CD Rewind: Reel Big Fish – Turn the Radio Off (1996)

I decided it would be fun to look back into my CD collection and post about any memories they bring back, songs that I love and anything these albums make me think of.  The first CD in this experiment is Reel Big Fish’s Turn the Radio Off.

This album was released in August, 1996.  I was starting my senior year of high school.  The people that I was hanging around at the time had introduced me to Ska music over the previous year or 2.  I was influenced by bands like MU330, The Pietasters, The Toasters, Let’s Go Bowling among others.  But thanks to my friend Kristie, I was listening mostly to a northern California band called Skankin’ Pickle.  Don’t worry, I’ll get to their albums.  This was right in the middle of the Third Wave of Ska, and I was getting really hooked.  But I’ll never forget the day I picked up my copy of T.T.R.O.

One day, my buddy Tyler and I walked into our local record store.  They had a display full of this CD with a listening station.  You could listen to the whole album without purchase.  I turned it on, and the first track was Sell Out.  I listened to about a minute of it, and immediately bought it.  I listened to it over and over.  I loved it so much I bought it as a birthday present for anyone I thought might like it.

Thanks to this CD, I went looking for any ska albums I could find.  In Sacramento, they weren’t easy to locate.  But because of RBF, I got into other bands like Less Than Jake, Save Ferris, Goldfinger and of course, the band that would become my favorite, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

When I think back on my favorite CD’s from my youth, this is always in my top 5.  I think I love every song.  If not every one, most every one.  It’s hard to find a CD in which every song is strong.  This album has been out over 15 years now, and I still say if I had only one CD for the rest of my life, this would most likely be it.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the bands most recent albums stack up with their early work.  And since I’ve been out of college I’ve had to stop spending so much time looking for new bands, but I will forever be grateful to Reel Big Fish and their major label debut for changing my outlook on music forever.

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