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Fame, Fortune and Fornication

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Album Review

Reel Big Fish originally formed as a cover band, playing hyperactive renditions of metal anthems and Top 40 material before discovering ska music in the mid-'90s. Although the group released several covers throughout the subsequent decade (most notably a brassy remake of A-ha's "Take on Me," which appeared on the BASEketball soundtrack), Fame, Fortune and Fornication marks Reel Big Fish's first covers-only album, featuring ten songs in less than 30 minutes. The band speeds through material by the likes of Tom Petty, Slade, and the Eagles, giving each song the standard ska remake treatment of horns, upstroke guitar, and tongue-in-cheek vocals. Poison is the only band to receive two covers, one of which — a co-ed version of "Talk Dirty to Me" featuring British accents — is perhaps the highlight of the disc. Other standouts include a version of Toots & the Maytals' "Monkey Man," an unpredictable choice that shows appreciation for RBF's predecessors. The bulk of this record is fairly humdrum, however, delivering on the typical promise of most ska cover albums (e.g. fast, humorous covers of songs that are neither fast nor humorous) but offering few surprises.

Customer Reviews

Good but not the Reel Big Fish we love...

I am one of the biggest RBF fans out I'm not a hater when I say I don't like this album a's not terrible, but it just lacks creativity because it's all cover songs....there are a few good renditions on here....but it's not exactly holding me over too well until their next album comes out later this year....THAT album will be very good I'm sure... If you're going to buy individual songs here buy Nothing But a Good Time, Mama We're All Crazy Now, Veronica Sawyer and Authority Song (the first 4 songs are the best ones)


To be brief, I feel this album is quite boring. I think of myself as a huge RBF fan, so this album strikes me as a let-down. For starters, I cannot claim to enjoy any of the original songs, which obviously affects my judgement on the covers. I view this album as filler, which never really reaches the level of previous works by RBF. I'd go so far as to say that this is their worst album to date. That being said, this is their only release that I have not loved. However, if you are desperate for stellar covers by Reel Big Fish, check out their EP (With Zolof The Rock & Roll Destroyer), Duet All Night Long.


To say that I am a little underwhelmed after listening to this album is an understatement. Reel Big Fish is my favorite band out there, and are arguably one of the most diverse musical groups today. However, after listening to this album, I was a little disappointed. While the covers are good, I was hoping for something more... In the past, they have balanced covers with original works. For me, it seems that this album was an attempt to churn out some arbitrary music to buy them some time on a new original album. My recommendation: Save the $10 dollars and put it towards their next original album (supposedly due at the end of 2009). I wish I did.


Formed: Huntington Beach, CA

Genre: Alternative

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

Reel Big Fish were one of the legions of Southern California ska-punk bands to edge into the mainstream following the mid-'90s success of No Doubt and Sublime. Like most of their peers, they were distinguished by their hyperkinetic stage shows, juvenile humor, ironic covers of new wave pop songs, and metallic shards of ska. The group cultivated an underground following that broke into the mainstream in summer 1997, when the single "Sell Out" became a modern rock radio and MTV favorite. Reel Big Fish's...
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Fame, Fortune and Fornication, Reel Big Fish
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