TBT: 1997, When Third Eye Blind Lived a Semi-Charmed Kind Of Life

by Alisha Jackson

During this week in 1997, Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life” was halfway through its six-week reign at the top of the Billboard Pop Songs chart.

You may remember every word to the song (impressive!), but did you know these throwback tidbits?

1. It’s a response to Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side.”

Stephan Jenkins said in an interview that the song was Third Eye Blind’s updated response to Reed’s 1972 hit.

2. Jenkins originally spoke the verses.

You can hear the song’s original demo in the video above. Jenkins obviously ended up singing the verses in the final recording of the song, but he initially spoke them in the demo. The original lyrics “crystal methylene (instead of doing crystal meth) will lift you up until you break” can also be heard in the demo above.

3. Both a clean edit and a radio edit of the song were released.

If you grew up listening to the song on the radio, then you most likely heard one of these versions. Both edits cut out section 2:20 through 3:07 of the album version of the song. The only difference between the “clean edit” and the “radio edit” was the words “crystal meth.”

If you grew up not knowing the entire second verse and second chorus, then you probably listened to the song on an adult contemporary radio station.

4. Part of the song can be heard in “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Polka Power!”

Who doesn’t love a Weird Al throwback?

Those are your Throwback Tidbits for the 1997 hit, “Semi-Charmed Life”! Check back next Thursday for a brand new #TBT!

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