13 Songs, 1 Hour 14 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

No one saw this one coming: three minute Berkeley punk rock heroes put together a compelling concept album (Punk Rock Opera) about a guy known as Jesus of Suburbia who suffers the rise and fall of the American Dream with a nine-minute track (“Jesus of Suburbia”) that splits into five parts as if it’s a tune from Rush. Other tracks follow in similar fashion, splitting into various parts. Characters such as St. Jimmy and Whatsername show up to advance a plotline that’s less important than the overall feeling that something’s going terribly wrong for everyone involved. Post-9/11, the world’s a mess and Billie Joe Armstrong summons up his inner Joe Strummer and Green Day’s Clash tendencies for the title track. But the most rewarding moments are when Armstrong lets his melodic firepower loose. “Holiday” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” use sweet choruses to express their fears and frustrations, with “Extraordinary Girl” and “Letterbomb” furthering the push for pure pop for the now concerned people. The “Deluxe Edition” contains several additional tracks outside the spectrum of the album’s original narrative that are welcomed additions to the Armstrong songwriting catalog (“Shoplifter”).

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

No one saw this one coming: three minute Berkeley punk rock heroes put together a compelling concept album (Punk Rock Opera) about a guy known as Jesus of Suburbia who suffers the rise and fall of the American Dream with a nine-minute track (“Jesus of Suburbia”) that splits into five parts as if it’s a tune from Rush. Other tracks follow in similar fashion, splitting into various parts. Characters such as St. Jimmy and Whatsername show up to advance a plotline that’s less important than the overall feeling that something’s going terribly wrong for everyone involved. Post-9/11, the world’s a mess and Billie Joe Armstrong summons up his inner Joe Strummer and Green Day’s Clash tendencies for the title track. But the most rewarding moments are when Armstrong lets his melodic firepower loose. “Holiday” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” use sweet choruses to express their fears and frustrations, with “Extraordinary Girl” and “Letterbomb” furthering the push for pure pop for the now concerned people. The “Deluxe Edition” contains several additional tracks outside the spectrum of the album’s original narrative that are welcomed additions to the Armstrong songwriting catalog (“Shoplifter”).

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
TITLE TIME
13

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
1.3K Ratings
1.3K Ratings
BillieJoeRulez ,

Great Album..Different But Good!

Green Day is known for American Idiot and Dookie. Some people say they sold out, but whatever, it's their opinion. This album is sort of a "rock opera", it tells the story of a teenager named Jimmy, who is reffered to as "Jesus of Suburbia" and also "Saint Jimmy". Saint Jimmy is Jimmy's darker side. JOS is Jimmy's rebellious and 'innocent' side. Both sides battle the troubles of adolesence, and also battle each other. Another character, Whatsername, plays a part in Jimmy's life.

American Idiot- Jimmy's veiw of America
Jesus of Suburbia- Introduces Jimmy as JOS, tells of hischildhood and begins his journey.
Holiday- Tells he is living in the streets and is running away from everything. Also states some of his political veiws
Boulevard of Broken Dreams- JOS is alone and doesnt have anywhere to go, all his happines from Holiday is gone.
Are We The Waiting- He begins to doubt himself and who he is (ex: "the Jesus of Suburbia is a lie")
St Jimmy- Saint Jimmy is introduced and the insanity and anger begins. Saint Jimmy is not afraid to kill and is 'bad to the bone'
Give Me Novacaine- Saint Jimmy and JOS bond in JOS's mind. They do drugs together and JOS depends on St Jimmy.
She's a Rebel- Whatsername is introduced. JOS falls in love with her.
Extraordinary Girl- JOS's feelings about Whatsername
Letterbomb- JOS and Whatsername break up. This is a letter to JOS from her, taunting him (ex: "Nobody likes you, everyone left you")
Wake Me Up When September Ends- JOS is alone again. (on a side note, this song is also about lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong's father's death when Armstrong was 10 years old.)
Homecomming- JOS realizes he wants to go home, but he has to get rid of St Jimmy. St Jimmy "kills himself" in JOS's mind. He is alone as life moves on around him. He misses Whatsername. He finally begins his journey home.
Whatsername- JOS regrets losing Whatsername and wonders about her.

The other songs are not directly in the story, although at some points do reffer to it.

I love all Green Day's albums, and American Idiot is as good as all of the others.

----BillieJoeRulez----

Darkjew ,

Great Album - Not a sellout

A common misconception with American Idiot is that Green Day sold out to make this album. But people forget that just because an album is popular does not make it a sell out. Selling out is defined as when a band changes their sound intentionally for their audience in order to make money.

Green Day's sound has evolved consistently from album to album. Dookie and Insomniac were quite similar, but Nimrod and Warning were all shifts in sound for the band. This shift was simply due to Green Day's own musical growth. If you have listened to Warning, you can see the stepping stones for American Idiot. Billie Joe's songwriting began to focus more on social commentary with songs like Warning, Macy's Day Parade, and Minority. American Idiot was the culmination of this change in songwriting style for the band.

American Idiot was the first song written for the album. Billie Joe heard a country song on the radio that celebrated being an ignorant hillbilly, and was disgusted by it. And American Idiot was born. Then he came up with the idea to make it a rock opera. After they finished the album, Green Day was quite unsure whether the album would be successful, for the album was orginally crafted when nationalism was high. Green Day went against the grain with American Idiot, but it just happened to come at the right time when American sentiment toward the government was beginning to shift.

No album by Green Day was more punk (and risky) than American Idiot, and just because it was insanely popular doesn't mean it wasn't punk or authentic. Green Day made punk mainstream, and that is something no other band has been able to do. And that says something.

