fall Out Boy's biggest chart hit to date. The single landed at No. 2 on the Hot 100 in early 2007 — and as the first song from their third LP, Infinity on High, "This Ain't a Scene" proved that their sophomore success was no fluke.
The irony of it all? The song is a commentary on their freshly minted reign over the pop-punk scene. "Bandwagon's full, please catch another," Stump sings on the second pre-chorus.
"Thnks fr th Mmrs" (2007)
Just two months after scoring a smash with "This Ain't a Scene," Fall Out Boy released what would become another staple in their discography with "Thnks fr th Mmrs." Every aspect of the song is classic FOB, from the haunting melody of its verses to the clever metaphor-heavy lyrics, like "Been looking forward to the future/ But my eyesight is going bad."
Like many songs on Infinity on High, "Thnks fr th Mmrs" featured commentary on fame and their now-mainstream status — down to the song's title, which reportedly mocks their label's request for shorter song titles than their traditional verbose names. And with a music video that features Kim Kardashian, it was very clear FOB knew the game they were now playing.
"Hum Hallelujah" (2007)
Pete Wentz started out as the band's primary songwriter, and his complex, metaphorical lyrics are often pure magic. "Hum Hallelujah" might be one of his most personal displays of his songwriting prowess.
It's believed that "Hum Hallelujah" was inspired by Wentz's suicide attempt, during which he once recalled to MTV News that he was listening to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"; it's also believed that the song touches on Wentz's experience with bipolar disorder. No matter how heavy the story behind the song is, though, he managed to craft a quintessential FOB-esque lyrical masterpiece: "My words are my faith, to hell with our good name."
"What a Catch, Donnie" (2009)
One of the only ballads in FOB's catalog, there are many reasons why "What a Catch, Donnie" is special: It highlights Stump's voice in stunning fashion; the cadence of the chorus makes it a classic sing-and-sway-along anthem; Elvis Costello features on the bridge.
But it's the ending of the song that makes "What a Catch" so memorable and celebratory. The band recruited their treasured peers (and fellow Decaydance Records artists) to sing reprises of some of their classics, including Panic! at the Disco's Brendon Urie singing "Dance, Dance" and Cobra Starship's Gabe Saporta doing "Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy."
"The Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes" (2008)
Sure, by now, Fall Out Boy has countless rock anthems to their name. But at the time Folie à Deux was released, there wasn't anything quite like "The Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes" in their catalog.
Starting with a balladic intro, reverberating guitars eventually make way into a pounding drum that will send chills down your spine. The 4-minute track just continues to become more and more euphoric, complete with a chant-along bridge of what Wentz has called one of his favorite (and most relatable) lyrics he's ever written: "Detox just to retox."
Though it never fully got its due as a single, it has on stage — and it's hard not to argue that it's a FOB essential.
"My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)" (2013)
After a solid streak of hits from 2005-2009, Fall Out Boy did the one thing that every fan dreads: declared a hiatus. Fortunately for FOB diehards, there was a return after about four years — and it was epic.
"My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)" is easily one of the most anthemic songs FOB have ever released, from the stimulating "Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh" chants to the explosive chorus with the belt-able climax, "I'm on fire!"
The song also ushered in a new era for the band, literally and figuratively. While its lyrics make several references to their return ("I just gotta get you out the cage, I'm a young lover's rage/ Gonna need a spark to ignite"), "My Songs" introduced a stadium-ready sound that FOB continued on megahits like "The Phoenix," "Centuries" and "Irresistible" — and eventually manifested in two headlining shows at Wrigley Field (including one this summer) and a stadium trek with Green Day in 2021.
"Save Rock and Roll" (2013)
Among all of the dynamic rock tracks that are featured on Save Rock and Roll, it may seem a bit erroneous to choose "Save Rock and Roll" as an essential Fall Out Boy song. But at the same time, its differences are what make it essential.
Another one of the few ballads in their discography, "Save Rock and Roll" is a stunning display of both Stump's vocals and FOB's musicality beyond guitar-driven anthems. It wasn't created for commercial success, and that's exactly the point of the song — declaring that they'll always be making music that holds true to their rock roots and the passion within that.
