Smash (The Offspring album)

Smash (The Offspring album)
Studio album by The Offspring
Released April 8, 1994
Recorded October–December 1993 at Track Record in North Hollywood, California
Genre Punk rock
Length 46:47
Label Epitaph
Producer Thom Wilson
The Offspring chronology
Ixnay on the Hombre
Singles from Smash
  1. "Come Out and Play"
    Released: March 10, 1994
  2. "Self Esteem"
    Released: December 22, 1994
  3. "Gotta Get Away"
    Released: February 2, 1995
  4. "Bad Habit"
    Released: March 15, 1995 (radio only)

Smash is the third studio album by American punk rock band The Offspring. After touring in support of their previous album, Ignition, The Offspring began recording Smash in October 1993 at Track Record in North Hollywood, California. Recording and production were finished two months later, and the album was released on April 8, 1994. Smash incorporates elements of punk rock, alternative rock, hard rock, metal and reggae, and is heavily influenced by the emerging pop punk scene.

Peaking at number four on the Billboard 200, the album has sold over 12 million copies worldwide[1], making it the best-selling independent label album of all time.[2] It was The Offspring's introduction into worldwide popularity and critical acclaim. Smash produced an array of hit singles including the hugely successful "Come Out and Play", "Self Esteem" and "Gotta Get Away". It also spawned a radio-only single "Bad Habit". Smash received generally positive reviews from critics and garnered attention from major labels, including Columbia Records, with whom The Offspring would sign in 1996. The album is recognized as an influential and seminal component of the punk rock scene in the mid 1990s.


Background and recording

In 1991, The Offspring released the Baghdad 7". This EP was the turning point for the band; due to its success the band signed with Epitaph Records. Thom Wilson, who produced The Offspring's first two albums, had been trying to get the Offspring to switch to Epitaph, a label run by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. Gurewitz felt that The Offspring was just not quite pronounced enough for his label, but Baghdad convinced him to give the band a shot. Wilson and The Offspring entered the studio again and recorded Ignition. Released in 1992, Ignition exceeded all of the label's and band's expectations.[3] Following the subsequent touring to support Ignition, The Offspring began writing new material for their third album in mid-1993. Recording sessions for Smash took place during October to December 1993 at Track Record in North Hollywood. On the recording process of the album, frontman Dexter Holland told Flux Magazine in 1994, "When we recorded this album, our last one has sold maybe 15,000 copies, so the possibility of us getting played on the radio or anything like that was pretty much nonexistent. Especially because this kind of music is not generally considered acceptable by the mainstream - so, for something like this to happen, it really took us by surprise."[4]

Writing and composition

"Come Out and Play" and "Self Esteem" have been played at almost every live show.

Although Smash has a dark, punk rock sound, the album is heavily influenced by the emerging pop punk scene. Bands like Green Day and Rancid were gaining popularity, and riding on this wave of popularity, Smash's singles became modern radio rock hits. An example of this was the success of The Offspring's first major single release, "Come Out and Play", which reached #1 on Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and has become one of the band's signature songs.[citation needed] "Come Out and Play" features a Middle Eastern-influenced guitar riff.[5] The lyrics discuss gang violence in high schools.[5]

The second single released from the album, "Self Esteem", became a radio hit, managing to peak at number 4 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The lyrics are about an abusive relationship in which the girl takes advantage of her boyfriend, as he has "no self-esteem" to stand up to her. Contrary to popular belief, the song is not autobiographical. In an interview Dexter revealed that it is about one of his old friends.

The third single, "Gotta Get Away" was another rock radio hit, although it was not as successful as the previous two singles. The song reached number 6 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. Being the last song written for the album, the lyrics describe a point in Dexter's life when he was suffering from extreme pressure due to the then-upcoming deadline of the album. "What Happened To You" is driven by a Jamaican ska beat.[5]


Professional reviews

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [6]
Kerrang! 5/5 stars[citation needed]
Robert Christgau (neither) [7]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [8]
Sputnikmusic (4.0/5.0)[9]

Critical reviews of Smash were mostly positive. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic called it a "solid record, filled with enough heavy riffs to keep most teenagers happy". Erlewine praised the music as "relentlessly heavy". For the album, he claims that The Offspring had "crossed over", because of the success of its single "Come Out and Play", which "stopped and started just like Nirvana."[6] Sputnikmusic reviewer Mike Stagno called it "a fun album to listen to."[9]

