The follow-up effort All the Pain Money Can Buy appeared in early 1998, featuring a considerably tighter band and more pop flourishes. Although the bandmates were still working side jobs at the time of its release, leadoff single "The Way" proved to be a meteoric hit, topping the American rock charts for seven weeks while enjoying crossover success as a pop single. "Fire Escape" and the piano-fueled "Out of My Head" did similarly well, and All the Pain Money Can Buy went platinum within six months of its release, earning two Grammy nominations along the way. Fastball celebrated their success with a considerable amount of touring, including shows alongside Marcy Playground and Everclear.
The Harsh Light of Day arrived in fall 2000, featuring piano work by Billy Preston and an increasingly arty sound. Although "You're an Ocean" cracked the Top 40, the album's sales were extremely slow, and Fastball eventually left the Hollywood roster in favor of a new deal with Rykodisc. A retrospective compilation, Painting the Corners: The Best of Fastball, marked the band's final release for Hollywood Records in 2002. Two years later, they resurfaced with Keep Your Wig On, having fully embraced their power pop roots with the help of co-producer Adam Schlesinger. While the album didn't yield any successful singles, it still strengthened Fastball's work ethic, with frontmen Zuniga and Scalzo writing together for the first time. That collaborative spirit helped fuel another album, Little White Lies, which appeared in 2009 to warm reviews. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi