Heyyyyy everybody! In honor of the fact that I will be going to see Reel Big Fish play tonight with Less Than Jake…well, here they are! Reel Big Fish is an American ska punk band from Huntington Beach, California, best known for the 1997 hit “Sell Out”. The band gained mainstream recognition in the mid-to-late 1990s, during the third wave of ska with the release of the gold certified album Turn the Radio Off. Soon after, the band lost mainstream recognition but gained an underground cult following. As of 2006, the band is no longer signed to a major record label, and has since been independent. After many line-up changes throughout the years, front man Aaron Barrett remains the only founding member in the band.
The band started as a Led Zeppelin Cover Band until they released a demo in 1992 which is now called “In The Good Old Days”. At the time, their band name was “The Fischer King”. With the departure of Ben Guzman, then backup vocalist Aaron Barrett took his place as lead singer. The band then changed their genre to ska.
Reel Big Fish’s self-released debut album, Everything Sucks, was successful and became an underground hit spread by word-of-mouth, which led to the band signing a deal with Mojo Records. In August 1996, the band released the album Turn the Radio Off on the new label, which appealed to fans of ska punk style, and the band began touring throughout the United States. After the single “Sell Out” became well known in mainstream venues, including MTV, the album peaked at number 57 on the Billboard charts, staying on the charts for 32 weeks. However, the ska revival was short-lived, and their 1998 album “Why Do They Rock So Hard?” failed to match the sales of the band’s previous record.
In 1998, they covered “Take On Me” for the film BASEketball. The song was later released on the BASEketball soundtrack and the international version of their album Why Do They Rock So Hard?.The band also performed the song at concerts. Reel Big Fish released a video clip for “Take On Me”, directed by Jeff Moore, and features the band playing the song while walking down an aisle in the stadium, and playing a game of BASEketball interlaced with clips from the film. An alternative video for the song’s international release that contained only the stadium aisle footage was also released. Reel Big Fish also included a live version of the song in their live album Our Live Album Is Better than Your Live Album and live DVD’s “You’re All in This Together” and “Reel Big Fish Live! In Concert!”
So, sit back, toke up, skank around the room, and KEEP IT WEIRD!