"Save Rock and Roll" clearly means something to Fall Out Boy themselves, as it's been a setlist mainstay since 2016. Plus, the song features Elton John — how many bands get to say that?
"Uma Thurman" (2015)
How can you tell that a band is pure genius? They turn "the Munsters" theme song into a rock anthem.
That's exactly what Fall Out Boy did with "Uma Thurman," one of two brilliant reimaginings on American Beauty/American Psycho ("Centuries" features an interpolation of Suzanne Vega's '80s hit, "Tom's Diner"). The "Munsters" sample provides a unique surf rock vibe FOB's music hadn't seen before, but with a grungy flair that stays true to their aesthetic.
The song's lyrics are just as clever as "the Munsters"-sampled hook, too. Inspired by the titular actress herself, FOB flipped Thurman's iconic roles in Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill into a narrative about capturing the affection of a badass woman. (And unlike their From Under the Cork Tree cut "Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued," they got permission from Thurman to use her namesake — a move she once called "incredibly chivalrous.")
"Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)" (2018)
Fall Out Boy kicked off their seventh studio album with a rather startling lead single, the EDM-laced "Young and Menace." But by the time they reached their fifth single from the LP, it was clear "Young and Menace" was meant to provide more shock value than a teaser for what was to come.
"Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)" is arguably the most reminiscent of the pop-punk style FOB honed in the mid-2000s, but with the arena-ready echoes — both vocal and instrumental — that they introduced upon their return in 2013. And lyrically, it doesn't get much more Fall Out Boy (or, frankly, more emo) than "I'll stop wearing black when they make a darker color."
"Love From the Other Side" (2023)
At this point, Fall Out Boy has shown that they know how to make an entrance — and "Love From the Other Side," their first single in over two years, was no exception.
Before Stump's thunderous vocals begin, a burning guitar line and racing drums set the stage for a triumphant return. And once the chorus kicks in, we've heard everything that makes Fall Out Boy great: self-effacing lyrics, soaring vocals, face-melting instrumentals, and a hook that makes you want to shout it from the rooftops.
"Love From the Other Side" proves that Fall Out Boy hasn't lost their touch musically or commercially. The song scored the group their first No. 1 on Billboard's Alternative Airplay chart, which also marked a chart record as the longest run from a first-charting song to a No. 1 at 17 years and nine months. To think that FOB is still achieving new feats after all the hits they've scored in that time — they've certainly appreciated in value.
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Photo Credit: CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
How To Watch "A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys," Featuring Performances From John Legend, Brandi Carlile, Beck, Fall Out Boy, Mumford & Sons, LeAnn Rimes, Weezer & More
The re-aired tribute to the Beach Boys will also feature performances from St. Vincent, My Morning Jacket, Norah Jones, Charlie Puth, and many others, as well as special appearances by Tom Hanks, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, and more.
Updated Monday, May 22, to include information about the re-air date for "A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys."
"A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys" will re-air on Monday, May 29, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network, and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.
After six decades of game-changing innovation and culture-shifting hits, the Beach Boys stand tall as one of the most legendary and influential American bands of all time.
Now, the iconic band will be honored by the Recording Academy and CBS with a star-studded "Beach Boys party" for the ages: "A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys," a two-hour tribute special featuring a lineup of heavy hitters, including John Legend, Brandi Carlile, Beck, Fall Out Boy, Mumford & Sons, LeAnn Rimes, St. Vincent, Weezer, and many more, who will perform all your favorite Beach Boys classics.
Wondering when, where and how to watch "A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys"? Here's everything you need to know.
When & Where Will The Special Air?
"A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys" will air on Monday, May 29, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network, and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.* A one-hour version of the tribute will air on MTV at a future date to be announced.
Who Will Perform, And What Will They Perform?
