I first heard Jimmy Eat World when my roommate (the inimitable, multi-hyphenate James Beveridge) went to the music store in San Luis Obispo. He bought Jimmy Eat World’s sophomore album Clarity and I bought The Get Up Kids’ sophomore album Something to Write Home About. Although fans of both albums, we both kind of liked the other better and swapped. And I proceeded to play the shit out of that album. I even started writing the lyrics to it on my desk. I don’t even know why, I just loved it that much.
I picked up a copy JEW’s debut album Static Prevails, which has some good cuts, but it doesn’t have that Jimmy Eat World sound, and more tracks featured vocals by guitarist Tom Linton than current front-man Jim Adkins (who gradually took over singing duties as their albums went on).
JEW didn’t really take off until Bleed American came out in July of 2001 and their video for “The Middle” went into heavy rotation on MTV.
“The Middle” went platinum and ended up at #5 on Billboard.
Since then, JEW has put out two more albums—Futures and Chase This Light—both of which I think are fantastic. I’ve put together a Grooveshark playlist with some of my favorite Jimmy Eat World tracks. Give it a listen if you’ve never given them a chance.
Jimmy Eat World’s sixth full-length album, Invented, comes out September 28th. You can listen to 1-minute samples of each song (and 2 complete songs) right here. Pre-order on Amazon for just $8. Or get it on iTunes and get the first single “My Best Theory” right now (no link because iTunes sucks and I can’t figure out how to link to a pre-order).
Bonus fun fact #1: The band’s name came from a crayon drawing made after an incident between Linton’s younger brothers, Jim and Ed, who fought frequently. Jim usually won, but Ed sought revenge by drawing a picture of Jim shoving the Earth into his mouth; the picture bore the caption “Jimmy eat world”. (from Wikipedia—although I already knew this, of course)
Bonus fun fact #2: After 9/11, the band changed the name of their recently released album Bleed American to Jimmy Eat World. This really bugged me. I hated, and still hate, the thought of making changes like this in response to any terrorist/violent/military act. When they re-released a deluxe edition of Bleed American in 2008 it was under it’s original title.