Good morning Avocados and welcome to my first artist spotlight on this new website. Long time readers of my spotlight reviews know that I put a lot of time and effort to put out a review that I deem worthy for you all to read. The reason being is that I want to perfectly explain why I love said band or artist as much as I do and for the most part try and convince the unconvinced to give them a chance. And to this end, I usually focus on musical artists that are huge or well known in the music world but get a lot of what I feel is undue hate because of one reason or another. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t sometimes talk about a band that is critically loved and just give my own reasons for liking that band (as the next artist spotlight I’ll have up next time will do just that…). But for today, I thought it was fitting to start off this new Avocado M-AM Artist Spotlights off with a bang, by talking about my favorite band of all time, Green Day.
I’d just like to note for the uninitiated, I like to put my own spin on these artist spotlight’s. In a M-AM Artist Spotlight, before I start talking about an artist’s discography proper, I like to discuss a little history about the artist and/or my own personal connections to. From there I then transition to which songs I like from them from each album or I just list them all together under my own made up “Best Of” compilation album if I feel they don’t have strong enough albums to highlight and discuss. The reason for this is because the songs that I list are ones that I truly love and would like for those who want to try and get into the band to listen, because I feel those may be the ones to make them see my POV.
Now for those of you who read all my artist spotlight’s on the old website, this spotlight may seem familiar. That’s because it is a redux of one that I’ve done before redone to fit the standards I hold myself to today. This will be the case for the first 25 artist spotlights I post on this website as they all will be reuploads of my old work. Now with that out of the way, let’s begin in earnest.
So you may be asking yourself, why would Green Day be M-AM’s favorite band of all time? Well it goes back to a story I’ve told a few times in the past but am willing to go over it again. When I was younger, I was bullied a lot as a child. And that’s not an understatement. The years of ridicule and verbal assault thrown my way before I was even 10 emotionally scared me in more ways than one. People made fun of me because I had a speech impediment, and it didn’t end until high school when I moved to different city where by that time my speech problems were over. But the damage had already been done, unsure in myself and afraid to socialize with other people, I still have trouble with dealing with people to this day. But back then during the peak of the bullying when I was in middle school, I was in a bad place to say the least. But then I found solace in an album that was released a few years earlier on September 20, 2004, Green Day’s American Idiot.
After hearing the lead single of that song on the radio going to school one morning, I remember wanting that album so bad. I remember saving up all the money that I had at the time to go out and convince my parents to buy it for me. I thought that single was amazing because it captured all the anger and frustration that I had at the time and encapsulated into one song. Listening for the album front to back for the first time sent me on an emotional rollercoaster that I will never forget. I was captivated by story of the album and in particular the one that took place in Jesus of Suburbia. At first, I was in awe to what I just heard and was trying to take everything in. After processing it through my young 11 year old mind, I was extremely happy in a way I don’t even know how to express. I was relieved to find out that I wasn’t the only person in the world who was going through troubles and hardships, and I can take comfort knowing things could only get better from there. I have not felt that way before or since.
I can safely say that not only did Green Day and American Idiot make me the person I am today, but they without a doubt saved my life. Had things kept going the way they were going up until high school, I may have grown suicidal and end my suffering once and for all. But things did not turn out that way, and I owe that to Billie Joe Armstrong and God. His incredibly simplistic but yet deep song writing affected my life for the better and I am forever grateful. It is for this reason in large part that I will forever see this band in a positive light and nothing they could ever do will change that. Or at the very least, I’ll remember them for before they did whatever unspeakable act that they did.
But if I were going to be quite honest, I would probably still regard Green Day as my favorite band of all time even if they had no impact on me as a child. I just love the chemistry Billie Joe Dirt, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool have as an ensemble with Jason White being there for support. For those of you who remember my old artist spotlights, you already know that I love fast upbeat music that is also catchy. And whose better at that then Green Day? For me, I just love their commitment to consistency and never forgetting who they are. They may not be the greatest, or smartest, or most trail blazing band of all time but damn it all they are great at what they do. And what they do is make great mainstream alternative rock music. They know who they are and give no fucks about it. Whether you like them or not makes no difference to them, they just want to make the music they want to and have a fun time doing it.