The following is a list of artists and performances featured on "A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys":
Andy Grammer performing "Darlin'"
Beck performing "Sloop John B"
Beck & Jim James performing"Good Vibrations"
Brandi Carlile performing "In My Room"
Brandi Carlile & John Legend performing "God Only Knows"
Charlie Puth performing "Wouldn't It Be Nice"
Fall Out Boy performing "Do You Wanna Dance"
Foster The People performing "Do It Again"
Hanson performing "Barbara Ann"
Norah Jones performing"The Warmth of the Sun"
Lady A performing "Surfer Girl"
John Legend performing "Sail on Sailor"
Little Big Town performing "Help Me Rhonda"
Luke Spiller & Taylor Momsen performing "Surfin' USA / Fun Fun Fun"
Michael McDonald & Take 6 performing "Don't Worry Baby"
Mumford & Sons performing "I Know There's an Answer"
My Morning Jacket performing "I Get Around"
Pentatonix performing "Heroes and Villains"
LeAnn Rimes performing "Caroline No"
St. Vincent performing "You Still Believe in Me"
Weezer performing "California Girls"
Read More: 5 Memorable Highlights From "A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys": Weezer, St. Vincent, John Legend & More
Who Are The Special Guests & Presenters?
In addition to the musical performances, the special features appearances by Drew Carey, Tom Hanks, Jimmy Jam, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, John Stamos, and Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr.
Beach Boys core members Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks are featured guests.
What's The Context For The Special?
Filmed at the iconic Dolby Theater in Los Angeles after the 2023 GRAMMYs, "A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys" airs during the year-long celebration of the Beach Boys' 60th anniversary. Counting more than 100 million records sold worldwide and recipients of the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Beach Boys are one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful bands of all time, and their music has been an indelible part of American history for more than six decades.
Keep an eye on GRAMMY.com for more exclusive content leading up to "A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys."
*Paramount+ Premium subscribers will have access to stream live via the live feed of their local CBS affiliate on the service as well as on-demand. Essential tier subscribers will have access to the on-demand the following day after the episode airs.
Watch backstage interviews & exclusive content from "A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys”
Photo Credit: CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys Tribute Concert To Feature Performances By John Legend, Brandi Carlile, St. Vincent, Beck, Fall Out Boy, Mumford & Sons, Weezer & More; Tickets On Sale Now
Taking place Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, the live concert special will feature a star-studded lineup that also includes Charlie Puth, LeAnn Rimes, My Morning Jacket, Norah Jones, Pentatonix, Lady A, and many others.
Updated Saturday, April 9, to include air date information about "A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys."
"A GRAMMY Salute To The Beach Boys" airs on Sunday, April 9, from 8 – 10 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network, and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. A one-hour version of the tribute will air on MTV at a future date to be announced.
A few days after the 2023 GRAMMYs, the Recording Academy, along with Tenth Planet Productions and CBS, will present A GRAMMY Salute to the Beach Boys, a special tribute concert honoring the legendary, GRAMMY-nominated music icons, the Beach Boys. Taking place Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, the live concert special will feature a star-studded performer lineup that includes GRAMMY-winning artists and past and current GRAMMY nominees including Beck, Brandi Carlile, Fall Out Boy, Andy Grammer, Hanson, Norah Jones, Lady A, John Legend, Little Big Town, Michael McDonald, Mumford & Sons, My Morning Jacket, Pentatonix, Charlie Puth, LeAnn Rimes, St. Vincent, Take 6, and Weezer, who will all celebrate and honor the Beach Boys’ everlasting music and impactful career.
Tickets for A GRAMMY Salute to the Beach Boys are available now.
Wednesday, Feb. 8
Doors: 5:30 p.m. PT
Concert: 6:30 p.m. PT
6801 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Take A Look Back At The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds | For The Record
Photos (L-R): J. Shearer, M. Caulfield, Dimitrios Kambouris, Jeffrey Mayer, Theo Wargo (all for WireImage)
Why 2002 Was The Year That Made Pop-Punk: Simple Plan, Good Charlotte & More On How "Messing Around And Being Ourselves" Became Mainstream
As pop-punk finds a new generation, veterans Good Charlotte, Sum 41, Bowling For Soup, and Simple Plan celebrate by looking back on the year that brought the genre to the pop world — and beyond.
