Rock News

Rock News

Back in the early ‘90s, when Lollapalooza and MTV’s 120 Minutes were the barometers of cool, you would have been excused for laughing if someone told you that Green Day would be one of a handful of bands of that era to stay relevant for two decades and would also get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

But the band who got famous for singing about being bored and stoned exceeded all expectations through soul, ambition, and sheer songwriting chops. They started out as an indie-label punk band, but their songs were just so catchy… and they were signed during the post-Nirvana rush, when major labels were looking to sign anyone credible and moderately popular on indie labels. Unlike a lot of those bands, Green Day transcended the era. 1994’s Dookie — with the help of an opening slot on Lollapalooza, an iconic and muddy set at Woodstock ’94 and a fistful of unforgettable tunes that MTV and radio couldn’t get enough of — made them one of the biggest bands of the alternative rock era. 

Towards the end of the ’90s, as the Lollapalooza bands started to fade as TRL and nu-metal gained influence, Green Day’s album and ticket sales (like many of their peers) went down. But 2004’s American Idiot was one of the most surprising comebacks of all time. The album was both lyrically and musically more ambitious than anything they’d done before, it saw them diving into politics… which no one expected from Green Day. It was a big swing and they knocked it out of the park: it was their first #1 album, sold over six million copies in America and saw them headlining stadiums. They haven’t quite reached that peak on their subsequent albums, but they remain a huge concert draw, headlining stadiums and festival shows.

We ranked their best songs from their days on indie label Lookout! Records through the new tracks,  including radio hits, deeper cuts and even a few things from their side-projects. What’d we miss? 

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