Chart performance and sales

Despite obtaining early support from the Los Angeles modern rock radio station KROQ, Smash initially received little attention from radio and television stations. On October 29, 1994, it peaked at number four on the Billboard 200, and since then, was in various places on the chart for 101 weeks.[10] It also peaked at number one on the Heatseeker's Chart.[11] On June 19, 1999, Smash peaked at number 12 on the Catalog Albums chart for one week.[10]

Smash made history becoming the first album released on Epitaph Records to obtain gold and platinum status, and also has the distinction of being the label's debut album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales data for Billboard in March 1991. It has been certified multi-platinum in three countries, including the US,[12] Australia,[13] and Canada.[14] Additionally, it has achieved platinum status in Sweden[15] and Switzerland[16], and gold status in Austria[17] and Norway.[18] As of 2009, the album has sold over 12 million copies worldwide.[1]

On July 30, 1994, "Come Out and Play", the album's first single, topped the Modern Rock Tracks, and stayed on the chart for 26 weeks.[19] The song also charted at number 39 on the Pop Songs chart,[19] while it reached number ten on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. "Self Esteem" reached number four on Modern Rock Tracks and would remain on that chart for 25 weeks,[19] while it hit number seven on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. "Gotta Get Away", the album's third and last single, peaked at number six on the Modern Rock Tracks chart on January 14, 1995, where it would maintain some lower position on the chart for 20 weeks.[19] Although never technically released as a single, "Bad Habit" gained some minor popularity when the influential L.A. radio station KROQ began playing the song in early 1995. There was confusion over whether or not it would be released as the band's next single following the success of "Self Esteem". Unlike the first three singles, a video for "Bad Habit" was never released and it failed to chart.


The following information regarding accolades attributed to Smash is adapted from[20]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Exposure Canada 50 Greatest Albums not to make the Greatest Albums lists 2005 35
Robert Dimery United States 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die[21] 2005 *
Kerrang! United Kingdom The Kerrang! 100 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die[22] 1998 54
Kerrang! United Kingdom The Kerrang! 200 Albums For The Year 2000 (Essential '90s)[23] 1998 8
Kerrang! United Kingdom The Kerrang! 50 Greatest Punk Albums Ever[24] 1998 5
Mojo United Kingdom The Mojo Collection, Third Edition 2004 *
RAW United Kingdom 90 Essential Albums of the 90s[25] 1995 *
Visions Germany The Best Albums 1991-96[26] 1996 *
Visions Germany The Most Important Albums of the 90s[27] 1999 100

* denotes an unordered list


Smash, as well as the CD singles "Come Out and Play," "Self Esteem," and "Gotta Get Away" all share imagery of an X-ray style skeleton on their covers.

Smash, as well as the singles "Come Out and Play", "Self Esteem", and "Gotta Get Away" have a common artwork theme: an ominous (and highly distorted) skeleton on the cover, disc, and back of the CD case. The music videos for "Self Esteem" and "Come Out and Play" also have several scenes with a similar skeleton. This symbol is believed to represent the core motifs of the album: death, suicide, violence, addiction, and abuse. The skeleton is used to represent that the continuation of these acts will inevitably lead to death (or alternatively, the end of the human race). The art direction is credited to Kevin Head and Fred Hidalgo, who also designed the artwork for the Bad Religion album Recipe For Hate.[28]


Smash is regarded by critics as one of the most influential punk rock albums of all time, and has inspired a number of musicians. During Trivium's early days, guitarist Matt Heafy performed a cover version of "Self Esteem" at his middle school talent show at Lake Brantley High School, while the British synthpop group Cuban Boys also covered that song on their only full-length Eastwood. The album's other hit, "Come Out and Play", was covered by Richard Cheese on his 2000 album, Lounge Against the Machine and again released on the 2006 album, The Sunny Side of the Moon. Brett Gurewitz, the guitarist of Bad Religion and president of Epitaph, had also mentioned that he liked Smash and described it as "a very good record".[29] New York melodic hardcore punk band After the Fall mentioned Smash in their song "1994",[30] which appears on their 2009 album Fort Orange.[31]

Along with Green Day's Dookie, Smash was among the most commercially successful punk rock albums released in 1994, a year when the genre reached arguably its greatest popularity. By the end of the year, Dookie and Smash had both sold millions of copies.[32] The commercial success of these two albums attracted major label interest in pop punk, with bands such as Rancid, NOFX and Pennywise, who had all been labelmates with The Offspring at the time, being offered lucrative contracts to leave their independent record labels, though this offer was rejected.

In November 2011, Smash was ranked number two on Guitar World magazine's top ten list of guitar albums of 1994, between Bad Religion's Stranger than Fiction and Weezer's Weezer.[33]

Track listing

All songs written and composed by The Offspring, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Time to Relax"   0:25
2. "Nitro (Youth Energy)"   2:27
3. "Bad Habit"   3:43
4. "Gotta Get Away"   3:52
5. "Genocide"   3:33
6. "Something to Believe In"   3:17
7. "Come Out and Play"   3:17
8. "Self Esteem"   4:17
9. "It'll Be a Long Time"   2:43
10. "Killboy Powerhead" (The Didjits cover) 2:02
11. "What Happened to You?"   2:12
12. "So Alone"   1:17
13. "Not the One"   2:54
14. "Smash" (contains hidden track) 10:42
Total length:

Track notes

  • The first track, "Time to Relax", does not appear on the cassette version, and is a spoken intro to the entire album, rather than a song. A similar intro is included on the Offspring's next three albums, Ixnay on the Hombre, Americana and Conspiracy of One.
  • At the end of "Genocide", a spoken interlude is heard, where the same man who speaks on "Time to Relax" and the outro to "Smash" says, "Ooh, I especially enjoyed that one, let's see what's next". Then after this, the next track "Something to Believe In" begins to play.
  • At the end of "Smash", a spoken outro is heard, where the same man who speaks on "Time to Relax" and the outro to "Genocide" says, "There. I hope you enjoyed our time together today. You know it seems harder and harder to just sit back and enjoy the finer things in life. Well, 'till next time, ta ta". This is followed by a version of the intro from "Genocide", which is also the intro to an earlier version of "Change the World", which would be recorded for the band's next album Ixnay on the Hombre. After five minutes of silence, there is an instrumental Middle Eastern style reprise of "Come Out and Play". The track is called "Come Out and Play (Acoustic Reprise)", and is also found on the "Come Out and Play" single.
  • The song "Nitro (Youth Energy)" is featured on NHL 2K9

Chart positions and sales


Charts (1994–1995) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[34] 1
Austrian Albums Chart[34] 2
Belgium Albums Chart[34] 2
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[35] 3
Dutch Albums Chart[34] 5
Finnish Albums Chart[34] 2
French Albums Chart[34] 109
German Albums Chart[36] 4
Japanese Albums Chart[37] 1
New Zealand Albums Chart[34] 6
Norwegian Albums Chart[34] 9
Swedish Albums Chart[34] 3
Swiss Albums Chart[34] 3
UK Albums Chart[38] 21
U.S. Billboard 200[39] 4

Certifications and sales

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[13] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[17] Gold 25,000x
Canada (Music Canada)[40] 6× Platinum 600,000^
Finland 74,500[41]
Norway (IFPI Norway)[18] Gold 25,000*
Sweden (IFPI Sweden)[15] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[16] Platinum 50,000x
United States (RIAA)[12] 6× Platinum 6,000,000^
Worldwide 12,000,000[1]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

End of decade charts

Chart (1990–1999) Position
U.S. Billboard 200[42] 56


Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1994 "Come Out and Play" Modern Rock Tracks 1
Mainstream Rock Tracks 10
Top 40 Mainstream 39
"Self Esteem" Modern Rock Tracks 4
Mainstream Rock Tracks 7
"Gotta Get Away" Modern Rock Tracks 6
1995 Mainstream Rock Tracks 15


The Offspring

Additional personnel

  • Jason "Blackball" McLean - additional vocals on "Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)" (uncredited, but mentioned on "Greatest Hits")
  • Lisa Johnson - Photography
  • Ken Paulakovich - Engineer
  • Eddy Schreyer - Mastering
  • Thom Wilson - Producer, engineer
  • Fred Hidalgo - Art direction
  • Mike Ainsworth - Assistant engineer
  • Ulysses Noriega - Assistant engineer
  • Christopher C. Murphy - Assistant engineer/Runner

Release history

Year Type Edition Label Catalog Ref
1994 CD Epitaph 86432 [43]
1994 LP Epitaph
1994 CS Epitaph
1994 CD Australian version Shock Records [44]
1994 CD Brazilian version Epitaph/Paradoxx Music OXX 1127 [45]
1996 CS Russian version (Unofficial Release) Global Music  ? [46]
2008 CD Remastered version Epitaph 86868 [43]
2008 LP Remastered version (translucent orange vinyl); came with a coupon for a free MP3 download
"—" denotes that it was a standard release.

