Once Upon a Time at the Top of the Charts: Matchbox 20, “Bent”
15 years ago today, Matchbox 20 utilized the forward momentum they’d accumulated from the four – count ‘em – four top-40 singles that emerged from their debut album, Yourself or Someone Like You, not to mention the success that frontman Rob Thomas experienced through singing “Smooth” for Santana, and found themselves atop the Billboard Hot 100 with the first single from their sophomore release, Mad Season.
Written by Thomas, “Bent” is a song about a couple, and although both members of the couple are – to use the composer’s own choice of phrase from Matchbox 20’s episode of VH-1’s Storytellers – “messed up,” it doesn’t matter because, hey, at least they’re together. Never a real love-song kind of guy, the track was reportedly the first time Thomas ever tried to write such a thing, but if it was originally intended as an experience, you can’t say it wasn’t a successful one: not only did it hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it also topped the Mainstream Top 40 and the Adult Top 40 charts as well as Canada’s Top Singles chart and their Alternative 30.
Mad Season went on to score a few other sizable hits for Matchbox 20, including “If You’re Gone” and the album’s title track, but while the former hit #5 on the Hot 100 and topped the Adult Top 40, neither song came anywhere close to hitting the heights of “Bent.”