Essential Atlantic: Matchbox Twenty, YOURSELF OR SOMEONE LIKE YOU
For the next several weeks (or maybe just until we decide that we want to stop doing it, since normalcy seems likely to remain on hiatus for the foreseeable future), Rhino.com will be spotlighting an album from the Atlantic Records discography that qualifies as “Essential.” And what rigorous standards and/or mathematical algorithm did we use to come up with the criteria to define “Essential,” you ask? None at all. You’ll just have to trust our instincts. But they’re really good, we swear...
Once upon a time, there was a band called Tabitha’s Secret. The band counted among its members three gentlemen who would go on to greater fortunes: Rob Thomas, Brian Yale, and Paul Doucette. They soon went their own way, and after bringing a couple of other guys into the fold (Adam Gaynor and Kyle Cook), they named themselves Matchbox Twenty at Doucette’s suggestion, since he’d seen both words on a softball shirt worn by a customer at the restaurant where he was waiting tables. This is probably not the most random way a band name has come into existence, but you have to figure it’s in the top ten.
Whether or not you want to describe Matchbox Twenty’s debut album, YOURSELF OR SOMEONE LIKE YOU, as a full-fledged musical phenomenon, the fact of the matter is that it caught a lot of people’s ears when it was released in the summer of ’96...like, to the tune of 15+ million copies at this point. But this is what happens when you put out an album that radio loves and which features hook-laden tracks like “3 A.M.,” “Push,” “Long Day,” “Real World,” and “Back 2 Good.”
Each of the tunes cited in the previous paragraph managed to climb into the top 10 of some Billboard chart or other, be it the Hot 100, Modern Rock, Mainstream Rock, Adult Top 40 or Top 40 Mainstream, so if you were startled by the 15+ million copies thing, well, hopefully this explains that figure a bit more. It also probably doesn’t hurt that the album features – per its Wikipedia entry – “themes of adolescence, loneliness, psychological abuse, humiliation, depression, anger, and alcoholism.”
And you thought it was just another rock ‘n’ roll record...
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