Top 40 Before 40 Rock Artists - #9 - Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World is one band that I can say I never get sick of listening to. Even bands that I have put ahead of them on this list can get a bit repetitive or may require the right mood to listen to. I have never heard a Jimmy Eat World song and thought, “Eh, I am just not into this right now.”

They simply rock too hard.

After first hearing their third album (Clarity - which is their second major label release) at some point in my freshman year of college, I quickly got hooked on their music. Then I went back and listened to their previous album Static Prevails and loved their music even more.

Shortly after that (like a couple of months later), the band released the album Bleed American which was a blockbuster of an album.

That album probably stayed in my car’s CD player for a full month before I switched to a different album...anyone else remember the days of a single CD car stereo?

From that point on, I knew that Jimmy Eat World was going to be around for a long time, and I became a huge fan.

For those of you who are just joining this list at this point, let me give a quick summary below:

  • In my almost 40 years on this planet, I have had the great pleasure of listening to a lot of music that doesn't make it to the airwaves, and a lot of these bands are some of my absolute favorites.
  • You WILL see some Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame bands on the list too, but for the most part, you are likely going to disagree with this list almost entirely.
  • I am sharing this ranking so that you get some insight into some great bands you may have never heard before AND for a little bit of a personal challenge to myself to rank these bands.

With that said, let's get to #9 on my Top 40 List Before 40:


#9 - Jimmy Eat World

I have probably seen Jimmy Eat World about 4 or 5 times live at this point, and they might be one of my top 3 favorite live bands to watch. They don’t do a ton of effects or anything, but damn, when they play it is loud, up-tempo and rocking as hell.

Lead singer and lead guitarist (mostly) Jim Adkins puts his heart and soul into their live shows, and the rest of the band is incredibly polished on their respective instruments as well. They are incredibly professional.

Their big hits like “The Middle”, “Sweetness”, “Pain”, and to a smaller degree “A Sunday” all have some incredible sounds and have major lasting power even if you have heard the songs hundreds of times like I have.

There have definitely been some songs that didn’t pan out as well as others, but the Jimmy Eat World sound is unmistakable and stands firm as a band that holds a solid place in rock history - especially for a band that flies under the radar most of the time.

From Static Prevails to Futures, those four albums are American classics in my opinion, and it’s not like the albums got worse over the years or anything. They are all still pretty damn good. It’s just that when the band is more “new” to the ear, everything sounds brighter and better.

Their latest album Surviving actually is one of my favorites though. The songs on the album are rocking as hell, and for a band that has been around for almost 30 years now, that is a feat that is hard to do.

It is pretty hard not to have heard of Jimmy Eat World by now if you listen to rock music, but if you haven’t heard them before, then I suggest hitting up Bleed American and Clarity as your first attempt at understanding how great these guys are.

My only wish is that guitarist Tom Linton would sing a song or two on some of their albums as I actually thought the dual singing and his lead vocals added a great element to the band overall.

He’s not a better singer than Adkins by any means, but I also believe that Roger Waters of Pink Floyd was not as good as David Gilmour yet the songs that Waters sings on are all fricking great.

Similar Artists That I Recommend That Didn't Make The Top 40:

Pixies, Midtown, Armor For Sleep

<-- Check out #10 on this list or Check out #8 on this list → (Available June 29, 2021)