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The Reality of My Surroundings

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Editors’ Notes

1991’s The Reality of My Surroundings was the peak of Fishbone’s career, the moment when it combined the maturity and focus of Truth and Soul with the impulsive creativity of its early years. Even though the album was sprawling piece of work that included a string of musical interludes among its full-length songs, it won the band a wave of commercial success. At a time when the term “alternative” was just beginning to be co-opted by the industry, Fishbone presented an authentic alternative to a musical landscape dominated by Guns N' Roses and Michael Jackson. Fishbone's musical palate was refined in every corner. “Fight the Youth” was heavy, “Pressuer” was angry, and “Everyday Sunshine” was funky. Its incorporation of everything from Metallica to Parliament wasn't tokenistic; it represented musical integration in its most sophisticated form. While other artists were content to make sweeping generalizations about American ghetto life, Fishbone demanded complexity in its commentary.


Formed: 1979 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Combining equal parts of deep funk, high-energy punk, and frantic ska, the Los Angeles-based Fishbone was one of the most distinctive and eclectic alternative rock bands of the late '80s. With their hyperactive, self-conscious diversity, goofy sense of humor, and sharp social commentary, the group gained a sizable cult following during the late '80s, yet they were never able to earn a mainstream audience. Led by vocalist/saxophonist Angelo Moore, the band formed in 1979 while the members were still...
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