Sublime released two albums on their own label before getting a deal with MCA, but lead singer Brad Nowell died of a drug overdose two months before their major-label debut was issued. "What I Got
" was sent to American radio stations, and did surprisingly well considering there was no band to promote it. Slowly, listeners were turned on to Sublime, and the album eventually sold over 5 million copies.
"Wrong Way" was the third single promoted to radio (following "Santeria
"), and it peaked on the Billboard Airplay chart in August 1997, about a year after Nowell's death.
Since MCA preferred $16 albums over $2 singles, "Wrong Way" and the other songs on the album were not made available for sale in America, which made them ineligible for the Hot 100 chart according to Billboard rules.