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Green Day
Green Day performing in January 2017; from left to right: Jason White, Jeff Matika, Billie Joe Armstrong, Tré Cool, Jason Freese, and Mike Dirnt
Green Day performing in January 2017; from left to right: Jason White, Jeff Matika, Billie Joe Armstrong, Tré Cool, Jason Freese, and Mike Dirnt
Background information
Also known asSweet Children (1987–1989)
OriginEast Bay, California, U.S.
Years active1987–present
Past member(s)

Green Day is an American rock band that formed in 1987. The members of the band are Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals, guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass guitar, vocals), and Tré Cool (drums, percussion), Jason White (guitar/vocals) and Jason Freese (keyboard). Jason Freese only participates in concert tours. Green Day is often celebrated as one of the best punk rock bands currently performing.

At first, Green Day was part of the punk rock culture at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, California. Its album Dookie (1994) became a success. Soon, it sold more than ten million copies in the United States alone, and 20 million copies worldwide.[1] The album was well reviewed and the band were praised for its music and sales.[2][3] Green Day had three more albums after that, Insomniac, Nimrod and Warning. They were still successful albums, reaching double platinum, double platinum, and gold status respectively. However none of these albums sold as well as their third album, Dookie.[4] Green Day's 2004 rock opera American Idiot sold six million copies in the United States.[5]

Green Day has sold over 85 million records worldwide,[1] 32 million of them in the United States alone.[6] They also have won four Grammy Awards, Best Alternative Album for Dookie, Best Rock Album for American Idiot, Record of the Year for the song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Best Rock Album for 21st Century Breakdown and have also been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

Band history[change | change source]

Formation and Lookout! years (1987–1993)[change | change source]

In 1990, Lookout! released Green Day's first album 39/Smooth. Green Day recorded two EPs: Slappy and Sweet Children. Lookout! Records released 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, an album that had the 39/Smooth, Slappy, and 1,000 Hours EPs in it. In late 1990, shortly after the band's first worldwide tour, Sobrante left the band.[7] The Lookouts drummer Tré Cool became a replacement, and then became a permanent replacement because Sobrante did not want to come back. Green Day was on tour for most of 1992 and 1993, and played a lot of shows overseas in Europe. Its second album, Kerplunk, sold about 50,000 copies in the U.S.,[8] which was a lot for the punk band in 1992.

Breakthrough success (1994–1996)[change | change source]

Kerplunk's success made major record labels interested in Green Day, and they soon left Lookout! and signed with Reprise Records after getting the attention of producer Rob Cavallo. Signing to Reprise made many punk rock fans think Green Day as sellouts.[9][10] After signing with Reprise, the band went to work on making its major label debut, Dookie.

Released in February of 1994, and recorded in 3 weeks,[11] Dookie became a commercial success, making it to MTV for the videos of the songs "Longview", "Basket Case", and "When I Come Around", all of which made it to the number one position on the Modern Rock Tracks charts.

Insomniac was a darker, more punk release for the band than the rocking Dookie.[12] Insomniac earned 4 out of 5 stars from Rolling Stone Magazine, which said "In punk, the good stuff actually unfolds and gains meaning as you listen without sacrificing any of its electric, haywire immediacy. And Green Day are as good as this stuff gets."[13] Insomniac won the band award nominations for Favorite Artist, Favorite Hard Rock Artist, and Favorite Alternative Artist at the 1996 American Music Awards. The video for "Walking Contradiction" got the band a Grammy nomination for Best Video, Short Form, and a Best Special Effects nomination at the MTV Video Music Awards.

In 1995, a new single for the Angus soundtrack was released, titled "J.A.R.". The single went straight to number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. After that, Insomniac, Green Day's new album, was released in the fall of 1995. After that, the band stopped from going on a European tour so they could rest for a while.[14]

Nimrod and Warning (1997–2000)[change | change source]

A Green Day concert on one of their tours

In 1997, Green Day began to work on a new album.[15] They came up with Nimrod. The new album was released in October 1996. The success of "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" won the band an MTV Video Award for Best Alternative Video.

In 2000, Green Day released Warning, an album that had types of songs that Nimrod did. Though the Warning made the hit "Minority" and a smaller hit with "Warning", some observers thought that the band was losing popularity.[16] Warning was certified gold by the RIAA.

