Out Of My Head

Album: All The Pain Money Can Buy (1998)
Charted: 20
Play Video


  • Fastball, a rock trio from Austin, Texas, earned a contract with Hollywood Records after years of toiling on the road in cramped conditions. Their first album was issued in 1996, but went nowhere. In the aftermath, the band's singer/multi-instrumentalist Tony Scalzo wrote "Out Of My Head," which reflects his mindset. "I was a struggling musician," he said in a Songfacts interview. "I had a record deal, so I knew there was a chance that things were going to turn around for us and for me, but I was struggling, and I was really ambitious at that time. Maybe I was just thinking about recurrent situations and how hopefully things would come out right."

    Things did come out right: The first single from Fastball's second album was "The Way," which became a huge radio hit. "Out of My Head" was a more modest hit, but still did very well, helping that second album, All the Pain Money Can Buy, sell over one million copies.
  • Structurally, this song is very unusual. It open with a verse and a chorus - nothing strange there - but then repeats the chorus twice with no subsequent verses. You have to have a pretty compelling chorus to pull that off, and this song does, with a clever melody and intriguing, ambiguous lyric.

    Scalzo points out that many greats ignored conventional song structures quite often, notably Bob Dylan and The Beatles.
  • Tony Scalzo went for an intimate vocal on this track, similar to some of Elvis Costello's songs where he gets very close to the microphone and sings quietly. He got the sound he was looking for, but couldn't reproduce it live, so he had to make some adjustments.

    "We do it in G, and it was recorded in E, because I can't project loud enough to play it on stage in E," he told Songfacts. "So, it's very different when we play it live, and it always has been."
  • In 2016, an adapted version of the chorus was used in Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello's hit song "Bad Things." Their duet takes the chorus line, "I never mean to do bad things to you," and turns it into "I only wanna do bad things to you," but these bad things are naughty things, and welcomed.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Song Cities

Song CitiesMusic Quiz

Nirvana, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen are among those who wrote songs with cities that show up in this quiz.

Daryl Hall

Daryl HallSongwriter Interviews

Daryl Hall's TV show is a hit, and he's been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - only one of these developments excites him.

Arrested For Your Art - The Story Of 2 Live Crew's "Obscene" Album

Arrested For Your Art - The Story Of 2 Live Crew's "Obscene" AlbumSong Writing

In the summer of 1990, you could get arrested for selling a 2 Live Crew album or performing their songs in Southern Florida. And that's exactly what happened.

Rush: Album by Album - A Conversation With Martin Popoff

Rush: Album by Album - A Conversation With Martin PopoffSong Writing

A talk with Martin Popoff about his latest book on Rush and how he assessed the thousands of albums he reviewed.

Tanita Tikaram

Tanita TikaramSongwriter Interviews

When she released her first album in 1988, Tanita became a UK singing sensation at age 19. She talks about her darkly sensual voice and quirky songwriting style.

Jon Foreman of Switchfoot

Jon Foreman of SwitchfootSongwriter Interviews

Switchfoot's frontman and main songwriter on what inspires the songs and how he got the freedom to say exactly what he means.