On June 12, 2001, Blink-182 released their fourth studio album, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. Known for its memorable lead singles—'The Rock Show' and 'First Date'—the making of this record was a contentious time for band members Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge, and Travis Barker. Following the massive success of their third album, Enema of the State, the group had different ideas about what they should next. Not only were they dealing with creative disagreements amongst themselves, but they were also facing new pressure from record label executives to recreate the mainstream success of their previous album.
Ultimately, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket was a hit for Blink-182. Two decades after the album's debut, it's still cited as a seminal entry in the 2000s pop-punk canon. As we celebrate the album's twentieth anniversary, here are some things you may not have known about Take Off Your Pants and Jacket:
1) Hoppus describes the group's fourth studio album as their "confused, contentious, brilliant, painful, cathartic leap into the unknown" following the commercial success of Enema of the State.
2) Take Off Your Pants and Jacket was Blink-182's final record released through MCA Records.
3) This was the group's first number one album in not only the U.S., but Canada, and Germany, as well.
4) 'The Rock Show' and 'First Date' were written in response to their manager, Rick DeVoe, asked why they didn't include a classic Blink-182 summer anthem on the album. According to Hoppus, he and DeLonge were furious at this line of questioning. Hoppus recalls his response as: "You want a f**king single? I’ll write you the cheesiest, catchiest, throwaway f**king summertime single you’ve ever heard!’ I drove home, grabbed my guitar, sat on the floor, and wrote ‘The Rock Show’ in 10 minutes. Tom drove home, grabbed his guitar, and wrote ‘First Date.’” The tracks were the first two singles off the new record and remain some of the band's biggest hits.
5) For the first time in their time as a band, Hoppus, DeLonge, and Barker were disagreeing about the direction the music should take. In the liner notes for the album's deluxe reissue, Hoppus wrote:
"Our musical struggle for this new album was evident from the outset. I loved everything about Enema Of The State—the music, the videos, the live show, everything. I wanted to do it again, making it bigger, better, and louder. Tom wanted something heavier, more guitar-driven, dirtier. He was listening to a lot of post-hardcore bands, and their influence showed in what he wrote. Travis, never simply a punk-rock drummer, wanted to challenge himself, as well as the band."
Instead of working together seamlessly as they had in the past, the group was working in "opposition to one another...We weren’t starting from the same point or working toward the same goal. Sometimes the difference became contentious.”
6) Following the massive success of their third studio album, Enema of the State, which launched Blink-182 into the mainstream, Hoppus, DeLonge and Barker struggled under the pressure and expectations from studio executives for Take Off Your Pants and Jacket to be just as successful as its predecessor. “After years of hard work, promotion, and nonstop touring, people knew who we were, and listened to what we were saying—it scared the s**t out of us,” Hoppus recalled.
7) On the limited-edition bonus track version of the album, 'Please Take Me Home' has 182 seconds of silence at the end.
8) All the songs on the album were written and composed by Hoppus, DeLonge, and Barker.
9) Blink-182 released three separate versions of the album—the "red plane," the "yellow pants," and the "green jacket" editions. Each of these versions contained two unique bonus tracks, some of which were outtakes or humorous songs. Here are the bonus tracks from each edition:
- Red Plane Version:
- 'Time To Break Up'
- 'Mother's Day'
- Yellow Pants Version:
- 'What Went Wrong'
- 'F**k a Dog'
- Green Jacket Version:
- 'Don't Tell Me It's Over'
- 'When You F***ed Grandpa'
10) Take Off Your Pants and Jacket is the band's only album to debut at number one and sell more than 350,000 copies in its first week.
11) While working on the album, DeLonge found himself much less interested in the punk rock music that had catapulted Blink-182 into the mainstream. As a result, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket included six acoustic songs, including 'What Went Wrong.' While recording the album, DeLonge told Alternative Press: “You grow up and realize, ‘F**k! Who gives a f**k about punk rock? There are so many great forms of music out there, and you grow beyond wanting to listen to or write something because your parents will hate it.”
12), The album's title, which is a tongue-in-cheek pun for male masturbation, was coined by guitar tech Larry Palm. Devoe paid him $500 for the rights to the name, however, Palm later sued Blink-182 alleging breach of contract and fraud. The band eventually settled with Palm out of court, paying him $10,000.
13) DeLonge wrote 'Stay Together for the Kids' about his parent's divorce. "I lived, ate, and breathed skateboarding. All I did all day long was skateboard," DeLonge recalled. "It was all I cared about. So I didn't notice too much [else going on]. When I got home [one] day, my dad's furniture was gone, my mom was inside crying and everything just erupted at that point. I was 18, sitting in my driveway when it all went down. So I just took everything from that day and put it into a song."
14) Though many critics at the time considered Take Off Your Pants and Jacket to be a concept album about the pains of adolescence, the band disagrees with that perception. "The things that happen to you in high school are the same things that happen your entire life," Hoppus responded. "You can fall in love at sixty; you can get rejected at eighty."
15) Blink-182 wrote 'Happy Holidays, You B*****d' as a joke to piss of the parents of their teenage fans.
16) On the clean version of the album the track "Happy Holidays, You B*****d" is listed as just "Happy Holidays" and had to be released as an instrumental track without vocals because every line of the song included either explicit language and/or sexual references.
17) The Federal Trade Commission's report charged MCA Records and Blink-182 for marketing explicit material to children not long after the album released.
18) Rock Hard magazine ranked Take Off Your Pants and Jacket at #452 in their book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.
19) Kerrang! named it as one of the 50 best rock albums of the 2000s.
20) The album's cover includes three icons referencing the title: a plane, a pair of pants, and a jacket. DeLonge and Hoppus wanted to assign each member of the band an icon. Their symbols became the pants and jacket, respectively. Barker, who had an intense fear of flying, was upset that he had been assigned the plane symbol.