Remembering Sublime’s Bradley Nowell On The 20th Anniversary Of His Passing

first_imgForever tied to the sunny shores of California, the music of Sublime has inspired a generation of artists and listeners since its release throughout the 1990s. The band only existed for a short time, but their music lives far beyond its time, powered by the iconic vocals and guitar playing of the late great Bradley Nowell.Nowell was primarily responsible for bringing the reggae/ska influences to band members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh during the band’s formative years. Over years of organic growth, Sublime built a strong following in California. Their debut album release 40 Oz. To Freedom continued that trend, and local radio station KROQ picked up the song “Date Rape” to give the band their widest reach yet.While the band’s experimental second album, Robbin’ The Hood, was a commercial flop, the work done for the album cemented their fusion sound. With elements of rock and rap infused in their reggae sound, the Sublime phenomenon would soon take hold nationwide. Though they were invited on Van’s Warped Tour, the group was kicked off after a week for their unruly behavior.Still, the group was pressured into putting out a new studio album. In early 1996, the band began recording what would be their third studio album. The self-titled work has become their most identifiable, despite its tragic ending. On May 25th, 1996, Bradley Nowell succumbed to a heroin overdose and passed away at the age of 28.With the material recorded for the album, Sublime was released posthumously, and has since gone platinum five times over. It won the band national, and international, recognition, and propelled Sublime into the spotlight. With songs like “What I Got,” “Santeria,” “Wrong Way,” “April 29, 1992 (Miami),” and more, it’s no surprise that Sublime was destined for greatness. It’s tempting to speculate as to where Sublime would have gone had Nowell survived, but the pages of rock and roll history have unfortunately already been written.It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since Bradley Nowell left this Earth. In honor of the late legend, you can enjoy the band’s classic Sublime album, and watch some interview footage of the whole group just months before Nowell’s death. RIP Bradley Nowell.last_img read more