On May 6, Simple Plan released their sixth album, Harder Than It Looks — less than two months after the pop-punk group's debut album, No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls, turned 20. While it's a feat for any band to still be around 20 years after their debut, Simple Plan may find it the most remarkable of anyone. Because, according to what they were told in the early 2000s, pop-punk wasn't supposed to last this long.
"When we got signed, a lot of labels passed on us and [were] saying, 'Hey, this pop-punk thing, you're at the tail end of it. It's just about to go out. This is not gonna last,'" Simple Plan's frontman, Pierre Bouvier, remembers. "We were like, 'Nah, this is here to stay for much longer than that.' People thought it was gonna be the end, and it was really just the beginning."
To the naysayers, perhaps it did seem like the genre was losing steam. Though Blink-182 and Green Day (whether they like to claim the pop-punk label or not) were arguably bigger than they'd ever been at that point, their style of rock hardly broke into the pop- and rap-dominated mainstream. Yet, it was Bouvier who had it right — pop-punk was only getting started.
No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls was one of several albums to arrive in 2002 that are now considered pop-punk/emo-pop classics: Avril Lavigne's Let Go, Good Charlotte's The Young and the Hopeless, the All-American Rejects' self-titled debut, New Found Glory's Sticks and Stones, Bowling For Soup's Drunk Enough to Dance, Taking Back Sunday's Tell All Your Friends, the Starting Line's Say It Like You Mean It, and Something Corporate's Leaving Through the Window, among others.
Sure, fast-forward a few years, and you'll find albums (and artists) that were arguably even more monumental in the pop-punk/emo world, from Fall Out Boy's 2005 blockbuster From Under The Cork Tree to Paramore's 2007 game-changer Riot. But it was 2002's crop that took the genre from a cult following to a true movement — one that wasn't as fleeting as some may have thought.
The groundwork had been laid in the years leading up to 2002. Blink-182's "All The Small Things" became a crossover smash in 2000; 2001 birthed two of pop-punk's biggest anthems, Sum 41's "Fat Lip" and Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle" (though the latter made it big in '02, peaking at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 that June). And before that, bands like Green Day, the Offspring, and the Descendents helped prove that an audience was there.
What was different about 2002, though, is that mainstream music was in the wake of the super-pop explosion of the late '90s and early 2000s. After a few years of manufactured boy bands and hyper-produced pop stars, the carefree nature of pop-punk was both refreshing and eye-catching.
"It felt novel compared to what people were listening to, and it was very organic," Good Charlotte's Benji Madden says. "Kids who start listening to music pretty young, they start digging a little bit deeper; they start wanting new sounds, new vibes. And pop-punk was there."
That young crowd is exactly what fueled the pop-punk takeoff. Not only was it a fresh sound, but its lyrical content spoke to teenagers — who may have been underserved by popular music around that time.
"A lot of our songs have always been about struggling and trying to get through it," Bouvier says. "When the band started, we were like, 19 years old, so we were fresh out of those really tumultuous teenage years. Maybe it was a blind spot that other songwriters hadn't quite tapped into yet. It felt like this needed to be said, and to us, it was genuine. And the listeners felt the same thing."
As Bouvier's bandmate, Chuck Comeau, argues, pop-punk didn't just have "pop" in the name because it was popular. "I always said if you meet somebody and they're like, 'What kind of music do you guys do?' I say, 'Well, it's kind of like the Beatles, but just played faster with distortion,'" he quips. "It's the same catchy melodies, but the lyrics were very heartfelt, very honest, and very real — also very vulnerable, in a way that pop music really wasn't at the time."
The new pop-punk demographic was among the same group that was religiously tuning into MTV's Total Request Live, one of the main music trendsetters at the time — if not the trendsetter. Sum 41 singer Deryck Whibley credits MTV for helping launch "Fat Lip" into the stratosphere, and embracing pop-punk music videos in general. "It was a pivotal moment," he says. "I think that was really the biggest reason why the genre exploded."
