Looking Back: From Under The Cork Tree

Photo: Pamela Littky

Photo: Pamela Littky

10 years ago today, Fall Out Boy released their sophomore album, From Under The Cork Tree. Yes, you read that right. It’s been 10 years since Fall Out Boy released one of the most influential albums of the mid-2000s. Head below to read more.

Asking me to choose my favourite Fall Out Boy album is like asking me to pick my favourite child. I can’t do it. I can try, but I usually find myself completely torn and in tears over it. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but all of Fall Out Boy’s albums mean something to me. If it weren’t for From Under The Cork Tree, I would have no idea who Fall Out Boy are.

When I was growing up, I loved one thing and one thing only: sports. When I was around 6, I loved hockey, and all I wanted to be when I grew up was an NHL hockey player. Then I found myself at the age of 8, still wanting to play hockey. The closest way I could live that dream was to play this video game that I got for Christmas: NHL 2006. I loved playing this game, but I loved surfing around the main menu even more because of the music that this game had selected for it’s soundtrack. On it was this song called “Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name of This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued” by a band called Fall Out Boy. I thought it was a pretty funny song title, and I really liked the song. I didn’t really investigate the band any further though. Like I said in my article about American Idiot turning 10, the accessibility of bands and music was much different 10 years ago than it is today. I could’ve looked into it more, but being 9, I didn’t really have the obsessiveness that I found later on in my teen years, where I’d hear one good song from a band and then go download their entire discography. I found myself doing that with Fall Out Boy years later.

I didn’t appreciate this album when it first came out, as I was still just getting into music. I started to really appreciate it when I was older. I honestly found myself listening to From Under The Cork Treemore this year than I ever have in the past. It wasn’t until I saw Fall Out Boy open for blink-182 on their reunion tour in 2009 that I stepped back and thought, “Woah, this could be my new favourite band.” The blink reunion tour in 2009 took place around six months after Fall Out Boy released their fourth album, Folie A Deux. I remember buying the album, but did I listen to it? Probably not. I remember that concert quite well. When Fall Out Boy took the stage and opened with “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down,” I knew that I should’ve paid more attention. They played a relatively short set, filled with tracks that I wish I would’ve been able to sing along to back then that I could definitely sob along to now. I remember when they closed with Saturday, and Pete Wentz left the stage waving at the crowd. It was like a goodbye for now, but I knew that I loved this band already, and that I’d be back for more.  

I think the saying “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” can best describe Fall Out Boy for me, because only a few months after this tour, they went on their three year hiatus. That’s when I started to listen. That’s when I realized I should’ve listened a long time ago, because none of us knew whether or not Fall Out Boy would come back or not. That’s why I can attribute Save Rock And Roll as being my favourite album, because it was the album that brought me back and restored my faith. However, if it weren’t for the opening track on From Under The Cork Tree, Fall Out Boy might have remained a mystery to me for a while longer.

I’ve mentioned a lot of my personal experience, but it’s no question that Cork Tree is the album that propelled Fall Out Boy into the mainstream back in 2005. Ten years later, and chances are you’ll hear Centuries on the radio before you’ll hear Sugar We’re Goin’ Down. This album was a crucial part to the success Fall Out Boy found, and continue to find. This is the album that no one forgets, and rightfully so. This album is so important, and you never forget the first time you listen to an album like it. Sure, Take This To Your Grave was as equally important. Don’t even get me started on that album. That’s what drew people’s attention to the band, and created a loyal underground fan base.Cork Tree was just a more well thought out album, as the band had months to record it opposed to the two weeks they had to record their debut album. One can’t pigeonhole this album as the essential Fall Out Boy album, as I think all six of their albums tell their own stories and can mean so much to all their fans through various points in their lives. It doesn’t matter if you just heard about Fall Out Boy, or you think they sold out after Take This To Your Grave. You need to listen to this record, and realize how crucial it was for the band’s success, and how important it is. From Under The Cork Tree is an album that showed the world “This is Fall Out Boy, this is who we are,” and it makes me nostalgic for the past I never had. I could not be any more thankful for this album, or for this band.