On Smashed Hits, Fastball perform their biggest hits from the '90s live plus a few surprises for good measure.
In the eclectic and ever-evolving landscape of '90s music, Fastball emerged from the underground rock scene of Austin, Texas, like a comet streaking across the night sky. Their journey, which began in 1994 under the moniker Magneto U.S.A., was destined to rewrite the rules of alternative rock, ultimately solidifying their status as one of the era's standout acts.
At the time, Magneto U.S.A., who was comprised of the talented trio of guitarist/vocalist Miles Zuniga, bassist/vocalist Tony Scalzo, and drummer Joey Shuffield, boasted a unique fusion of influences. Their sound was a harmonious blend of melodic, Beatles-inspired pop sensibilities, and the edgy, alternative aesthetic that was synonymous with late-'90s mainstream rock.
In 1996, the band took a giant leap forward by signing a major label deal and changing their name to the one we know today, Fastball. This pivotal moment birthed their debut album, Make Your Mama Proud, a record that served as an enticing introduction to their captivating musical journey. With this release, Fastball exhibited their unparalleled ability to seamlessly intertwine contemporary flair with the timeless allure of pop hooks, foreshadowing their imminent ascent to the mainstream stage.
The band's sophomore effort, All the Pain Money Can Buy, hit record stores in early 1998, showcasing a tighter-knit band and an even greater infusion of pop flourishes. Despite the band members still maintaining side jobs at the time, this album would change the course of their careers forever.
Leading the charge was the unforgettable lead-off single, "The Way," a musical masterpiece that soared to the top of American rock charts for a staggering seven weeks. But the track was not content with just rock supremacy; it effortlessly crossed over into the realm of pop, captivating listeners from all walks of life. Other songs like "Fire Escape" and the piano-driven "Out of My Head" followed suit, leaving an indelible mark on the alternative rock landscape.
The album achieved platinum status within a mere six months of its release, a testament to its enduring appeal and the band's remarkable songwriting prowess. Along the way, Fastball earned two well-deserved Grammy nominations, solidifying their place in rock history.
Fastball's journey from Austin's underground rock scene to mainstream stardom was nothing short of meteoric, and their music remains a cherished chapter in the book of '90s rock. With their irresistible blend of modern innovation and timeless pop craftsmanship, Fastball created an indelible mark on the music world, forever etching their name among the stars. Now they are sharing the best of those songs in the newly recorded live collection, Smashed Hits.