The "Fat Lip" video encapsulates the authenticity that made pop-punk so appealing. Filmed in a few locations in Pomona, Calif. (just outside of L.A.), the clip captured what was essentially a parking-lot Sum 41 show, complete with a mosh pit, crowd surfing, and even a halfpipe. "We were just gonna film everybody doing dumb s<em></em>* and see what they do… there was no treatment," Whibley recalls. "It represented that age group across the country — and kind of across the world, really."
"It was a very big contrast from all the boy bands and pop stars, [where] everything is controlled and they're shown in the perfect light," Bouvier adds. "Here we are, just messing around and being ourselves. I think people were hungry for that."
Several of Simple Plan's videos shared a similar vibe, from a high school gymnasium rock show in "I'm Just a Kid" to a destructive living room performance in "Addicted." Good Charlotte offered a near-identical aesthetic to "Fat Lip" with the video for "The Anthem," proving the concept resonated: "The Anthem" is the fifth most-requested video in TRL history, according to Screen Rant.
But the pop-punk scene wasn't just a guy's club. Avril Lavigne reigned the TRL countdown for several weeks in 2002 thanks to her signature singles "Complicated" and "Sk8er Boi." The former marked her debut, and almost instantly crowned her pop-punk's princess, reaching No. 2 on the Hot 100 that August.
"Complicated" and "Sk8er Boi" both reached No. 1 on Billboard's Pop Airplay chart that year as well — a feat none of her 2002 pop-punk peers would ever achieve (well, at least not until 7 years later, when the All-American Rejects' 2009 belter "Gives You Hell" reached the top). Still, Simple Plan, Good Charlotte and Bowling for Soup had plenty of pop radio hits around that time, each scoring at least one top 10.
Lavigne is also among the coveted ranks of pop-punk artists who have received GRAMMY nominations. In addition to "Sk8er Boi" and "Complicated" both receiving nominations at the 2003 GRAMMYs — the latter earning a Song Of The Year nod — Lavigne's debut album, Let Go, was up for Best Pop Vocal Album, and she was nominated for Best New Artist. (Bowling For Soup's "Girl All The Bad Guys Want" also received a nom that year in the Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal category — further showing pop-punk's crossover appeal.)
"Avril was a great example of a young artist looking to express herself, and [she] created something that was a lasting impression of what an artist can be in the mainstream and what the music can be," Good Charlotte's Joel Madden says. "Whether it was conscious or not, it was really authentic. And each [pop-punk] group was authentic to themselves. It was kind of that moment in time."
If you ask Lavigne about what made her music resonate so widely, her answer is simple: "People were just loving rocking out, having fun, wearing low guitars, and jumping and bouncing around on stage."
Despite any rebellion that may have emanated in the videos, lyrics, and outfits — or just the demeanor — of any pop-punk act at the time, one thing rang true: it was good, clean fun.
"It was safe rock 'n' roll," Bowling For Soup frontman Jaret Reddick says. "I remember my agent saying, 'You guys are not cool, but you're the first band that parents let their kids buy your album even if you say 's<em></em>*' on like, half the songs.' Kids liked it because it was fast, and it pleased parents because they could understand the lyrics — and, topically, we weren't alienating anybody."
Reddick points out that the pop-punk craze became a full-on frenzy in 2003. And by that point, the fan base extended beyond teenagers. "We started to notice that there were people who brought children to see us. It was like, 'I think our fans have a curfew,'" he laughs. "But people who liked us as a rock band continued to support us, it's not like we lost people. We gained a movement."
And the movement continued to grow. The next year saw the rise of My Chemical Romance thanks to their second album, 2004's Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge (which spawned now classics "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" and "Helena"). The year after that, Fall Out Boy's "Sugar We're Goin' Down" became an immediate pop-punk standard, beginning a hit-filled career that has helped them remain a touring giant 20 years later — and, along with MCR, ushering in the emo era.
