When I first heard Green Day back in 1994, when the Dookie album was their current release, I never would have imagined just how influential of a band they would end up becoming. I have to admit that at the time “Longview” was popular, I really didn’t care for the song or the band. The song that ultimately sold me on Green Day was their biggest pop hit, “When I Come Around.” When I purchased the Dookie album, I took another listen to “Longview” and “Basket Case,” and I realized that the songs really weren’t that bad. I think my problem was more with the fact that both of the songs and their respective videos were being overplayed, and I became sick of them rather quickly.
When I started dating the guy who would become my husband, he exposed me to more of Green Day’s material. It was around that time that the Insomniac album came out. I liked some of the songs I heard from the album, such as “Geek Stink Breath” and “Brain Stew/Jaded“; unfortunately, these songs were nowhere near as popular as the singles from Dookie.
Their next album, Nimrod, came out while I was pregnant with our first child. I have memories of hearing “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” on the radio, and holding my infant daughter in my arms. “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” was such a departure for Green Day at that time. It was an acoustic song, and primarily featured Billie Joe. Not only was the song a standout in their catalog, it also became one of the biggest pop hits of their career.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of memory of when the Warning album came out. While I remember occasionally seeing the videos for “Minority” and “Warning” on television, I really wasn’t really hearing the songs on the radio very much. However, I have to say that I do like and appreciate both of these songs.
2004 saw Green Day release American Idiot, which really gave the band a boost after the Warning album. The album is by far one of the best the band has ever released. There’s a definite story the band was trying to tell with it, and they were also able to tap into the then-growing feeling of dissatisfaction in the United States at the time. My personal favorite songs on the album include “American Idiot,” “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams,” “Holiday,” “Are We the Waiting,” “Give Me Novocaine,” “She’s a Rebel,” “Extraordinary Girl,” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”
In 2009, the band released 21st Century Breakdown. This album also attempts to tell a story about disenfranchised youth, but overall, I didn’t think it was quite as strong as American Idiot. My favorite songs on the album are the two singles, “Know Your Enemy” and “21 Guns.”