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Green Day

Green Day

Rock group

For the Record

Became Green Day

Debut Album a Punk Explosion

Took Time Off

One off the Great Punk Bands

Selected discography

Sources

In the early 1990s Green Day helped bring a new brand of punk rock to the forefront of mainstream music. Bratty and bored, Green Day appealed to the so-called Generation X crowdthe twentysome-things who were getting bored with the slow-moving angst of grunge music. Green Days youthful vigor made their pop punk radio friendly and fun for a range of people, many of whom hadnt discovered punk before. The fact that they were genuinely nice, articulate guys also gave their career a boost.

Green Day began in the town of Rodeo, California, just 15 miles north of Berkeley. There, ten-year-olds Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Pritchardwho later changed his last name to Dirntmet in the school cafeteria. Neither had had a good home life. When he was ten, Armstrongs jazz musician father died, fragmenting his family. Armstrong found solace in his new friend and in music. Dirnt, born to a heroin-addicted mother, was adopted by a Native American mother and a white father who divorced when he was seven. When his mom moved north when Dirnt was 15, he rented a room off Armstrongs house.

Even if either boy had had enough money to buy records, there wasnt a record store in town. They

For the Record

Members include Billie Joe Armstrong (born on February 17, 1972, in Rodeo, CA; married Adrienne; children: Joseph Marciano, Jacob Danger), vocals, guitar; Tre Cool (born Frank Edwin Wright III on December 9, 1972, in CA; married Claudia; children: Ramona, from previous marriage; joined group, 1990), drums, backing vocals; Mike Dirnt (born Michael Pritchard on May 4, 1972, in Rodeo, CA; divorced; children: Estelle Desiree), bass, backing vocals; Kiftmeyer (aka Al Sobrante; group member, 1987-90), drums.

Band Sweet Children formed in Rodeo, CA, 1987; released first EP, 2,000 Hours, 1987; changed name to Green Day, 1989; signed with Lookout! Records, 1989; released first album, 39/Smooth, 1990; signed with Warner Bros.s Reprise Records, 1993; released major-label debut, Dookie, 1993; released Insomniac, 1995; Nimrod, 1997; Warning, 2000.

Awards: Grammy Award, Best Alternative Music Performance for Dookie, 1994.

Addresses: Record company Reprise Records, 3300 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505-4694. Fan clubGreen Day Idiot Club, Attn: Idiot of the Month, P.O. Box 710, Berkeley, CA 94701-0710. Website Green Day Official Website: http://www.greenday.com.

learned about music from their older siblings and friends. They listened to early punk progenitors the Replacements, the Ramones, and the earliest works of British punkers the Sex Pistols and the Buzzcocks. They were finally able to scrape together enough cash by the time they were eleven to buy their own guitars. Thats when Armstrong got his beloved Stratocaster, which he plays to this day.

In 1987 the boys formed the band Sweet Children, with John Kiftmeyer (aka Al Sobrante) on drums. By then Dirnt had switched to the bass. Soon they became consumed by their weekend lives at the Gilman Street Project in Berkeley. This unassuming-looking caning-and-wicker shop housed a major underground punk club on the weekends. That place and that culture saved my life, Armstrong told Rolling Stones Chris Mundy. It was like a gathering of outcasts and freaks. It wasnt about people moshing in a pit and taking their shirt off. Thats one thing I hate about the new mainstream thing: blatant violence. To me punk rock was about being silly. Both boys tried their best juggling music, jobs, and schoolvirtually raising themselves.

Became Green Day

Green Day recorded their first EP, 1,000 Hours, in 1987 and by 1989 had enough steam behind them to begin lobbying Lookout! Records for a deal. They also changed their name to Green Day, the title of one of their songs. Lawrence Livermore, head of this independent punk label, signed the band immediately upon hearing them. Green Day began touring in earnest after they released their first album 39/Smooth in 1990. Just the week before that Armstrong gave up the ghost at school, dropping out the day before his eighteenth birthday. Dirnt struggled through and got his diploma. Lack of brains hadnt been the problem for either student, it was trying to earn a living and make music that took the toll on their school work.

Meanwhile, deep in the Mendocino mountains of California, Frank Edwin Wright III lived with his family in near isolation. Wrights nearest neighbor was Liver-more, and when his band the Lookouts! needed a drummer they called on 12-year-old Wright, renaming him Tre Cool. When Green Day got back from their first van tour in 1990, Kiftmeyer jumped ship. Cool, Kiftmeyers drum teacher, took over where his student left off. 39/Smooth gained the band national attention, allowing them to garner packed houses in most places they played. In 1991, with their new flamboyant drummer on board, Green Day released Kerplunk. Kerplunk quickly broke sales records for Lookout! and several successful tours ensued.

