Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the pop-punk fan in your life? UMe has you covered with a 10LP box set devoted to one of the genre’s best bands: Blink-182.
The simply titled Blink-182 Box Set features all seven of the group’s albums released between 1995 and 2011. This includes the long out-of-print live set The Mark, Tom & Travis Show (which featured the studio single “Man Overboard” and a whole lot of bathroom humor in its onstage banter) and the deluxe edition of Neighborhoods, the final full-length album by the “classic” line-up of singer-bassist Mark Hoppus, singer-guitarist Tom DeLonge and drummer Travis Barker.
Known for their irreverent humor, precision musicianship and a host of radio-ready tracks that are now regarded as modern classics, Blink-182 took the Southern California punk scene by storm in the mid-1990s. Formed in the San Diego suburbs by Hoppus, DeLonge and drummer Scott Raynor, Blink (who later added the nonsensical number to avoid legal action from a band with the same name) were signed to local label Cargo Music, which released their formal debut Cheshire Cat in 1995.
Strong sales (some 250,000 copies by the end of the century) led to a major label bidding war, and MCA added Blink-182 to their roster for their major-label breakthrough Dude Ranch in 1997. While lead single “Dammit” just missed the Top 10 of the Alternative charts, the band had bigger things ahead, especially after Raynor (who suffered from a drinking problem) was dropped from the band in favor of Aquabats drummer Travis Barker, who reportedly learned the band’s entire set list 45 minutes before his first gig.
This powerful combination–Mark and Tom’s complementary vocal stylings and instrumental precision, plus Barker’s uncontrollable drumming prowess–set the group up for stellar success with Enema of the State in 1999. The quintuple platinum album crossed over into the pop charts with the single “All the Small Things,” and Blink were soon rubbing shoulders with the teen pop crowd on MTV’s Total Request Live. Subsequent studio albums Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001) and a self-titled effort in 2003 showcased a growing musical and lyrical maturity, but internal pressures led to an indefinite hiatus in 2005. Hoppus and Barker formed the alternative project +44, while Barker pursued increasingly grandiose styles with a new band, Angels & Airwaves.
The trio patched things up for a 2009 tour, and released Neighborhoods two years later to mixed reviews (the album suffering from a loss of band dynamic, recorded mostly in separate studios). A self-released EP, Dogs Eating Dogs (2012), got some of the spark back, but in 2015 DeLonge exited once again, in aof nonmusical declarations that alluded to both new music from Angels & Airwaves and a serious pursuit of extraterrestrial life (which was bizarrely corroborated in, of all things, ). Undaunted, Mark and Travis recruited Alkaline Trio guitarist Matt Skiba for this summer’s California, the band’s first No. 1 album in 15 years.
The Blink-182 Box Set is available now, either as a standard set on Amazon or as anthat goes with a custom turntable slipmat and stickers of the album artwork. The Amazon link and box contents are below!
Blink-182 Box Set (Geffen/UMe B0025421-01, 2016)
LP 1: Cheshire Cat (originally released as Grilled Cheese GRL-001, 1995)
LP 2: Dude Ranch (originally released as Cargo Music/MCA Records 11624, 1997)
LP 3: Enema of the State (originally released as MCA Records 11950, 1999)
LP 4-5: The Mark, Tom & Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!) (originally released as MCA Records 088 112 379-2, 2000)
LP 6: Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (originally released as MCA Records 088 112 627-2, 2001)
LP 7-8: Blink-182 (originally released as Geffen Records B0001334-12, 2003)
LP 9-10: Neighborhoods (originally released as DGC Records B0016034-02, 2011)