Produced by Neil Avron, who has also worked with New Found Glory, Fall Out Boy’s 2005 album From Under The Cork Tree was their first released on the major label Island Records. It’s also the first full-length album the band produced. It was released on May 3, 2005.
The title is derived from a line in the book The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (link). The album cover illustrates a van with a trailer in a heap of snow. This is a reference to a car accident the band was in while on the way to New York to film the video for Take This to Your Grave’s “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy.”
Though it was typical of its genre (pop-punk, punk or emo), From Under the Cork Tree was a far bolder album than their previous, Take This To Your Grave, being packed with catchy, sarcasm-based songs about the familiar – messing up with girls. But in many other ways it was the same old blast of pop-punk that was shown on Take This To Your Grave.
Fall Out Boy is an American punk rock band from Wilmette, Illinois, that formed in 2001. The band consists of Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman (lead guitar), and Andy Hurley (drums). Stump is Fall Out Boy’s vocalist and guitarist, Wentz its bassist and lyricist. Wentz’ song titles can be lengthy — “I Slept With Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me,” as one title goes, or the first on this album, “Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued.”
Three singles were released from this album: “Sugar, We’re Goin Down”; “Dance, Dance”; and “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More ‘Touch Me’.” Fall Out Boy has won several awards for this major label debut album, and the album has achieved double platinum status after selling more than 2.5 million albums in the United States alone.
Fall Out Boy — From Under The Cork Tree: Track-by-track review
1. “Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued”
This song starts out with the sound of cameras clicking, and proceeds on to a catchy and speeding intro. The opening line is “Brothers and sisters, put this record down. Take my advice (’cause we are bad news).” There is something to say about this song being first on the record, the significance being that it is the impression that Fall Out Boy wants you to have of them.
“Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued” — that’s what really happened. The band was planning to call the track “My Name Is David Ruffin and These Are the Temptations,” but higher forces intervened. In an interview, Wentz said
“It was kind of supposed to be our nod at a bio piece on the Temptations and David Ruffin and where the separation lies between being a superstar and a megalomaniac. But our label said, ‘You’re going to get sued for doing that,’ and our lawyer said, ‘You’re definitely going to get sued for doing that,’ which totally sucked. So we said, ‘OK, why don’t we immortalize you in a song?'”
Many people also believe that this song was previously named, “I Loved You Before You Were a Myspace Whore,” and that the band had been forced to change the title because they weren’t allowed to mention Myspace. Also, the camera clicking at the start of the song could relate to the many photos that Myspace is famous for, and the line about a “ribbon round my wrist” is thought to refer to people self-harming, which Myspace users are surprisingly open about.
Personally I would agree with the first opinion, I think the song refers to another band, The Temptations, and the title was banned due to the realization that the band could easily be sued for using someone’s name.
This song could easily be used as party music, keeping everyone lively, giving them something to think about. It is very jumpy and happy sounding, though the lyrics give a different impression!! It is perfect for fans of Blink 182 or New Found Glory.
2. “Of All The Gin Joints In All The World”
The “oh! ohs!” and punchy chords of “Of All the Gin Joints in All the World” are a thrill greater than any! They’re like the “na na nas” of Blink 182’s “All The Small Things,” or the “yeah yeahs” of Lit’s “Completely Miserable.” It’s something a bit different, but still ever so catchy, and gets you singing it over and over for the next few hours at least. I think this song is definitely worth a listen.
The title is a reference to a quote by Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (DVD). The lyrics indicate a young couple, or at least a couple who are new to each other.
Turn off the lights and turn off the shyness
‘Cause all of our moves make up for the silence
And oh, the way your makeup stains my pillowcase
Like I’ll never be the same
It seems he has a lot of secrets and he’s scared of sharing them with her, because he really loves her, so he’s not sure how to open up to her. They’re really shy with each other in public, but when the lights go out they share everything with each other. He knows it is a relationship that will change him and his life forever, which is indicated in the line “Like I’ll never be the same.”
I used to waste my time dreaming of being alive
Now I only waste of dreaming of you
This shows he is changing, and that he is of course falling for the girl.
3. “Dance, Dance”
This catchy tune seems to be about a guy who has found out his girl is cheating on him (“She says she’s no good with words but I’m worse”). She is offering an excuse as to why she can’t explain her cheating, but he is having a more difficult time holding back his anger about it, rather than being able to talk to her reasonably about the matter.
I’m two quarters and a heart down
The conversation is obviously on the phone, which explains the two quarters, and he is crushed, explaining why he is ‘a heart down.’
“Dance Dance” is him ignoring the reality, acting as if nothing is changing. He happily dances, a word which gives off connotations of happiness, ’cause people dance at weddings and parties don’t they?! (Weddings and parties being places of happiness and joy.)