That was just some of the many reasons why I love this band so much and I can go and on, but I feel like this is a good time to transition onto the history of the band and how they began.
In October 1986, Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt first formed the first incarnation of Green Day known as Sweet Children. Armstrong later stated his biggest influence in deciding to become a musician was the band Operation Ivy and nothing else stood close in terms of impact on his life. After many band changes and the permanent addition of Tre Cool on the drums, Green Day came into existence in 1989. That’s just a brief summary of what actually happened and if you want to know the full story, I’d suggest you check it out. It’s pretty cool to see just how many changes happened before they became the band we know today. And in case you didn’t know, the members decided on the name Green Day based on their fondness of marijuana.
Now this is the last part of my artist spotlight reviews. Here is where I either go over each album the band has made and the songs I love from them, or I list my favorite songs from them under my own curated fan made album. Well don’t worry, today I will be going over each album in detail. Out of their 12 studio albums, I unequivocally love 126 of them. So needless to say, you will be well covered here.
The group toured their local Oakland/Bay Area playing covers of famous punk songs while mixing in their own original work. In 1991, the band released their first official record “1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours.” It was culmination album encapsulating all of their prior EP’s and songs mixed in a professional studio.
1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours
1.) At the Library
2.) Green Day
3.) Going to Pasalacqua
5.) Road to Acceptance
7.) 1,000 Hours
This compilation album didn’t sell all particularly well at the time or in any of its reissues over the year. But it did accomplish in putting Green Day’s name out into the public conscience. They would build on this new goodwill in its critically received follow up, Kerplunk released on December 17th, 1991.
1.) 2000 Light Years Away
2.) One for the Razorbacks
3.) One of My Lies
4.) No One Knows
5.) Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?
6.) Words I Might Have Ate
7.) Best Thing In Town
9.) My Generation
As I said earlier, this album was well liked at the time and later went on to become Platinum selling over 2 million copies worldwide. At this point, most people would have rested on their laurels and kept would be risk averse in trying something new in fear of losing their newfound fame. But not Green Day as we would see time and time again. Sometimes to the detriment of public opinion at large, but more on that later. For now, they would continue mixing their punk sensibilities into a mainstream pop format and hit lightening in the bottle with Kerplunk’s followup, Dookie.
Entire Album (but the version of F.O.D I prefer is the one from Foot In My Mouth)
Dookie was released on February 1st, 1994 and instantly became a smash hit with lead singles that were radio stations’ favorites with songs like “When I Come Around,” “Basket Case, and “She”. The album of course went Diamond, selling over 20 million copies worldwide with 10 million of that coming from the U.S alone.
You would think that at this point in their career that all things were sunshine’s and lollipops and that they were at the top of the world. While they really happy that people liked their music, they would struggle to maintain their fame and success while having to deal with their record company keeping an unfair portion of the residues from Dookie. I’d suggest you look into this point in their history if you are truly interested in knowing the whole story. For the purpose of this spotlight, I will just note that this period of internal turmoil and struggle continued during the making and touring of their next two albums: Insomniac and Nimord
1.) Nice Guys Finish Last
2.) Hitchin’ a Ride
3.) The Grouch
6.) All the Time
7.) Worry Rock
8.) Platypus (I Hate You)
10.) Walking Alone
12.) Take Back
13.) Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
I wanted to talk about the two albums together because they are very similar in tone and both find Billie Joe Armstrong struggle to find an identity of what he wants the band to be. Insomniac released on October 10th, 1995 while Nimrod released on October 14th, 1997. Both albums sold around 2.1 million (more proof of their similarities) and went 2 times Platinum. Following the release of Nimrod and its infamous single “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” most of Green Day’s original fanbase left the band citing that they were no longer a “punk rock” band. Now that’s a whole other mater all together but all I will say is this: who fucking cares? The band decided to screw the world and they were going to make the punk pop, alternative rock that they wanted and if anyone didn’t like it, they could kick their ass. And to this end, they decided to embrace their punk pop sensibilities with the excellent album, Warning.
2.) Blood, Sex and Booze
3.) Church On Sunday
4.) Fashion Victim
Released on October 3, 2000, the album sold 1.2 million and was officially the point that any old remaining fans of the band left the ship. And like I said earlier, the band didn’t care. They were finally happy making music and worked out the situation with their record label.