Music_Lover_31 ,

I HATE THE ITUNES REVIEW

The one-star is not to the five star album, but to iTunes. They called letterbomb a push for pure pop influence! The song frickin screams! How in any way is that song pop?

About Green Day

Out of all the post-Nirvana alternative bands to break into the pop mainstream, Green Day were second only to Pearl Jam in terms of influence. At their core, Green Day were simply punk revivalists who recharged the energy of speedy, catchy three-chord punk-pop songs. Though their music wasn't particularly innovative, they brought the sound of late-'70s punk to a new, younger generation with Dookie, their 1994 major-label debut. Dookie sold over ten million copies, paving the way for a string of multi-platinum releases that opened the doors for a flood of American neo-punk, punk metal, and third wave ska revivalists. More than a decade later, as many of their former contemporaries settled into retirement, Green Day remained at the forefront of popular music with albums like the Grammy-winning American Idiot.

Green Day arose from the Northern California underground punk scene. Childhood friends Billie Joe Armstrong (guitar, vocals) and Mike Dirnt (bass; born Mike Pritchard) formed their first band, Sweet Children, in Rodeo, California when they were 14 years old. By 1989, the group had added drummer Al Sobrante and changed its name to Green Day. That same year, the band independently released its first EP, 1000 Hours, which was well received in the California hardcore punk scene. Soon, the group had signed a contract with local independent label Lookout. Green Day's first full album, 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hour, was released later that year. Shortly after its release, the band replaced Sobrante with Tre Cool (born Frank Edwin Wright III), who became the band's permanent drummer.

Throughout the early '90s, Green Day continued to cultivate a cult following, which only gained strength with the release of their second album, 1992's Kerplunk. The underground success of Kerplunk led to a wave of interest from major record labels, and the band eventually decided to sign with Reprise. Dookie, Green Day's major-label debut, was released in the spring of 1994. Thanks to MTV support for the initial single, "Longview," Dookie became a major hit. The album continued to gain momentum throughout the summer, with the second single, "Basket Case," spending five weeks on top of the American modern rock charts. At the end of the summer, the band stole the show at Woodstock '94, which helped the sales of Dookie increase. By the time the fourth single, "When I Come Around," began its seven-week stay at number one on the modern rock charts in early 1995, Dookie had sold over five million copies in the U.S. alone; it would eventually top ten million in America, selling over 15 million copies internationally. Dookie also won the 1994 Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance.

Green Day quickly followed Dookie with Insomniac in the fall of 1995; during the summer, they hit number one again on the modern rock charts with "J.A.R.," their contribution to the Angus soundtrack. Insomniac performed well initially, entering the U.S. charts at number two and selling over two-million copies by the spring of 1996, yet none of its singles -- including the radio favorite "Brain Stew/Jaded" -- was as popular as those from Dookie. In the spring of 1996, Green Day abruptly canceled a European tour, claiming exhaustion. Following the cancellation, the band spent the rest of the year resting and writing new material before issuing Nimrod in late 1997. Three years later, their long-awaited follow-up, a refreshingly poppy record titled Warning, was released. Another long wait preceded 2004's American Idiot, an aggressive rock opera that became a surprise success -- a chart-topper around the world, a multi-platinum Grammy winner, and easily the best-reviewed album of their career. Green Day reveled in the album's success, hitting numerous award shows and performing as part of Live 8 in July 2005. That fall brought the release of Bullet in a Bible, a concert album that documented the trio's expansive Idiot live show.

With their popularity and commercial viability restored, Green Day took on several small projects before returning to the studio. They contributed a cover of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" to the charity album Instant Karma, appeared in The Simpsons Movie, and recorded an entire album of '60s-styled rock & roll under the alias of Foxboro Hot Tubs. While presenting an award at the Grammys in early 2009, the band announced the impending release of Green Day's eighth album, 21st Century Breakdown, which had been recorded with veteran producer Butch Vig. In May of 2009, 21st Century Breakdown was released, picking up where American Idiot left off, as another ambitious punk rock opera. The album was a commercial success, selling over 215,000 copies in its first three days of sales. In 2009, American Idiot was adapted for the stage, and the following year, Green Day lent their talents to the original cast recording, combining a driving score with Broadway vocal arrangements. The band released the live Awesome as F**k in 2011.

During the summer of 2012, Green Day unveiled their ambitious plans for the fall and winter: they would release not one but three new albums. The records -- ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré! -- would appear in September 2012, November 2012, and January 2013, respectively, with each individual bandmember gracing one of the album covers on his own. The first, appropriately called ¡Uno!, was preceded by the disco-rock single "Kill the DJ" and the anthemic arena rocker "Oh Love." ¡Uno! was set for a splashy release in September 2012, but the weekend prior to its release Billie Joe Armstrong had an on-stage breakdown during a set Green Day played at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. Days later, it was announced that Armstrong entered rehab for undisclosed substance abuse; not long afterward the band's touring plans for 2013 were canceled. ¡Dos! arrived as scheduled in November 2012 and ¡Tré! was moved up to a December release. Demolicious, a collection of 18 demos recorded during the making of their ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré! trilogy, showed up in time for 2014's Record Store Day release schedule.

In 2015, Green Day were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Following their induction, producer Rob Cavallo announced that he had started work on a new album with the trio. As they labored on the new record, Green Day released a single called "Xmas Time of the Year" for the 2015 holiday. The raucous "Bang Bang" was the first taste of the new record, Revolution Radio, which arrived in October 2016. A year later, the group released a career-spanning compilation called Greatest Hits: God's Favorite Band. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

ORIGIN
Berkeley, CA
FORMED
1988

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