See also


General references

  • (1994) Album notes for Smash by The Offspring [CD liner]. Epitaph Records.


  1. ^ a b c "Billboard Magazine: 300 Best Selling Albums". Billboard Magazine. 2009. 
  2. ^ Sputnikmusic. "[1]", April 28, 2007. Accessed October 27, 2011.
  3. ^ Offspring Biography
  4. ^ Grad, David (1994). "Smashing Punk Kings". Flux Magazine. 
  5. ^ a b c Strauss, Neil (October 28, 1994). "POP REVIEW; Proof of Punk's Currency". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.. Retrieved June 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Smash (The Offspring album) at Allmusic. Retrieved 29 April 2004.
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert. "The Offspring > Consumer Guide Reviews". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  8. ^ Kot, Greg (November 3, 1994). "The Offspring Smash / Bad Religion Stranger Than Fiction > Album Reviews". Rolling Stone (694): p. 98. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2007.  Posted February 2, 1998.
  9. ^ a b Stagno, Mike (April 28, 2007). "The Offspring Smash > Staff Review". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 1 April 2009. 
  10. ^ a b Smash - The Offspring. Billboard. Retrieved 2011-02-21.
  11. ^ Chart information at Allmusic
  12. ^ a b "American album certifications – Offspring – Smash". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  13. ^ a b "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  14. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Offspring – Smash". Music Canada. 
  15. ^ a b "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (in Swedish) (PDF). IFPI Sweden. 
  16. ^ a b "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (The Offspring; 'Smash')". Hung Medien. 
  17. ^ a b "Austrian album certifications – The Offspring – Smash" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter The Offspring in the field Interpret. Enter Smash in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  18. ^ a b "Norwegian album certifications – The Offspring – Smash" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. 
  19. ^ a b c d The Offspring Album & Song Chart History. Billboard. Retrieved 2011-02-21.
  20. ^ "List of Smash Accolades". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  21. ^ Robert Dimery. "Outline Page". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  22. ^ Kerrang!. "Kerrang! - The Kerrang! 100 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  23. ^ Kerrang!. "Kerrang! - The Kerrang! 200 Albums For The Year 2000". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  24. ^ Kerrang!. "Kerrang! - The Kerrang! 50 Greatest Punk Albums Ever". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  25. ^ RAW. "RAW Albums of the Year". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  26. ^ Visions. "Visions - Popular Music Best-Of-Lists List". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  27. ^ Visions. "Visions - Popular Music Best-Of-Lists List". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  28. ^ "Smash" Linear Notes
  29. ^ "The Offspring". The Bad Religion Page. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  30. ^ AFTER THE FALL LYRICS - 1994
  31. ^ After The Fall (2) - Fort Orange at Discogs
  32. ^ Bestseller lists and Diamond Certification available at the RIAA website:
  33. ^ Grassi, Tony. "Photo Gallery: The Top 10 Guitar Albums of 1994". Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Smash - Chart Positions"
  35. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 61, No. 6, March 13, 1995". RPM. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  36. ^ "Media Control Charts - The Offspring" Media Control Charts.
  37. ^ "Oricon Album Charts Search for The Offspring" Oricon.
  38. ^ "Chart Log UK (1994–2006) The O – Ozric Tentacles" Zobbel.
  39. ^ "The Offspring - Charts & Awards - Billboard Albums" allmusic.
  40. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Offspring – Smash". Music Canada. 
  41. ^ "Finnish album certifications – Offspring – Smash" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. 
  42. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  43. ^ a b Birchmeier, Jason. "Smash - The Offspring". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  44. ^ "Offspring* - Smash". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-02-06. 
  45. ^ "Offspring* - Smash". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-02-06. 
  46. ^ "Offspring* - Smash". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
Preceded by
No Need to Argue by The Cranberries
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
February 5–25, 1995
Succeeded by
Hi Fi Way by You Am I

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