Thursday, November 17, 2011

Forgotten Songs of the '90s: Fastball

Forgotten Songs of the ‘90s: Fastball

When Fastball broke out from the Texas underground in 1998, most people assumed they’d just be another one hit wonder when “The Way” became one of the biggest hits of the year. By the end of the year, when they released the second single from their sophomore album, All the Pain Money Can Buy, they were almost correct. But “Fire Escape” is a song that deserves to be remembered for what it really is: a fantastic pop song.

Right off the bat, the odds were against the song becoming a hit, because for one thing, guitarist Miles Zuniga wrote and sang the song as opposed to bassist Tony Scalzo who’d sang “The Way.” Zuniga’s voice has a little more gruff to it and doesn’t really sound as radio friendly as Scalzo’s but that’s one of the song’s biggest charms. By the fall of 1998, you wanted to hear a song that was a little darker than everything else because it all sounded so dandy and sweet.

As a result of the song being about wanting to hang around your ex even though you’re done is a bit creepy and the song’s video did not help matters at all. The video depicted the band’s number one fan who ended up kidnapping the band and slowly killing them including drowning Scalzo in a bathtub. Consequently, the song flopped and the record looked like it was done until they released a third single in the spring of 1999; “Out of My Mind” became a top twenty hit and helped push the album past platinum. But “Fire Escape” was lost in the shuffle and even though it was later used in “The Prince & Me,” it still seems like it’s the least remembered Fastball song and that is a damn shame that needs to change.

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