Green Day can definitely be considered one of the iconic bands of modern times, with platinum plaques dating back nearly twenty years to 1992’s ‘Kerplunk’ album. In 2004 the Punk-Rock band Green Day released the critically acclaimed, politically driven, multi platinum selling album ‘American Idiot’, it would be this album that would finally see them crowned as rock ‘n’ roll royalty.
For Green Day it all begins at a venue called the Gilman in 1989, it was here that the band honed their performance and were able to gauge there song writing skills. By the end of the year the band released the adolescent and bratty ‘1039 Smooth’ EP on Lookout Records founded by Lawrence Livermore. This would later become the 1990 album '39/Smooth', which would become their first full-length album release. Two years later their second album “Kerplunk” became a huge underground success, which led to the band leaving Lookout records and signing with the Major label Reprise records.
The release of the “Dookie” album in 1994 marked the moment the whole world was introduced to Green Day’s band members; Billie Joe Armstrong (Lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar), Mike Dirnt (Bass) and Tre Cool (drums and percussion). ‘Dookie’ would go on to sell a reported 15 million units worldwide.
Green Day's music has always been characteristic of Punk, Anti-establishment, and hard-edged guitar-driven music, yet many a debate has been held over the Punk-Rock status of Green Day, in particular whether Green Day can be considered “Punk” at all. John Lydon (or Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) a significant Punk contributor has repeatedly dismissed Green Day being what he considers “Punk”. Regardless of whether they are or aren’t “Punk” Green Day continue to have considerable success across the globe.
2004’s ‘American idiot’ album would be their crowning glory, in a climate polluted with illegal downloading, Green Day were without doubt, the band of the year, out wrestling U2 for the title. This eventually led to over 14 million sales worldwide and a Grammy for record of the year with the song “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams”.
The bands most recent effort “21st Century Breakdown” sold over 215,000 copies in it’s first three days of release and consequently reached number one on the Billboard album chart and No.1 in a further 13 countries, a clear sign that Green Day, as middle aged men, are as relevant among fans as ever.
Segun Murray Ogunsheye
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