At the 2001 California Music Awards, Green Day won all eight awards that they were nominated for.

American Idiot[change | change source]

In the summer of 2003, the band went into a studio to write and record new songs for a new album titled Cigarettes and Valentines.[17] After making 20 tracks, the master tapes were stolen from the studio. The band was upset and chose not to try to re-create the stolen album, but instead start over with a vow to be even better than before. In this same year, Green Day went with Iggy Pop on two tracks for his album Skull Ring. They took "band therapy," talking for a long time to work out the members' differences after accusations from Dirnt and Cool that Armstrong was "the band's Nazi"[18] and a show-off bent on taking the limelight from the other band members.

The 2004 album, American Idiot, was number one on the Billboard charts, the band's first ever album to top the chart, even with success of the album's first single, "American Idiot.

Through 2005, the band toured for about 150 days— visiting Japan, Australia, the United States and the UK, where they had a crowd of 130,000 people in only two days. While touring for American Idiot, they filmed and recorded the two concerts at the Milton Keynes National Bowl in England, which was voted 'The Best Show On Earth' in a Kerrang! Magazine Poll.

These recordings were released as a live CD and DVD called Bullet in a Bible on November 15, 2005. The DVD had a behind-the-scenes footage of the band, and showed how the band prepared to put on the show. The final shows of its 2005 world tour were in Sydney, Australia, and Melbourne, Australia, on December 14 and 17. On January 10, 2006 the band was awarded with a People's Choice Award for favorite group.[19]

Green Day live in Germany during the American Idiot tour.

In 2006, Green Day won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"[20] which spent 16 weeks at the number one position of Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks.

In an interview with Kerrang!, Billie Joe said that 2008 would "be a fair estimate of the release date of their new Untitled Eighth Studio Album."[21] In October 2007, Billie Joe said more on this new album, saying he had been writing new songs on the piano, and had around 45 of them. He said he wanted the new music to dig into what he's feeling during that time - which is middle-aged.[22]

In 2009 Kerrang! named American Idiot the best album of the decade,[23] NME ranked it #60 in a similar list,[24] and Rolling Stone ranked it 22nd.[25]

21st Century Breakdown[change | change source]

In an interview with Kerrang!, Armstrong said that 2009 would "be a fair estimate of the release date of their new untitled eighth studio album for Green Day." It was revealed that Butch Vig would be producing the upcoming album in an interview with Carson Daly.[26] The gap of nearly five years between their previous album, American Idiot, and their newest release was the longest gap in Green Day's career. While the band had been working on new music since January 2006, by October 2007 Armstrong had written 45 songs, the band showed no further signs of being close to releasing a new album until October 2008, when a video of the group recording with producer Butch Vig in the studio was posted on YouTube.[27][28]

Their newest album, titled 21st Century Breakdown, was released on May 15, 2009.[29] Called "Green Day at their best" by Seattle Weekly's Krist Novoselic,[30] the album has received mostly positive reviews. Rating website Metacritic reported a rating of 70% as of July 2009, based on 30 reviews.[31] After it was released, 21st Century Breakdown reached #1 on the charts in fourteen different countries.

Music style and influences[change | change source]

Green Day's sound is often compared to first wave punk rock bands such as the Ramones, The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Jam, and the Buzzcocks.[14] Stylistically, the group is characterized as punk rock,[32] pop punk[33] and alternative rock.[34]

Most of their songs are fast and under the average song length of four minutes (4:00), though some of their songs run on longer such as "Jesus of Suburbia" which runs for nine minutes. Billie Joe Armstrong said that some of his biggest influences are alternative rock bands Husker Dü and The Replacements.[14] Armstrong's lyrics mostly describe alienation, hysteria, girls, growing up, and what happens to someone if they take drugs. The Ramones had lyrical themes that were also close to Green Day's lyrics such as hysteria, alienation, girls, and drugs. Green Day has covered Ramones songs a few times, such as recording "Outsider" for the tribute album We're a Happy Family, and performing "Blitzkrieg Bop" and "Teenage Lobotomy" when the Ramones made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Band members[change | change source]

Current members[change | change source]

Former members[change | change source]

Current touring musicians[change | change source]

Former touring musicians[change | change source]

Session musicians[change | change source]

Discography[change | change source]

