Time Bomb

Album: ...And Out Come The Wolves (1995)
Charted: 56
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Songfacts®:

  • This song was written in a ska/dub style similar to that of Operation Ivy, the band Rancid lead singer Tim Armstrong and bassist Matt Freeman played with in the late '80s. The lyrics in the first verse were taken from another Rancid song called "Motorcycle Ride" from their 1994 album Let's Go. The song is a classic case of lyrical dissonance, describing a kid who lives a life of crime (probably a drug runner) and is killed by a rival in the end.
  • Paul Jackson of the influential ska band The Uptones played the Hammond organ solo on this track at the behest of Tim Armstrong, a big fan of the group, which is also from northern California.
  • The video for "Time Bomb" was directed by Marcus Raboy, who's also directed clips for several mainstream artists such as Shakira, Luther Vandross, The Dixie Chicks, and Santana. Raboy has also directed rapper Ice Cube in two movies: Friday After Next (2002) and The Janky Promoters (2009).
  • With major-league Mohawks and gobs of punk-rock attitude, Rancid didn't seem likely to crossover to pop, but Green Day smashed that barrier with their 1994 album Dookie, and suddenly radio stations and MTV were amenable to songs like "Time Bomb." Along with the next single, "Ruby Soho," it helped the album sell a million copies in America, but it wasn't long before some in the punk rock community took umbrage. The fanzine Maximum Rock 'N' Roll called on bands to reject any corporate influence, and NOFX complied, keeping their videos off MTV and refusing interviews with traditional press. Green Day stayed about the froth and kept making hits, but bands like Rancid and The Offspring leveled down when the media fascination with punk rock abated.
  • This was featured in an episode of Gilmore Girls in 2000. The song also appeared in the 2005 Jim Carrey movie Fun with Dick and Jane.
  • In 1995, the same year this song was released, Rancid's manager Jim Guerinot (who also managed The Offspring) started an independent record label called Time Bomb Recordings.
  • UFC fighter Antonio Banuelos used this song as his entrance music.

Comments: 1

  • Luke from Manchester, United KingdomThe verse tune borrows heavily from the verse tune of Little Bitch by The Specials
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