“45” from 2003’s “LEAVE A WHISPER”
Jacksonville has been the breeding ground of many of the biggest Southern rock bands: The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet, and 38 Special. But there was a gap of almost 30 years until the next great Jacksonville band, Shinedown. Their 2003 debut even included a cover of Skynyrd’s Simple Man. Radio was quick to jump on Fly From The Inside, the emotional power ballad Burning Bright, but the most popular and controversial was 45. After MTV starting censoring lines like “staring down the barrel of a 45”, Shinedown stood up to MTV and asked them to ban the video. If MTV could play gangsta rap why were they so offended by Shinedown’s song which actually used the lyrics as a metaphor for standing up for yourself against the world.
“SHED SOME LIGHT” from 2005’s “US AND THEM”
For their second album, Shinedown and their label pushed up their marketing campaign and linked their songs to the WWE and their Wrestlemania pay-per-view extravaganza. Fittingly the songs like “Save Me“, “Heroes“, “I Dare You” had an epic, superhero feel to many of the lyrics. Save Me was a song that Brent Smith started working on when he was just a teenager, how exciting that years later, that song become a major hit. Shed Some Light is my all-time favorite song by Shinedown. The emotions spill out as Brent begs for answers, digging deep into his soul. Here’s a live version accompanied with Lizzy Hale of Halestorm.
“SECOND CHANCE” from 2008’s “THE SOUND OF MADNESS”
After years of building up their core audience, Shinedown was on the verge of breaking out. Their third CD, The Sound Of Madness, accomplished their goal. The album went platinum, hit #1 on the Billboard Rock Charts, and has been a permanent fixture on the Top 200 charts. Their power ballad, Second Chance, become a favorite for lovers everywhere as the song became their first #1 hit. Another ballad, If You Only Knew, was written for Brent’s unborn child and only further showed the maturing of Shinedown. The deluxe version of the CD included another duet with Lizzy Hale of Halestorm on Breaking Inside.
“MIRACLE” from 2011’s “AMARYLLIS”
With eager anticipation, their 4th CD, Amaryllis, was set to the become the biggest album in Shinedown’s catalog. The band was now headlining concerts and internet leaks of the new album were adding to the excitement. Unfortunately, the CD never lived up the hype. The lead single, Bully, became a hit but not many fans would list the song among the group’s best. The follow-up, Unity, conjured up images of 3 Doors Down. It was upbeat and a solid radio track but was one of the few bright spots on a very predictable rock record. At this point, the CD has yet to sell 500,000 copies, less than a third of “The Sound Of Madness“.