Depending on how old you are, the mere mention of Third Eye Blind is enough to elicit wistful memories of their first three, relatively immortal hits, “Semi-Charmed Life,” “How It’s Going to Be” and “Jumper”–all Top 10s on the Billboard Hot 100. Or their inescapability, combined with stories of frontman Stephan Jenkins’ offstage antics, are enough to make you reconsider all ’90s nostalgia. In either case, we have news for you: their debut album is being reissued and expanded for its 20th anniversary.
Though it never climbed above the Top 20 of Billboard‘s album chart, Third Eye Blind was a massive success in that hazy era where alternative rock ideas and pop sensibilities combined on the radio. Jenkins, alongside co-writer and lead guitarist Kevin Cadogan, bassist Arion Salazar and drummer Brad Hargreaves (the only other member still in the band), spun their songs into gold and platinum (six million copies of their debut were moved from shelves). With supporting modern rock tunes like “Graduate” and “Losing a Whole Year,” the record still holds up as a signal of a certain place and time–a fact driven home by not only the band’s upcoming 34-date summer tour to commemorate the album anniversary, but a 2CD or 3LP edition of the album to be released the same day the tour kicks off on June 9.
The album is augmented with an extra eight tracks, nearly all of which are unreleased. There are two new tracks (“Alright Caroline” and “Scattered”) based on song ideas from the Third Eye Blind sessions; demos of “Semi-Charmed Life” and a cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Heroin”; and early versions of songs from the band’s 1999 follow-up Blue (“Kiss Goodnight,” later rewritten as “Ode to Maybe,” and “Slow Motion,” released as an instrumental on Blue but reissued with its controversial lyrics on the group’s 2006 greatest-hits set). A Japanese bonus track, “Tattoo of the Sun,” rounds out the bonus material.
If you add this reissue to your collection, suffice it to say that we will understand. We will understand.
Third Eye Blind: 20th Anniversary Edition (Elektra/Rhino, 2017)
Disc 1/LPs 1-2: Original album (released as Elektra 62012, 1997)
- Losing a Whole Year
- Semi-Charmed Life
- How It’s Going to Be
- Thanks a Lot
- Burning Man
- Good for You
- I Want You
- The Background
- Motorcycle Drive By
- God of Wine
Disc 2/LP 3: Bonus material (previously unreleased except where noted)
- Alright Caroline
- Slow Motion (Demo)
- Semi-Charmed Life (Demo)
- Kiss Goodnight (Demo)
- Scattered (Demo)
- Heroin (Demo)
- Tattoo of the Sun (from Japanese pressings – EastWest/Elektra AMCY-2163, 1997)