Studio albums[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  • Cohen, Jonathan (2004). "Green Day's 'Idiot' Fueling Banner Year". Billboard.com. Archived from the original on April 6, 2005. Retrieved July 27, 2005.
  • Cohen, Jonathan (2005). "Green Day not ready to rest 'Idiot'". Billboard.com. Archived from the original on November 28, 2005. Retrieved July 27, 2005.
  • Spitz, Marc. Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Times, and Music of Green Day. New York: Hyperion, 2006. ISBN 1-4013-0274-2
  • The Green Day Story (Broadcast on Radio 1 Mon 20 June 2005) (Different link Archived 2012-12-09 at Archive.today)

Notes[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Myers, Ben. "Green Day: American Idiot and the New Punk Explosion Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine" April, 2006.
  2. DeRogatis, Jim. Milk It!: Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90's. Cambridge: Da Capo, 2003. Pg. 357, ISBN 0-306-81271-1
  3. D'Angelo, Joe (2004). "How Green Day's Dookie Fertilized A Punk-Rock Revival". MTV.com. Retrieved 2006-07-26.
  4. Rock On The Net: Green Day
  5. "Green Day Timeline". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 2007-05-04.
  6. "RIAA Bestsellers". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on 2007-05-16. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  7. "Green Day". Pure volume. Archived from the original on January 5, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  8. Thompson, Dave. "Green Day." Alternative Rock. San Francisco: Miller Freeman Books, 2000.
  9. Reflecting on the period, Armstrong told SPIN magazine in 1999, "I couldn't go back to the punk scene, whether we were the biggest success in the world or the biggest failure ... The only thing I could do was get on my bike and go forward."
  10. Smith, RJ. "Top 90 Albums of the 90's." SPIN. August 1999.
  11. "Biography Channel - Green Day". Archived from the original on 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2008-07-28.
  12. "Green Day". Behind the Music. VH1, 2000.
  13. Coleman, Mark. "Insomniac." Rolling Stone. November 1995.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Di Perna, Alan. "Young, Loud, and Snotty Archived 2009-10-27 at the Wayback Machine." Guitar World. August 1996.
  15. Spitz, Marc. Nobody Likes You. New York: Hyperion, 2006. Pg. 128.
  16. "Green Day: Warning (2000): Reviews". Archived from the original on 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2008-07-29.
  17. Spitz, pg. 152.
  18. Hendrickson, Matt (2005). "Green Day — How the brats grew up, bashed Bush and conquered the world". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 25, 2005. Retrieved November 24, 2005.
  19. "USA Today - People's Choice Award Winners". The Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  20. "Green Day's Grammy Awards Archived 2009-10-08 at the Wayback Machine" Grammy.com.
  21. "www.GreenDayAuthority.com". Archived from the original on 2011-03-13. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
  22. NMENME article retrieved October 8 2007
  23. "Kerrang! Top 50 albums of the 21st Century". Kerrang!. Bauer Media Group. 2009-08-05.
  24. "THE TOP 100 GREATEST ALBUMS OF THE DECADE". NME. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  25. "100 Best Albums of the Decade: #22-#21". Rolling Stone. 2009-12-09. Archived from the original on 2009-12-13. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  26. James Montgomery (2008-10-14). "Green Day Are In The Studio With Butch Vig For New Album, Online Video Confirms". MTV News. Archived from the original on 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  27. Jonathan Cohen (2008-10-14). "Green Day in studio with Nirvana producer". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2008-10-18. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  28. "Green Day recording at studio Oct 9". GreenDayStuff. 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  29. "Green Day unveil new album release date". idiomag. 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
  30. Krist Novoselic: 21st-Century Breakdown Is Green Day at Their Best, archived from the original on 2009-05-22, retrieved 2009-05-27
  31. "Green Day: 21st Century Breakdown (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  32. "Green Day Realize They Are Not Really the 99 Percent". Spin. 20 June 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  33. "Turning Green Day's 'American Idiot' into a rock opera". Los Angeles Times. 13 September 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  34. Abbey, Cherie D., ed. (September 2002). "Aaron Carter 1987-". Biography Today Vol. 11 No. 3. Omnigraphics, Inc. p. 17. ISBN 0-7808-0499-6.
  35. "GeekStinkBreath.net - "Behind Green Day"". Archived from the original on 2010-08-16. Retrieved 2008-07-29.

Other websites[change | change source]