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Flying oh so high: Candlebox’s self-titled debut turns 30

Maverick Recording Company

Candlebox‘s self-titled debut album was released July 20, 1993 — 30 years ago Thursday.

Like many of the biggest bands of the ’90s grunge era, Candlebox hailed from Seattle, and their debut followed the release of scene staples such as Nirvana‘s Nevermind, Pearl Jam‘s Ten, Alice in ChainsDirt and Soundgarden‘s Badmotorfinger. While they were naturally compared to other Seattle bands of the time, Candlebox frontman Kevin Martin felt his band approached their sound a little differently than their Emerald City peers.

“Our tone was a lot more in the vein of the arena rock of Journey or Def Leppard or something like that,” Martin says. “We liked the big sounds, we liked the bombastic idea of rock ‘n’ roll.”

Martin shares that writing the Candlebox album “happened very fast for us,” noting, “I think it was because we all felt the direction that we were going was something that was interesting and new.”

“Obviously, it wasn’t groundbreaking,” he says. “But for the Seattle scene, it was certainly different.”

Candlebox would spawn the hit singles “Far Behind” and “You,” and the album would eventually be certified four-times Platinum by the RIAA. In between all that, the band had a memorable meeting with Madonna, who co-founded the label Maverick, which released the album.

“When we first met her it was the night before we played Madison Square Garden with Rush,” Martin recalls. “She took us to a restaurant and we chatted about the band. At that point, we had already gone Gold, so she was just telling us how grateful she was and excited.” (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)

Candlebox is currently on a farewell tour. They’ll release their final album, The Long Goodbye, on August 25.

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