Although it didn't completely erase the spirit and sound that pop-punk's leaders had established, emo became the dominant genre by the mid-2000s. As its name hints, emo (short for emotional) introduced a darker vibe to the brightness of pop-punk. Yet, that didn't stop it from crossing over into pop: Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Paramore and Panic! At the Disco all scored top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with songs that were branded as emo.
By 2005, emo became a full-blown subculture. And while the genre label had changed, pop-punk clearly had an influence on emo's more pop-leaning acts like We The Kings, All Time Low and Mayday Parade.
Today, the bands that were considered emo are often pooled in with early 2000s acts, and pop-punk and emo have become umbrella terms. Whatever the "correct" name, most of the acts have cohabited in several ways — particularly on the now-defunct Warped Tour — and, above all, have strived to ensure that the spirit endures. But according to Whibley, it has never dwindled.
"Something interesting that I've noticed over the years is, it's almost like the crowd never changes, and never grows up," he suggests. "The front row always looks the same as it did in 2001."
Pop-punk has seen a strong resurgence in recent years, with artists like Machine Gun Kelly, Olivia Rodrigo and Meet Me @ the Altar taking cues from their predecessors. And many of the genre's pioneers are still going: Along with releasing a new album, Simple Plan is co-headlining a tour with Sum 41; Lavigne triumphantly returned to her roots on her latest album, Love Sux.
Lavigne is also one of 65 pop-punk/emo acts on the newly minted When We Were Young Festival — an event that not only caused an internet frenzy upon its announcement, but was extended from one to three days due to demand. One Instagram commenter may have summed up the lineup best: "It's like high school all over again."
A 2021 TikTok trend also proved that pop-punk and emo have staying power. Soundtracked by All Time Low's 2006 classic "Dear Maria Count Me In," TikTokers proudly proclaimed, "Mom, it was never a phase — it's a lifestyle!"
Between the new music and the nostalgia, the essence of what began in the early aughts is certainly alive and well.
"This music speaks to a younger generation, and the new generation always gets into it," Whibley continues. "Whether it's in the mainstream or not has never seemed to affect what I see from the stage. There's just something about this kind of music that is youthful and exciting. It's always going to be here."
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GRAMMY Rewind: 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards
U2 scores Album and Song Of The Year honors and John Legend is Best New Artist against these nominees
Music's Biggest Night, the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards, will air live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
In the weeks leading up to the telecast, we will take a stroll down music memory lane with GRAMMY Rewind, highlighting the "big four" categories — Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist — from past awards shows. In the process, we'll examine the winners and the nominees who just missed taking home a GRAMMY, while also shining a light on the artists' careers and the eras in which the recordings were born.
Join us as we take an abbreviated journey through the trajectory of pop music from the 1st Annual GRAMMY Awards in 1959 to last year's 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards.
48th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Feb. 8, 2006
Album Of The Year
Winner: U2, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
Mariah Carey, The Emancipation Of Mimi
Paul McCartney, Chaos And Creation In The Backyard
Gwen Stefani, Love. Angel. Music. Baby.
Kanye West, Late Registration
After trumping Michael Jackson's Bad for the Album Of The Year trophy in 1987, U2 cleared yet another hurdle by beating out one-fourth of the Beatles, 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year honoree Sir Paul McCartney [http://www.grammy.com/news/paul-mccartney-to-perform-at-2012-musicares-person-of-the-year-gala\]. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, said to be the group's return to the big-anthem classics produced in the '80s, charted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and garnered seven additional GRAMMYs in 2004 and 2005, including Best Rock Song for "City Of Blinding Lights" and "Vertigo." Also making a comeback of sorts was Carey, whose 10th studio release, The Emancipation Of Mimi, won her three GRAMMY Awards, including Best R&B Song for the No. 1 hit "We Belong Together." In 1990 Carey won her first two GRAMMYs, including Best New Artist. For Chaos And Creation In The Backyard, produced by GRAMMY winner Nigel Godrich, McCartney returned to the one-man band style exhibited on his self-titled solo debut, playing nearly every instrument on the album from guitars and keyboards to bass and drums. Stefani earned a nomination for her solo debut effort, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. The album spawned four additional nods and featured her first No. 1 single as a solo artist, the infectious "Hollaback Girl." West's sophomore release, Late Registration, marked his second Album Of The Year nod (he also received recognition for production work on Carey's The Emancipation …). The album topped the Billboard 200 in 2005 and featured the No. 1 hit "Gold Digger."
node: video: U2 Win Album Of The Year
Record Of The Year
Winner: Green Day, "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams"
Mariah Carey, "We Belong Together"
Gorillaz Featuring De La Soul, "Feel Good Inc."