I just wanted to mention the best of album, International Superhits! Released on November 13, 2001 because it has a few songs not previously released on any album proper that I like.
2.) Poprocks and Coke
These are all cool songs and the album sold a little over 2 million copies, so that’s cool.
At this point, the band continued to just tour and having a good time doing it. They were happy and having fun, but decided that they needed to comment on the state of the American people in what I believe is their Magnum Opus, American Idiot.
Entire album except “Homecoming.” It ruins what otherwise would have been a perfect album in my opinion. I would post YouTube Videos of every song off the album but I’ll just post these two:
You already know why I love this album from up above so I don’t need to go into that here. It was released on September 21st, 2004 and sold 14 million worldwide going 6 times platinum. If you hate this album, that’s fine. I don’t care. But I do want to hear what that is the case. Let me know down below.
At this point, they toured off this album for nearly 5 years and released a live video album called Bullet In a Bible on November 15th, 2005. While the whole album is good, I just wanted to single out their performance of “King for a Day/ Shout (Live).” It’s really good and fun just like the whole album. Check it out if you want to see them in action. It’s much better than there only other live album, Awesome as Fuck.
So how do you follow up an album like American Idiot? You release a spiritual sequel to it 5 years later called 21st Century Breakdown.
21st Century Breakdown
1.) Viva la Gloria!
2.) Before the Lobotomy
3.) Christian’s Inferno
4.) Last Night On Earth
5.) East Jesus Nowhere
7.) Last of the American Girls
8.) Murder City
9.) Viva la Gloria? (Little Girl)
10.) Restless Heart Syndrome
11.) Horseshoes and Handgrenades
12.) The Static Age
13.) American Eulogy: Mass Hysteria/ Modern World
*Quick note I despise “21 Guns” By far among the worst songs they have ever made.*
Released on May 15, 2009, the album attempts to tell a story just like American Idiot. It sold 3.8 million copies worldwide and while it is not as good or as focused as American Idiot was, it’s still a fucking good album. In my opinion, I feel it is a good send off to what I feel is peak Green Day.
I say sendoff because every album released after 21st Century is a band past its prime, but still making music. And don’t get me wrong, I still like and love these albums in their own way, but even I can tell they are not the best has to offer. Well let’s talk about them, shall we?
Entire album except “Oh Love” and “Kill The DJ”. Ironic that the two songs I don’t like from the album are the only two singles from it. Which unfortunately turned off a lot of people to the entire album and its two sequels. Because other than those, it’s great. It was released on September 12, 2012.
Dos: Entire album except “See You Tonight” and “Makeout Party”. This is the best album of the trilogy and it’s not even close. In my opinion, Dos is legitimately their best work since American Idiot. Given how much I loved American Idiot’s sequel 21st Century Breakdown, that’s saying something. It’s that good. People hate on Nightlife as a weird and odd song, but it’s weird and experimental in a cool way. It was released on November 13, 2012.
1.) Brutal Love
2.) Missing You
3.) 8th Avenue Serenade
6.) 99 Revolutions
It was released on December 11, 2012. Something that I did not mention earlier was that at this time, Billie Joe Armstrong released hard on his drug and alcohol addiction and had to go to therapy. I will leave that at that and will note that he has since been clean and better than ever, even releasing a new album on October 7, 2016 called Revolution Radio.
1.) Bang Bang
2.) Revolution Radio
3.) Say Goodbye
4.) Still Breathing
I will be straight up, while I really like the 4 songs listed up above, the rest of the album is really bad. It’s by far their worst album in my opinion only followed by its preceding album Tre. But the band is still touring and having a good time. And that’s all that I can ask as a fan.
And that’s it. Green Day. I could go on for days in detail what I love about every song mentioned above, but I won’t bore you with that. Heck this revision plus my original work on this spotlight is over 5 hours of work and I’m tired. Instead I want to ask you all a question: Why do you think of Green Day? Do you like them or indifferent all together? If you hate them, tell me why down below. I hope you enjoyed this first of many artist spotlight’s on this new website and I hope you enjoy the countless many to come.