40oz. To Freedom
40 Oz. to Freedom is the 1992 debut ska punk album by the Southern California rock band Sublime. 40 Oz. to Freedom received mixed critical reviews upon its first release, but is now generally approved of as a sincere and brilliant record. Sublime would not achieve any mainstream success until two weeks after the overdose death of its leader singer and guitarist, Bradley Nowell, in 1996. When this album was recorded, Nowell had not yet begun using heroin. To some degree, the failure of 40 Oz. to Freedom to sell well or earn the band a major label release caused a despondent Nowell to begin using heroin. When the band recorded their next album, Robbin' the Hood, they did so in a Long Beach, California crackhouse.
40 Oz. to Freedom is one of the most popular albums released in the Third Wave of Ska Revival. Its sound blended various forms of Jamaican music, including ska ("40 Oz To Freedom"), rocksteady ("5446-That's My Number", cover of Toots & the Maytals), roots reggae ("Smoke Two Joints", a cover of The Toyes) and dub ("Let's Go Get Stoned", "D.J.s") with British and American hardcore punk ("New Thrash"), hip hop ("D.J.s") and folk music ("Rivers Of Babylon" a Melodians cover, "Scarlet Begonias", a Grateful Dead cover).
In 1995, Sublime sent a radio CD to the influential radio station KROQ, and one of 40 Oz. to Freedom's songs, "Date Rape", became the most requested song on the station, leading the album to appear at #1 for five weeks on Billboard magazine's (North America) Pacific Region chart, and to appear on the Alternative Artist Albums Chart for fifty weeks. The band then signed with MCA Records, which, along with the birth of his son, convinced Nowell to voluntarily enter rehab. Though he remained clean for several months, Nowell died of a heroin overdose shortly before the release of Sublime's breakthrough album, Sublime.
On the original release, "Rivers of Babylon", a folky religious song originally by The Melodians, and the outro, "Thanx", were hidden tracks.
On the original pressing of the album, which was distributed independently by Skunk Records, there were two additional songs. Get Out! appeared as the second track, and the theme from Rawhide was included on the same track as Date Rape. Also, there were some samples included in We're Only Gonna Die and "Let's Go Get Stoned. Both tracks and the samples had to be removed for national distribution due to copyright issues.
The album has six covers: "Smoke Two Joints" (by The Toyes), "We're Only Gonna Die" (by Bad Religion), "5446" (by Toots & the Maytals), "Scarlet Begonias" (by Grateful Dead), "Rivers of Babylon" (by The Melodians), and "Hope" (by the Descendents).
The album ranked at #10 for Top 100 Albums of 1992 and #402 for overall by Rate Your Music.
- Waiting For My Ruca (Bradley Nowell) - 2:20
- Get Out! (Sublime) - 3:32 (On Original Release)
- 40 Oz To Freedom (Sublime) - 3:02
- Smoke Two Joints (Kay/Kay) - 2:53
- We're Only Gonna Die for Our Own Arrogance (Greg Graffin) - 3:07
- Don't Push (Sublime) - 4:18
- 54-46 That's My Number/Ball and Chain (Toots Hibbert) - 5:17
- Badfish (Sublime) - 3:04
- Let's Go Get Stoned (Sublime) - 3:32
- New Thrash (Sublime) - 1:30
- Scarlet Begonias (Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter (lyricist)) - 3:31
- Live at E's (Sublime) - 3:08
- D.J.s (Sublime) - 3:18
- Chica Me Tipo (Sublime) - 2:16
- Right Back (Sublime) - 2:49
- What Happened (Sublime) - 3:27
- New Song (Sublime) - 3:14
- Ebin (Sublime) - 3:32
- Date Rape (Sublime) - 3:37 (Date Rape/Rawhide - 4:38 ~ On Original Release)
- Hope (Milo Aukerman) - 1:43
- KRS-One (Sublime) - 2:23
- Rivers Of Babylon - 2:29 (hidden track on original release)
- Thanx (hidden track)
- On the original release of 40 oz. to Freedom there was 23 tracks (2½ more then you can get on the current release of this CD). It had "Get Out!" and "Rawhide" (added to the end of Date Rape, and the songs Let's Go Get Stoned and We're Only Gonna Die for Our Own Arrogance had samples removed. Thanx was also a couple of minutes longer as well. This version is long out of print, making way for the new print. The original press of this album is extremely rare, so finding copies of it are nearly impossible.