“And these are the lives you’d love to lead” is him wishing he was living the life of the man who his girl is cheating on him with. “This is the way they’d love if they knew how misery loved me” is him believing that his girl and her new man don’t love each other as much as he and the girl had, but they would definitely do so if they knew the degree of pain it caused him to find out about their escapade.
“You always fold just before you’re found out.” I think this part is more about how the girl always gets out of the jam before she’s exposed for cheating. “I only want sympathy in the form of you crawling into bed with me” means he is showing again that’s he is no good with words, as he is using her for physical satisfaction.
I’m thinking maybe “Dance Dance” refers to the repetition or the work involved in relationships? Half time is a count used in music and in dancing. When he says, “We’re falling apart to half time” it’s like they are in a dance. Either they are physically dancing to a half time beat or they’re relationship is just a dance and they are really just falling apart.
“Dance Dance” was released as the band’s second single from their third studio album. Released in 2006, the single reached 9 in the US, becoming their second Top 10 single. The song hit 8 the UK singles chart, becoming their second Top 10 hit there as well.
It’s been included in multiple video games; Burnout Revenge (link), Madden 2006 (link), and the home version of Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA (link), to name a few.
Pete Wentz whispers 37-39 seconds into the song. What he says is still disputed. On the album, many say it sounds like “We’re going into B-Minor.” However, live he has said, “I just miss you so much.” The demo version of the song also includes a whisper which is something along the lines of “I miss you” repeated back and forth between the left and right speakers. The demo for the song includes an extra verse that was later cut out of the original.
This track, contradicting the name, would not be a favourite to dance or sing-along to, try something more along the lines of “Sugar We’re Going Down” or “XO.”
4. “Sugar, We’re Going Down”
The first single off the album, “Sugar, We’re Going Down” was a real turning point for the band, being the first mainstream song the band had released. Let’s just say it got the band noticed!
The single reached 8 in the U.S., becoming Fall Out Boy’s first top 10 single. Two different CD singles were released with different B-sides, Part I with a green cover and Part II with a red cover. In the UK, the song first charted on January 21, 2006, hitting outside of the Top 20 at 24. However, it appeared again on the charts in February, and entered the chart in the Top 10, at its peak position, 8. It remained in the UK Top 75 for seventeen weeks.
From personal experience, the atmosphere when “Sugar, We’re Going Down” gets played live is immense — it seems the whole room unites with Patrick’s voice, with not a word out of place, and sings its heart out. It’s something not to be missed, to say the least.
The song seems to illustrate a guy who is becoming frustrated when he is falling for a girl who is emotionally detached from him, when they do at least share a physical relationship. It isn’t particularly lively, or easy to dance to, but it definitely has something about it, maybe it’s the hypnotizing lyrics? Or maybe just the perfect sounds Patrick Stump’s voice can accomplish?
This song should definitely be played very loud!!
5. “Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner”
The title is taken from a Dirty Dancing (DVD) quote spoken by Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) about the main character of the film. Baby (Frances) kept Johnny a secret from everyone because she wasn’t supposed to have anything to do with him. “I’ll be your best kept secret and your biggest mistake” is a line with much relevance to the movie.
I believe this song is about a guy whose girlfriend cheats on him (Pete’s girlfriend, in fact, cheated on him with his two best friends in the same weekend). Because of this, he is confused, and his emotions are a bit mixed.
Drink down that gin and kerosene
And come spit on bridges with me
Just to keep us warm
Light a match to leave me be
Light a match to leave me be
Gin and kerosene together would, of course, be highly flammable. Lighting a match would make the bridge, which the girl is invited to ‘spit’ on, catch on fire and burn down. Thus, I believe this lyric is meant to refer to ‘burning bridges’ and is being used as a metaphor. ‘Burning bridges’ can be interpreted different ways, but considering the line “Light a match to leave me be,” it could be meant as burning ‘social bridges.’
“I keep my jealousy close/’Cause it’s all mine.” Obviously, he would be feeling jealous if she cheated on him, but the line “’cause it’s all mine” could be him feeling like he has lost a lot, and the jealousy is all he can manage to keep for himself, whereas he was not able to keep his girl, her trust or her affection.
“And if you say this makes you happy / Then I’m not the only one lying.” Once he’s found out about the cheating, there would very obviously be tension in their relationship, which would make both of them unhappy. But if the girl really wanted to be with him, she would lie about being happy, which could be what “lying” refers to.
“Keep quiet / Nothing comes as easy as you.” The “keep quiet” could maybe mean he’s tired of hearing her excuses. The other line could be a reference to how easy or slutty he feels she is for cheating on him.
