Stephan Jenkins founded Third Eye Blind in San Francisco, California, in 1993. The name refers to one of your chakras, the third eye. After graduating from the University of California Berkley, he decided to start the band. He went through several musicians before finding Fungo Mugo bassist Arion Salazar. After an early concert, Kevin Cadogan met Jenkins and joined the group alongside former Counting Crows drummer Brad Hargreaves. Despite many people adding Third Eye Blind to the long list of post-grunge groups in the late 90s, their style was more upbeat and less angry. The group started their fanbase playing small shows in San Francisco, starting to find their sound. As yet unsigned, Stephan Jenkins garnered attention by producing The Braid’s cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, earning him a publishing deal rumored to be the highest any unsigned artist received. In 1996, the group opened for Oasis at the Civic Auditorium. A year later, they released their debut album, staying on the Billboard 200 over a year. The group has evolved over the years, changing several musicians. However, Third Eye Blind is still recording and producing. They recorded their last album in 2019 with Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan. These are the 10 Best Third Eye Blind Songs of All-Time.
The first few bars of this song are light and airy. However, it quickly goes into the group’s signature song. The lyrics are the movie American Pie encapsulated in 3 minutes. The lyrics are about someone who wants to succeed and all the plans he has but wondering if he’ll accomplish everything he wants in life.
9. Sharp Knife
This song is from the group’s fourth album, Ursa Major. The music veers in and out of stripped-down guitars and drums and the group’s signature sound. It’s a stream of consciousness song about all the pitfalls in life. We all reach bottoms, and this song’s lyrics relate well to the struggles, so many people feel.
8. Say It
Everyone puts up walls in a relationship. Some people have a tough time revealing who they are behind the mask they show to the world. This song has many uptempo portions that compliment the lyrics, where a person is asking their partner to let down their guard and let them see who they are. During the final verses, a piano is added to the instrumentation with smoother guitar riffs segueing into a seemingly different genre of music, complete with a voice-over. The song closes with a steady rhythm of rock guitars and the refrain, say what you mean.
7. Wake for Young Souls
An uptempo song from of the group’s most underrated albums, Jenkins’s voice shines against the backdrop of simple guitar riffs and light rock guitar. The song’s meaning is about the times in life when we look back and see things very differently than we did when we were living the moments. Even though most of the song is light and airy, Third Eye Blind sneaks in portions of guitar and drums with the late 90s feel.
Although many of Third Eye Blind’s songs are troubling subjects hidden in uptempo beats and heavy guitar, Darwin has straightforward lyrics. Additionally, it is one of the group’s songs with a pure fun vibe, even if it is about a subject some people might find touchy.
A standout on this song is the piano intro. As the song progresses, it feels more like the 80s than the 90s. The character in the song is trying to get someone to understand their feelings. Much like the song’s title, the lyrics use the analogy of a relationship being a drug. Nonetheless, it’s not about an addictive or co-dependent relationship. Instead, it’s about finding the person who always makes you feel a little drunk on love.
4. If There Ever Was A Time
In 2011, the movement Occupy Wall Street started. Third Eye Blind released this single to show their support for the protests. Much like the protest songs of the 60s, this song encourages people to stand up for what they believe and let their voices be heard. Additionally, it speaks to the apathy people feel because they don’t think they don’t have a voice. Some of the lyrics are about the current socio-economic conditions and class division. Overall, it’s an anthem encouraging people to unite behind a common purpose. Much of the song has a reggae undoubtedly to promote energy and unification.
3. Never Let You Go
Similar to How’s It Going To Be, this song is about the dissolution of a relationship. However, the group embraces a sound similar to Southern California bands making it seem upbeat even though it’s about someone who gets dumped when the other person promised they would be together forever. The words imply that the relationship is not over; the guitars and percussion at the song’s end suggest that it has been over for a long time.
2. How’s It Going To Be
This song was the third single from their freshman album. It peaked at number 11 in 1997. The lyrics and music in this song are a moody soliloquy about the end of a relationship. The first two verses are punctuated by a simple drum beat and Jenkins’ character thinking about breaking up with someone and realizing he doesn’t care. As the song progresses, the guitar riffs amplify, and you start to hear anger. The character in this song has tried everything to make it work and can’t.
1. Semi-charmed Life
In the late 90s, this was one of the “it songs” dominating the radio. It’s one of the songs that is an instant throwback to misspent youth, mainly for people who are now quickly approaching middle age. However, much like other songs, the beat is deceiving. The true meaning of this song is the darker side of drug addiction and how it destroys a relationship.