Fall Out Boy: Behind the Hits
by Evan Lucy | February 13, 2013
Fall Out Boy fans received quite the pleasant surprise last week when the band announced its reunion after a three-plus-year hiatus. Armed with a new album (Save Rock & Roll, due in May), they look poised to hit the ground running and recapture their pop-punk crown.
Fall Out Boy emerged in 2001, with members culled from the close-knit Chicago punk and hardcore scenes. (Previously, bassist Pete Wentz played in Arma Angelus, a hardcore band that also included Rise Against singer Tim McIlrath.) The group caught the tail end of the nü-pop-punk revival, begat by blink-182's worldwide success in the late '90s and early 'aughts. Their 2003 debut full-length, Take This to Your Grave, gave the quartet major traction in the emo/pop-punk scene (including a coveted side stage slot on a blink-182 mini-tour), but it wasn't until 2005's double-platinum From Under the Cork Tree that the group broke big, morphing into a household name and scoring a 2006 Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.
Thanks to hit singles "Sugar, We're Goin Down" and "Dance, Dance," Wentz and singer Patrick Stump became the Warped Tour generation's new dynamic duo. Stump's reverence for R&B and soul gave the group a powerful weapon many of their counterparts lacked: an unmistakable voice that refused to be lost in a sea of sound-alikes. Meanwhile, Wentz, with a knack for one-liners and a dramatist's flair, was the wordsmith and at times de facto frontman, attracting plenty of paparazzi and back-page mentions. Wentz's lyrics were largely introspective and insular, often dealing with the trials and tribulations of fame and life in the spotlight; the bassist also moonlighted as label boss of Decaydance Records, his Fueled by Ramen imprint that launched the careers of Panic! At the Disco, Gym Class Heroes and Cobra Starship.
But the band eventually grew tired of being constrained by the pop-punk tag, and later albums found them dabbling in everything from bits of blues and jazz to glam rock and piano ballads. After supporting blink-182's comeback tour in 2009, the group (undoubtedly worn down by the rigors of success) took a hiatus to decompress and focus on their own separate projects. In the interim, guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley joined The Damned Things, a hard-rock supergroup featuring Anthrax's Scott Ian; Wentz continued running his Clandestine Industries clothing line and started reggae-pop act Black Cards; and Stump launched a solo career, issuing his debut album, Soul Punk, in 2011.
While we await the band's next move and more new music, here's an insider's guide to some of Fall Out Boy's best non-singles, presented in chronological order. Enjoy.