“Can I lay in your bed all day?” Personally, I think this line tends to give off a hint of sarcasm. I think it is another reference to how the writer thinks the girl is ‘easy,’ or maybe it’s an impersonation of the man she cheated on him with, or her?!
“The hand behind this pen relives a failure every day.” Because of her cheating on him, he feels like a failure in general. By him writing about it (and hence this song) he feels he is showing other people that this happens to that they are not losers, and it can happen to the best of people.
So wear me like a locket around your throat
I’ll weigh you down
I’ll watch you choke
You look so good in blue
You look so good in blue
I think that these lines refer to the girl using the writer as a ‘trophy,’ something to show off about. Maybe she never even loved him in the first place, and is just using him. For example, if it were Pete, she could be using him because of his fame? This means she will feel smothered as she is not really in love with the person, and hence she is choking. Another theory I have is that if she was using the person, then the reference to her being ‘blue’ could also be a symbol for being cold.
The song is pretty fast paced, which means it could be danced to easily enough, or even better, could create a pretty hardcore mosh pit! I, personally, think the song should be played loud, but not too loud, too loud would be too much!
6. “I’ve Got A Dark Alley And A Bad Idea That Says You Should Shut Your Mouth (Summer Song)”
Pete was going through a rough period of depression/anxiety before the release of From Under The Cork Tree. Before they were even done recording he ended up taking a drug called Atavan to help with panic attacks.
His condition became so bad that back in November, while sitting in a Best Buy parking lot, he took a mouthful of the pills, popped in (it is said) a copy of “Hum Hallelujah” into his CD player, and called up his manager. While talking, his speech became slurred, which worried his manager. Pete then passed out and his manager knew something was wrong because Pete was not replying and he could hear the music. Pete’s mother was called and she came to his aid, finding him slumped over in the driver’s seat. She took him to the hospital.
If you listen to the words, you can hear about how he was worried about the album (“faking it for the airwaves, force our smiles”) and wanted to be “known for their hits and not just their misses,” putting “reputations on the line,” and how Fall Out Boy would be considered “the poets [who] are just kids who didn’t make it.” “And the record won’t stop skipping” is attributed to him passing out in the car with his band’s record playing.
“Please put the doctor on the phone…” That part was considered to be the suicide note he fortunately never got to write. Pete said
“Not a good experience at all. At the time I was really into Frou Frou, but I was in my sister’s Escort, so I was probably listening to Q101 in Chicago. So it was whatever new-metal band that was big then. Probably Trapt. It was a bum-out.”
This song is a lot slower than the typical song by Fall Out Boy; it includes far less slams on the guitar than something like “Sophmore Slump Or Comeback Of The Year,” or “All of The Gin Joints In All of The World.”
7. “7 Minutes In Heaven (Atavan Halen)”
“7 Minutes in heaven” is another song that tells a little bit about Pete’s depression. The parenthetical part of the title is “Atavan Halen”. Atavan is the drug he almost OD’d on… it provided him 7 minutes in heaven.
“I’m having another episode, I just need a stronger dose” must be referring to a panic attack. He said
I was isolating myself further and further, and the more I isolated myself, the more isolated I’d feel. I wasn’t sleeping. I just wanted my head to shut off, like, I just wanted to completely stop thinking about anything at all.”
Though what’s worth considering is: could the 7 minutes in heaven have been ‘at-a-Van Halen’ concert?
“I’m not going home alone because I don’t do too well on my own” is about moving back in with his parents after nearly killing himself.
I keep telling myself
I keep telling myself
I’m not the desperate type
But you’ve got me looking through the blinds
I think this part refers to paranoia, I think he thinks he cannot cope if he hasn’t piled up on drugs. Which is making him nervous, and therefore look through blinds?
This song seems to carry on the stereotype of Fall Out Boy; it has a similar feel and doesn’t sound like a completely different band or genre. It’s quite fast paced, but isn’t the most lively song produced by the band, though it could get a crowd going definitely! Also, for fans of Panic! At The Disco, Brendon Urie features in this song.
8. “Sophmore Slump Or Comeback Of The Year”
Quoted from Pete Wentz at a show:
This one’s about our old town, a Chicago suburb, that is probably one of the most boring places ever, and how I wanted to burn that motherfucker to the ground
This is clearly illustrated in the line “I’d swear I’d burn this city down to show you the lights.”
The second record that a band puts out is called a “sophmore record.” So maybe he is asking if the album is going to fail or if it will do well. Another idea is that the CD is a comeback at all the kids who used to take the mick out of the band when they were at school, but who now buy their CD’s. Pete once said
You know, when we were all kids in high school, people made fun of us. They called us losers, faggots, homos, and emos. But now, they’re coming to our fucking shows, buying our fucking CDs, and singing our fucking music. This song goes out to you
The song is reasonably fast paced, and features, for fans of The Academy Is…, William Beckett. This, personally, is a favorite of mine, it’s catchy, clever, and an ultimate live favorite!
