311's 12th album was an album of firsts: the first to be produced by John Feldmann and the first to be released by the BMG label.

For fans of the band, March 11 has forever been known as 311 Day. So let’s celebrate the Omaha quintet on their special day.

 

311‘s (grass) roots go all the way back to 1988, when the band formed as a quartet in Omaha, Nebraska. Their first release, a cassette demo called the Downstairs EP, dropped in 1989. A year later, current guitarist Jim Watson replaced founding guitarist Jim Watson. In 1992, the 311 we’ve all come to know and love took shape with second vocalist and turntablist SA Martinez joining the group.

 

1993 saw Capricorn Records put out the band’s full-length debut, Music. The album included a reworked version of “Feels So Good” from their Downstairs EP, but the single “Do You Right” was the real noisemaker. This was the song that got a bit of radio airplay outside of the Cornhusker State, making it all the way to the Top 30 of the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. An impressive impact from a new act on an independent label.

 

Revisiting 311’s Catalogue on 311 Day

From there on, the band was clearly committed to achieving mainstream success. Including their debut, they put out 3 albums in 3 years, with their self-titled 1995 release serving as their breakthrough. That type of consistency–alongside a touring schedule that would bring them back to every major city in the U.S. on what seemed like an annual schedule–helped establish 311 as one of the most popular acts of the ’90s.

 

But their popularity didn’t wane at the end of that decade, even when radio and MTV airplay did and their release schedule slowed down. 311 figured out early on that their brand of music was best experienced live, and that their fans loved that experience most of all. So while they plot their next set of tour dates, let’s take a trip through their entire catalogue to date.

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