In early 1993 Green Day left Lookout! on friendly terms and began searching for a label that would be able to give them the promotion and tour support that an independent could not afford. Against the odds, Green Day had managed to cut three seven-inch singles, book seven American tours plus two European jaunts, and sell 30, 000 copies of both of their LPs all before they turned 21; the major labels had a feeding frenzy trying to sign them. It was Rob Cavallo, the young producer/A&R representative from Warner Bros.s Reprise Records, who convinced the guys to choose Warner. Also convincing was that Warner had been the label of the Sex Pistols and the Ramones.

Debut Album a Punk Explosion

In 1993 Green Day released their major-label debut, Dookie, which is slang for excrement. The music blended raw punk force with pop melodies. The songs were short and catchy. They were also funny and irreverent, highlighting lives of boredom, pot smoking, and masturbation. Rip wrote: 14 whirlwind tunes sweep you up in guitar-drenched sentiments, leaving barely enough time between tracks to catch your breath. Like their musical forbears, the Who and the Ramones, they arent afraid of melodies, and there are some downright pretty ones here, which they tackle boldly, armed with Billie Joes bracing power chords, Dirnts agile bass lines and the dynamic drumming of Tre picked up playing with his jazz buddies. Time called it a cathartic punk explosion and the best rock CD of the year so far. MTV put Green Days videos in heavy rotation and the boys graced the cover of nearly every music magazine. Bringing down the house during their mud-drenched performance at Woodstock 94, Green Day solidified their super stardom.

With stardom came cries of sellout. Suddenly, along with punkers the Offspring and Rancid, Green Day had brought underground punk rock into the mainstream. Assuredly, it was a new 1990s punk, much more positive and born from a different kind of angst. But it was still punk, English accents and all. Green Day responded to naysayers with reasonable thinking. To Rip, Dirnt explained that they couldnt survive to play music without help from the big labels. Selling out is compromising your musical intentions. And we dont know how to do that. Armstrong put it even more simply. People reported him telling a friend, I dont come from that world where you can afford to turn down cash.

Green Day has a lot going for them. Besides being so radio friendly, their live performances are electrifying. Because they consider their brand of punk to have a strong silliness component, they are very silly. And, as one Berkeley club promoter put it in People, theyre just a bunch of nice guys. Theyre polite. They never put holes in the wall. Never vomited on stage. Despite their angry stage posturing and immature antics, theyre three family guys who just want to be able to raise the good healthy families that they never had. Cool and Dirnt each have a daughter, and Armstrong has two sons. In addition to being responsible parents, Green Day does their best to be a responsible band. They defy ticket company service charges by cutting their touring costsoften sleeping on the tour busand taking a smaller cut to keep ticket and T-shirt prices under $15. They made sure that 100 percent of the sales of their Lookout! albums go to Lookout! in order to keep that independent scene alive. Proceeds of several of their shows have gone to charity.

No matter how hard they try, first-time fatherhood and a demanding life in the spotlight takes its toll. 1995s Insomniac was a darker, somewhat less accessible album than Dookie. Sales were still goodeventually selling more than two million copiesalthough not as brilliant as Dookie, which had a sold more than eight million copies by the time Insomniac came out, eventually reaching a ten-times platinum status. Reviewers didnt come down hard as they often do on a follow-up album. In Spin, Eric Weisbard wrote, The Green Day three have never crunched as powerfully as they do on Insomniac One or two moments excepted, the rest is a sustained thrill. People said, On their visceral follow up, Green Day is intent on gaining punk credibility among hard-core denizens of the mosh piteven at the risk of diminished sales. Risky or no, Spin voted Insomniac number 15 out of 20 of the best albums of 1995.

Took Time Off

Green Day took a couple of years off to spend time with their young families following the release of Insomniac. Their next album, Nimrod, was released in late 1997. Billboard writer Craig Rosen noted that it represented a step forward in growth and maturity for the band. Armstrong agreed, telling Rosen that the band wanted to experiment musically and move away from the three-chord power-punk formula that fans had come to expect. I still love punk rock. It made me who I am, but were capable musically of doing a lot more. We wanted to leave ourselves vulnerable and sort of let it happen. That didnt mean that they were abandoning the hooks that made them famous in the first place. Japans Daily Yomiuri proclaimed that Green Day has the uncanny ability to reinvent the same basic one-four-five progressions with some of the best hooks in the business.