9. “Champagne For My Real Friends, Real Pain For My Sham Friends”
This title is taken from a quote by Edward Norton in the film 25th Hour (DVD).
“CHAMpagne for my real friends” is a toast to all his loyal friends and “REAL pain for my SHAM friends” is a witty way to say that people who use you aren’t important. I think this again relates to those people who used to dislike the lads but are now tripping over themselves to be nice. “Moving units” is referring to selling records. “And we’re friends, we’re friends. Just because we move units” means that they think people are only being friends with them because they are selling records, either for the money or the fame.
This song carries on characteristically in the band’s genre. It’s a bit slower than some of the more snappy tunes previously on the record.
10. “I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me”
A definite favorite of mine!
I believe this song is about a girl the lyricist had a crush on when he was a kid. It seems he meets her again after a period of time. “I found the cure to growing older” means he wants to go back to being kids, the way things were, because he misses her. “And you’re the only place that feels like home” makes it seem like he wants to tell her he feels like she’s the only one he feels right, or like himself, around. But he won’t tell her he still feels the same way about her. This is shown in the line “Just so you know, you’ll never know / Some secrets weren’t meant to be told.”
However, lines that confuse the listener are
So douse yourself in cheap perfume
It’s so fitting
So fitting of the way you are
Can’t cover it up
Can’t cover it up
Maybe this means the girl has changed in a way that will not be respected by the writer.
This song is a bit more on the ’emo’ side, having a bit more rougher singing, typically referred to as ‘screamo.’ It’s a good song all in all, and is one of the best on the album. Definitely worth a listen. For fans of New Found Glory, Chad Gilbert features in this song.
11. “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More “Touch Me””
“A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me’,” released in 2006, is the third single from the album. Though the song never reached the popularity that previous singles “Sugar We’re Goin’ Down” and “Dance, Dance” achieved, it received plenty of airtime on pop and rock stations. The video also reached 1 on TRL on both May 5 and May 8, 2006.
The song was previously called “A Little Less Molly Ringwald, A Little More Samantha Fox.” Molly Ringwald is an actress who starred in the 1984 movie Sixteen Candles (DVD). “Touch Me” is a reference to the hit song by Samantha Fox.
Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco sings background vocals throughout. The track is extremely addictive, as is the video. It’s a lot more ‘happy’ sounding than some of the previous tracks, and is very lively and a very good listen also.
12. “Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying (Do Your Part To Save The Scene And Stop Going To Shows)”
The title refers to a quote from The Shawshank Redemption (DVD).
One of the more interesting songs on the album, this one really is something different. It includes, at the end, a ‘speech’ by Wentz:
From day one I talked about getting out
But not forgetting about
How my worst fears are letting out
He said “Why put a new address
on the same old loneliness?”
When breathing just passes the time
Until we all just get old and die
Now talking’s just a waste of breath
And living’s just a waste of death
And why put a new address
on the same old loneliness?
And this is you and me and me and you
Until we’ve got nothing left!
This is really intense, in my opinion it really engages the listener. I love it! I also think it’s a clever play on words: “Talking’s just a waste of breath / And living’s just a waste of death.” People have to breathe to live, hence the relation between life and breathing and death.
The song starts out pretty calm, but the pace picks up a bit after the first verse, and especially in the chorus. It also includes a lot rougher vocals again, like in “I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me.”
This song is about finding a girl in a club, getting drunk off your face and going back to the hotel with her, then waking up in the morning and realizing what you’ve done. “To drinks at the club, to the bar, to the keys in your car / To hotel stairs / To the emergency exit door” seems to portray a series of events.
“To the love / I left my conscience pressed / Between the pages of the Bible in the drawer / What did it ever do for me? I say” seems to refer to a hotel, as there always seems to be a Bible in hotels.
This song again is typical of the genre of Fall Out Boy. It’s jumpy, catchy and definitely worth a listen! It starts out quite slow but tends to speed up later in the song.
From Under The Cork Tree by Fall Out Boy
“Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued”
“Of All The Gin Joints In All The World”
“Sugar, We’re Going Down”
“Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner”
“I’ve Got A Dark Alley And A Bad Idea That Says You Should Shut Your Mouth (Summer Song)”
“7 Minutes In Heaven (Atavan Halen)”
“Sophmore Slump Or Comeback Of The Year”
“Champagne For My Real Friends, Real Pain For My Sham Friends”
“I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me”
“A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More “Touch Me””
“Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying (Do Your Part To Save The Scene And Stop Going To Shows)”