Our top ten Less Than Jake songs list looks at one of the longest running and successful bands of the ska punk genre. They hail from Gainesville, Florida. The line-up consists of vocalist and guitarist Chris DeMakes, bassist and co vocalist Roger Lima, drummer Matt Yonker, trombone player Buddy Schaub and saxophonist Peter Wasilewski.
Less Than Jake first formed in 1992. Over the next couple of years they released various ep’s and singles before the release of their debut album Pezcore in 1995. After this record’s success they signed to Capitol Records and released their second album and major label debut Losing Streak in 1996. Over the next couple of years, they had a couple of line-up changes before the release of Hello Rockview in 1998. This album contained songs such as “All My Best Friend Are Metalheads” which is considered to be an anthem for the band. In 2000 they released their fourth album Borders and Boundaries which was released on Fat Wreck records after they had left Capitol. After this album was released, their toured with Bon Jovi and took part in the Warped Tour.
2002 saw the release of Goodbye Blue and White which was a compilation consisting of the band’s early recorded demo material. Their next proper album Anthem was released in 2003. In 2004, they released a B side compilation titled B is for B sides. Less Than Jake took a break from touring in 2005 and spent most of that year writing and recording. The next album In With the Outcrowd was released in 2006. After this they returned to touring and were on the road until 2007 during which time they performed several of their albums live in their entirety. In 2008, they formed their own label named Sleep It Off records, which was named after a song from their B side compilation. As the next decade emerged, Less Than Jake became somewhat less prolific. Their next proper album See The Light did not emerge until 2013. Their most recent album Silver Linings was released in 2018.
Less Than Jake are a band who have always been very popular due to them being known for their sense of fun and humour. Their music is very energetic and their live shows are particularly enjoyable experiences. They have been very influential within the ska punk scene with their music which is a unique combination of both genres. Here is a list of their ten best songs.
# 10 – Automatic
Kicking off our top ten Less Than Jake songs list is this track taken from the band’s second album Losing Streak released in 1996 of which it is the opening track. The album was recorded in two different studios, with the bass and drums being recorded separately from everything else. It got to number eighteen on the Top Heatseekers chart.
# 9 – Liquor Store
Next up is another opening track, this time off Less Than Jake’s first album Pezcore released in 1995. The album was reissued in 1996 with two tracks missing. It was reissued again in 2002 to celebrate ten years of the band’s existence. It was then reissued again in 2008 on the band’s own Sleep It Off label.
# 8 – The State of Florida
The next track on this Less Than Jake songs list is a track taken from LTJ’s seventh album released in 2008 through Sleep It Off. It was produced by Matt Alison along with band member Roger Lima. The band consider this record to be their “quintessential” album. It was received positively by critics and got to number nine on the Billboard Independent Album Charts.
# 7 – The Brightest Bulb Had Burned Out/ Screws Fall Out
Next we have a song from Less Than Jake’s fifth album released in 2003 titled Anthem of which it is the closing track. The album was produced by Rob Cavallo and to date is the band’s most commercially successful album, getting to forty-five on the Billboard 200. It was the first album to feature saxophone player Peter Wasilewski.
# 6 – Look What Happened
Ending the first half of the list we have a song taken from the group’s fourth record released in 2000 titled Borders and Boundaries. It was recorded at Grand Master Studios with producer Steve Kravac and was the last record to feature both saxophonist Darren Nuhfer and trombone player Pete Anna. Then drummer Vinnie Fiorello stated that this song is about “feeling like your busting out to leave.”
# 5 – National Anthem
Here we have a track that was not featured on an actual album but was instead included on the band’s B Side compilation B is For B Sides released in 2004. It is rather strange how the band chose not to put it on a proper album as it is a very powerful and energetic song that would have been worthy of inclusion on one of the band’s records.
# 4 – The Science of Selling Yourself Short
Next up is another song taken from Anthem. Part of the touring cycle to promote this album was a support slot on Bon Jovi’s US Arena Tour. This is a mid-paced song that is heavily reggae influenced and is apparently about “the science of just doing all the stuff bad to yourself that you shouldn’t be doing.”
# 3 – Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts
Here is a song that was included on two albums. It was first released on Pezcore then it was re-recorded and included on Losing Streak. Presumably referencing the character from the nineties cartoon show, the song is a sarcastic dig at people in the punk community who were saying that the band had sold out.
# 2 – Gainesville Rock City
Just off the top spot is another song taken from Borders and Boundaries. The band got together to write this album, which was different to the previous two albums which had both written whilst the band were in the studio. The song is a homage and tribute to the band’s hometown of Gainesville, Florida. The album’s cover art features a map of said city.
# 1 – All My Best Friend Are Metalheads
At the top of this list is the track that is considered to be the band’s signature song that was taken from the band’s third album Hello Rockview released in 1998. Despite the album being released that year, this song was not put out as a single until two years later. In the UK singles chart, it got to number fifty-one. It was featured in the video game Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 as well as Digimon: The Movie.
Top 10 Less Than Jake songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business or any organizations is allowed to republish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission.