When the time we have now ends
And when the big hand goes round again
Can you still hear the butterflies?
Can you still hear the last goodnight?
—For Me This Is Heaven
Jimmy Eat World is an Alternative Rock
band from Mesa, Arizona. They were formed in 1993 when singer/guitarist Jim Adkins and drummer Zach Lind, who had been friends since kindergarten
, formed a band with guitarist/singer Tom Linton and bassist Mitch Porter
. They released their first Self-Titled Album
in 1994 on indie label Wooden Blue records. The record was mostly sloppy punk rock, with Tom singing lead vocals on all but one song, and the album has long been out of print
. Soon after, Mitch Porter left the band and was replaced by Rick Burch.
After cutting their teeth in the indie scene, Jimmy Eat World got a major label contract with Capitol Records and recorded two classic albums, Static Prevails
, which were both highly influential on the rising emo scene. Clarity
in particular was considered one of the best records of the 90's for its epic, sprawling, and experimental sound, especially in the 16-minute album closer "Goodbye Sky Harbor". It also is known for being the first album to feature Jim on lead vocals - he has been their lead singer for all of their later albums.
Unfortunately, their major-label contract was too good to last, as the band were dropped by Capitol due to poor album sales and Executive Meddling
. While most bands would break up or toil in obscurity after this kind of thing, Jimmy Eat World had one of the biggest comebacks in recent years when they released Bleed American
in 2001, which contained their chart-topper "The Middle". The album had several singles that made the Billboard Modern Rock chart and had heavy rotation on MTV, essentially bringing emo from being an underground scene to one of the biggest genres of the 00's. Pretty good for an album that was recorded entirely on the band's dime while they were looking for a new recording contract.
The band toured with blink-182
and Green Day
in 2001, and recorded their follow-up Futures
in 2004. Although the album was not quite as successful because of its darker and heavier sound
, it still had some airplay on rock radio with the singles "Work" and "Pain". Although the band has lost a bit of their popularity over the years, they still have a dedicated fanbase and play one hell of a live show. They've also recorded two albums since then, Chase This Light
in 2007 and Invented
in 2010. Chase This Light
shows a return to the poppy sound of Bleed American
, while Invented
seems to be a mix of everything they've done over the years, combining the heavy rock of Futures
, the catchy singles of Bleed American
and the experimental edge of Clarity
- Jimmy Eat World (1994)
- Static Prevails (1996)
- Clarity (1999)
- "Lucky Denver Mint"
- "Goodbye Sky Harbor"
- Bleed American (2001)
- "The Middle"
- "A Praise Chorus"
- "Bleed American"
- Futures (2004)
- Chase This Light (2007)
- Invented (2010)
- "Coffee and Cigarettes"
- "Heart Is Hard To Find"
- Damage (2013)
Jimmy Eat World contains examples of:
- Alternative Rock
- B-Side: "No Sensitivity", which was later included on the reissue of Bleed American.
- Breakup Song: Naturally, being an emo band. Some of their more famous include "Your House", "Dizzy", "For Me This Is Heaven", and "23".
- Pretty much all of Damage qualifies.
- Canon Discontinuity: Their first self-titled album. The few who have actually heard it would agree it's not as good as everything they released afterward.
- Cover Version: Wham's "Last Christmas", "Half Right" by Heatmiser, "You and I" by Wilco, among others.
- Drugs Are Bad: "Pain" and "Drugs or Me".
- Egocentric Team Naming: Averted, even if Jim Adkins serves as the Face of the Band. The band was actually named after an incident from Tom Linton's childhood where his brothers Jim and Ed were fighting, and Ed ran into his room after being beaten by Jim and took revenge by drawing a picture of Jim shoving the Earth into his mouth with the caption "Jimmy eat world".
- Emo: They played a major role, along with Weezer, in bringing Emo into the mainstream.
- Epic Rocking: "Goodbye Sky Harbor" is their longest at 16 minutes, but they also have "23", "Invented", "Just Watch the Fireworks" and "Disintegration" which are all seven minutes, give or take.
- Grief Song: "Hear You Me", about two sisters with whom the band were close friends, Mykel and Carli Allan. The sisters ran the Weezer fan club and died in a car accident in 1997 when their car flipped off the road; it is thought the one driving may have fallen asleep at the wheel, hence the line "On sleepless roads the sleepless go." "Hear you me" was a phrase the sisters used often (and it also turned up in the chorus of Weezer's own song about them, "Mykel and Carli").
- Live Album: Clarity Live, a live album featuring ''Clarity'' in its entirety available on their website.
- Long Runner Lineup: After replacing Mitch Porter with Rick Burch, they've kept the same lineup for over fifteen years.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: While all their albums have a certain Jimmy Eat World sound, they take influences from emo, punk, alternative rock, classic rock, and indie. This is best shown on the Genre Roulette album Clarity.
- New Sound Album: Pretty much everything before Futures.
- Non-Appearing Title: "Bleed American" which is sometimes referred to as "Salt Sweat Sugar".
- This is because the title received some flak in the wake of 9/11, so Bleed American had to be reissued as a Self-Titled Album and the title track was renamed "Salt Sweat Sugar". However, this decision would later be reversed.
- Pep Talk Song: "The Middle" is a classic example.
Hey, don't write yourself off yet
It's only in your head to feel left out
Or looked down on
Just try your best, try everything you can
And don't you worry what they tell themselves
While you're away
- Precision F-Strike: "Heart Is Hard To Find" and their cover of "Half Right"
- Record Producer: Mark Trombino produced Clarity, Bleed American and Invented. Pixies producer Gil Norton produced Futures, and Nirvana producer Butch Vig produced Chase This Light.
- Self-Titled Album: Two, their first release, and Bleed American which was renamed Jimmy Eat World after the September 11th attacks.
- Shout-Out: "A Praise Chorus" references lyrics Tommy James and the Shondells, Madness, Mötley Crüe, They Might Be Giants, Bad Company, and The Promise Ring. The line "Come on Davey/Sing me something that I know" is also a shout-out to Davey von Bohlen, The Promise Ring's singer and close friend of the band, who provides backing vocals for that song.
- Step Up to the Microphone: In the early days, Tom Linton was the lead singer, with Jim Adkins occasionally singing on a few songs. Now, Jim Adkins is the lead singer, with Tom occasionally singing a few songs.
- Three Chords and the Truth: Their biggest hit, "The Middle" is just three chords. That's not to say that it doesn't also have an Epic Riff though.