If you’re a fan of pop/punk or emo music, there’s a good chance one of your favourite bands has released a record via Fueled By Ramen. The label was formed in 1996 by John Janick and Less Than Jake drummer Vinnie Fiorello. It took a few years but the label bagged big success in the emo revolution signing bands like Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco and Paramore.
We thought we’d get a little nostalgic and take a walk-through the label’s essential releases. It tracks the move from emo to pop and the diversification of genre that’s happened increasingly over the last two decades. We start with Jimmy Eat World and end with Panic! At The Disco in their latest incarnation.
Jimmy Eat World - Jimmy Eat World EP (1998)
The Jimmy Eat World EP wasn’t the first release on the label but it was the first one that went big for them. It was the band’s only release for the label but it lined them up for their third album Clarity which garnered critical acclaim. It was also the album before Bleed American which spawned a little known song called The Middle. For FBR, this EP gave them notoriety and led them to a streak that helped them blitz the early ‘00s.
Fall Out Boy - Take This To Your Grave (2003)
The Fall Out Boy and FBR partnership all kicked off with their debut album Take This To Your Grave. While they would explode with their second album From Under The Cork Tree, this record set it all up, laying the foundations for what would become one of the most prominent emo bands in the genre’s history. It was the only album the band released on the label but Pete Wentz did set up his own label Decaydance as an arm of FBR.
Panic! At The Disco - A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (2005)
Panic! At The Disco were actually one of the first bands to sign to Wentz’s Decaydance. It was a good move too because in the midst of the emo revolution, A Fever You Can’t Sweat out became not only a cult favourite but a huge commercial success. The album went all the way to #13 in the US and spawned a hit of its own with I Write Sins Not Tragedies which cracked the #10. More than a decade later, Panic! are still releasing their albums through FBR.
Gym Class Heroes - The Papercut Chronicles (2005)
Also signed to Decaydance, Gym Class Heroes added to the label’s 2005 streak, breaking through with a commercial hit. The Travie McCoy-led group released their second album The Papercut Chronicles which will forever be remembered for top 10 track Cupid’s Chokehold. The Supertramp-sampling song featured Fall Out Boy lead singer Patrick Stump and took the band from cult heroes to household names.
Paramore - RIOT! (2007)
FBR first signed Hayley Williams as a solo artist but she formed Paramore and began to release music under the band name. Their first album All We Know Is Falling established them as a bright new pop/punk presence but RIOT! took them big. The punchy record with big pop hooks and howling guitars was led by Misery Business, awarding the band their first of many hits. All these years later, Williams has finally gone solo but Paramore are still together, with the artist ensuring that there are still plenty more Paramore shows to come.
The Academy Is… - Fast Times At Barrington High (2008)
While emo music was booming The Academy Is… were making a name for themselves as one of the genre’s most notable bands. They released all three albums via FBR but Fast Times At Barrington High was the most successful of all of them, bagging them a moderate mainstream hit with About A Girl. Unfortunately, the band quit while they were ahead and Fast Times was their last ever album.
Cobra Starship - Hot Mess (2009)
Gabe Saporta’s synth-pop act Cobra Starship gained notoriety when it was picked up by Wentz’s label Decaydance but it became much bigger than anybody could of predicted. The first album was a cult favourite but by Hot Mess it had comfortably crossed-over into the mainstream thanks to Top 10 single Good Girls Gone Bad which featured Gossip Girls It Girl Leighton Meister.
Fun. - Some Nights (2012)
With the vocal prowess of Nate Ruess and the writing skills of Jack Antonoff Fun. were almost guaranteed to be a success. Their first album failed to set the charts on fire but they teamed with FBR for their sophomore record which took off in a big way. Lead-single We Are Young was a global number one and the title track nabbed the same success. The band hasn’t released an album since with Ruess releasing solo music and Antonoff producing for Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Lorde and more.
Twenty One Pilots - Blurryface (2015)
After self-releasing their first few records, Twenty One Pilots teamed with FBR in 2013 for Vessel. That record put the band on the radar but it was Blurryface that blew them up. The genre-crossing record took them to huge venues around the world and featured two of their biggest records to date Stressed Out and Ride. The band has only released one album since but they still have one of the strongest fanbases you’ll find.
All Time Low - Last Young Renegade (2017)
All Time Low are one of the most enduring pop/punk bands of all time but it took them more than a decade to team with FBR. They released their seventh album with the label and nabbed their fifth US Top 10 album in the process. It was one of the band’s darkest records but it all took inspiration from Bowie and Prince, offering one of their most diverse music palettes yet. Now they've just announced their new album, Wake Up, Sunshine.
Panic! At The Disco - Pray For The Wicked (2018)
The emo phase was a big one but many of the bands that it birthed failed to sustain their success. That’s why it’s so unbelievable to consider that Panic! bagged their biggest hit more than a decade after their debut. Pray For The Wicked was a huge pop album inspired by Brendon Urie’s Broadway run and it connected in a big way. High Hopes is their highest charting single in the US and their first Top 10 since 2006’s I Write Sins Not Tragedies.