Gwen Stefani, "Hollaback Girl"
Kanye West, "Gold Digger"
Rock reigned supreme in the Record Of The Year category as Green Day won for their hit "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams." The track appears on American Idiot, which won the group a GRAMMY for Best Rock Album the year prior and gained them presence on Broadway when it was later made into a musical in 2009. Carey's "We Belong Together" skyrocketed to the top of several pop charts in 2005 and earned her two GRAMMY wins, including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Adding variety to the field was virtual hip-hop group Gorillaz with the viral "Feel Good Inc." featuring De La Soul. The track earned them a GRAMMY for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals and a virtual duet with Madonna on the GRAMMY telecast. Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" scored a nomination with the help of GRAMMY-winning producers the Neptunes. West's "Gold Digger," which features Jamie Foxx sampling pieces from Ray Charles' "I Got A Woman," garnered the 14-time GRAMMY winner a win for Best Rap Solo Performance.
node: video: Green Day Win Record Of The Year
Song Of The Year
Winner: U2, "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own"
Mariah Carey, "We Belong Together"
John Legend, "Ordinary People"
Rascal Flatts, "Bless The Broken Road"
Bruce Springsteen, "Devils & Dust"
The second Song Of The Year win for U2, the emotional "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own," was written by Bono and U2, and also garnered the self-proclaimed best band in the world a GRAMMY for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal that year, beating out Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Franz Ferdinand, and the Killers. Carey's third nomination in the General Field was co-written with an all-star cast that included Johnta Austin, Babyface and Jermaine Dupri. Making his GRAMMY debut this year was Legend, who co-wrote "Ordinary People" with Black Eyed Pea will.i.am. The singer/pianist's debut studio album, Get Lifted, won a GRAMMY for Best R&B Vocal Album, a trophy that was replaced [link to: http://www.grammy.com/news/legend-gets-a-do-over\] in 2010 by The Recording Academy after an incident involving Legend's nephew. One of the first country groups in recent memory to receive a Song Of The Year nomination was Rascal Flatts' "Bless The Broken Road," written by Bobby Boyd, Jeff Hanna and Marcus Hummon. The track, previously recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, won for Best Country Song. The final entry, Springsteen's self-penned "Devils & Dust," which appears on the No. 1 album of the same name, earned the Boss five GRAMMY nominations this year, including a win for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance.
node: video: "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" Wins Song Of The Year
Best New Artist
Winner: John Legend
Fall Out Boy
Neo-soul artist Legend, who made two big debuts in 2005 with his first studio album and first appearance at the GRAMMY Awards, picked up Best New Artist honors. Get Lifted also broke the Top 5 on the Billboard 200. Texas-native Ciara, named the "First Lady of Crunk and B" by producer Lil Jon, scored a nod. She also took home a Best Short Form Music Video GRAMMY for "Lose Control." Pop/punk outfit Fall Out Boy received their only GRAMMY nomination to date. The group's 2005 album, From Under The Cork Tree, peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200. Piano-driven pop/rock group Keane added more variety to the diverse field, and picked up a second nomination the following year for "Is It Any Wonder?" The second country act to garner a nod in the General Field was the then-trio Sugarland, featuring Kristian Bush, Kristen Hall and Jennifer Nettles. The group won a GRAMMY two years later for Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal — minus Hall —for the tear-jerker "Stay."
node: video: Carrie Underwood Wins Best New Artist
Come back to GRAMMY.com tomorrow as we revisit the 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards.
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