Blink-182's Enema of the State, turned 23 years old today. If you don't know the significance of that number with this album, then this is not the blog for you. You've probably never even met a person that's turned 23 before.
Enema of the State is an iconic album that helped pave the way for pop-punk into the mainstream at the turn of the millennium. I mean, they were by no means the first big pop-punk artists, Green Day's Dookie came out over five years before, but for people around my age (30), EOTS came at a time where you were starting to develop your own tastes and interests. The album hits on everything: teenage angst, coming of age, love, the possibility of extraterrestrial life, depression, being unsure of what Call ID is, partying, the female anatomy, gender identity, the removal of bike seats, and windmills. You could easily call it ahead of its time and perfectly of its era. My friend Kevin introduced me to this album in the summer of '99 before moving to Buffalo, and that helped get the ball rolling for me being an alt-rock guy for life (with plenty of help from my aunt Lena too).
I love blink-182 (with Tom, not Skiba) and recently put them as the #1 band in my "Top 10 Artists That Need to Grow Up, Reunite and Tour Again" blog. They're the forefathers of multiple genres as pop-punk evolved into emo in the 2000s. Without this album, the next decade would sound entirely different.
I didn't realize today was the album's anniversary until I saw something on Twitter, but I did listen to it Monday night while driving home from a celebration of life. My internal clock must've known its b-day was coming!
I'm a history guy, and as I get older, I think about the things from my lifetime that'll go down in history. Obviously, there's the no-brainer things like 9/11, the Patriots double-dynasty and Silly Bandz, but blink-182 has to be one of the most significant acts in terms of pop culture. They were so influential. If you were a middle-class white tween in the late 90s or early 2000s, there was a better chance of you knowing "All the Small Things" than "It's a Small World" (another banger though). But blink transcended that demo. It doesn't matter if you were a rock, pop, rap, or country person; you probably fucked with blink-182 at some point. They embodied what Americans, especially American kids listened to for years.
Congress established the National Recording Registry in the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000. According to one of the world's most essential websites, Wikipedia, the National Recording Registry is a list of sound recordings that "are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States." The purpose of the Registry is to maintain and preserve sound recordings and collections of sound recordings that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.
As America continues to evolve/devolve, so will what is deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant, and I mean, Enema of the State checks all the boxes, especially aesthetically. Top 3 most iconic album cover of my life.
When you think about life or even just music in 1999 America, for me, someone who was 7 for most of the year, I think about the Latin explosion with J-Lo, Marc Anthony, and Ricky Martin, boy bands, and blink-182. And would you look at who just got inducted earlier this year...
Here's the entire list of past inductees. It includes speeches, broadcasts, inauguration addresses, poems, and music (and more!). The whole purpose of the registry is to preserve recordings the reflect life in the United States and few things encapsulate the turn of the millennium like Enema of the State.
Now it's too late for Enema of the State to get the historical recognition and preservation it deserves this year, BUT next year is 2023, and if it's not gonna get in on its 23rd birthday, that's the next best thing.
If you want to help the cause and get Enema of the State into the National Recording Registry, CLICK HERE. It'll take you less time to complete than the average run length of an EOTS track.
I've probably seen the "What's My Age Again?" video 500 times, but I just noticed Jim Rome makes an appearance. Iconic. No wonder why makes the big bucks!
It's hard to pick a favorite song from that album, but gun to my head here's my Olympic podium:
Bronze: What's My Age Again?
Silver: Dysentery Gary
Gold: Going Away to College
That could change in like 45 seconds though. I love the whole fuckin' thing!