The biggest hit off Nimrod was, surprisingly enough, the acoustic, confessional ballad Good Riddance (The Time of Your Life) that sounded nothing like any previous Green Day hit. The Daily Yomiuri noted the omnipresence of the tune in all media outlets: It was such a huge hit it almost became the de facto background music anytime a television show needed to establish the tone for a scene of bittersweet farewells. Indeed, the tune played on numerous prime time shows, including NBCs Friends and ER. Armstrong defended his instrument of choice in Guitar Player, although with such a hugely popular and critically acclaimed song, there was really no need to. One of the biggest misconceptions about acoustic guitar is that its a wimpy instrument. Just because it doesnt produce distortion doesnt mean its not tough.

Again, Green Day took time off before heading back into the studios to record another album. The album that resulted from this extended time off was released as Warning in 2001. In a lot of ways Warning was like starting over for us. After we came off the road from the Nimrod tour, we were fried. We had reached a point where the music wasnt inspirational or funso we stopped, Armstrong confessed to Guitar Player. The album earned heaps of critical praise. People reviewer Steve Dougherty said that Warning showcases the groups blossoming pop sensibilities airy melodies, sing-along choruses and big, jovial beats. The groups use of acoustic guitars, banjo, saxophone, and meaningful lyrics is, Dougherty wrote, the strongest evidence yet that punk is dead. The Hollywood Reporter hailed the album as a tremendous record. Despite the critical lauds, the album was a commericial disappointment, failing to reach platinum status two years after it was released.

One off the Great Punk Bands

Green Day next released a greatest hits collection, International Superhits, in 2001, and followed that up with a companion B-sides and rarities album, Shenanigans, in 2002. All Music Guide writer Stephen Erlewine, reviewing Shenanigans, wrote: Since theyre an excellent, restless band, theres variety herebits of surf rock, classic British Invasion, classic British punk, and singalong popnothing is less than enjoyable. Erlewine praised both of the albums and the band, calling Armstrong a d**n good songwriter, no matter what sub-genre of pop or punk he was working in. He [Armstrong] partnered with a band that could deliver those songs, resulting in a body of work more consistent and thrilling than the Sex Pistols and more ambitious that the Ramones. International Superhits is, Erlewine concluded, proof positive that Green Day is one of the great punk bands, regardless of era.

Selected discography

1,000 Hours (EP), 1987.

39/Smooth, Lookout!, 1990.

Kerplunk, Lookout!, 1992.

Dookie, Reprise, 1993.

(Contributor) Angus (soundtrack), Reprise, 1995.

Insomniac, Reprise, 1995.

Nimrod, Reprise, 1997.

Warning, Reprise, 1999.

International Superhits, Reprise, 2001.

Shenanigans, Reprise, 2002.

Sources

Periodicals

BAM, January 12, 1996.

Billboard, June 25, 1994; September 20, 1997.

Daily Yomiuri, March 8, 2001.

Details, September 1994.

Entertainment Weekly, June 10, 1994; December 23, 1994; October 20, 1995; June 5, 1998; October 6, 2000.

Guitar Player, July 1994; January 2001.

Hollywood Reporter, July 24, 2001.

Musician, September 1994; June 1995.

People, March 20, 1995; October 30, 1995; October 9, 2000.

Raygun, April 1994.

Rip, June 1994; March 1995.

Rolling Stone, September 22, 1994; November 17, 1994; December 15, 1994; January 26, 1995; December 28, 1995.

Spin, September 1994; November 1994; March 1995; November 1995; December 1995; January 1996.

Time, June 27, 1994.

Online

Green Day, All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (December 30, 2002).

Green Day Official Website, http://www.greenday.com (December 30, 2002).

Shenanigans, All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (December 30, 2002).

Additional information for this profile was provided by Reprise Records press materials, 1993 and 1995.

Joanna Rubiner

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Green Day

Green Day

Punk band

For the Record

Broke into the Big Time

Dookie

Practiced Responsible Punk

Selected discography

Sources

In the early 1990s Green Day helped bring a new brand of punk rock to the forefront of mainstream music. Bratty and bored, Green Day appealed to the so called Generation X crowdthe twenty somethings who were getting bored with the slow-moving angst of grunge music. Green Days youthful vigor made their pop punk radio friendly and fun for a range of people, many of whom hadnt discovered punk before. The fact that they were genuinely nice, articulate guys also gave their career a boost.

Green Day began in the dreary town of Rodeo, California just 15 miles north of Berkeley. There, ten-year-olds Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Pritchardwho later changed his last name to Dirntmet in the school cafeteria. Neither had had a good home life. When he was ten, Armstrongs jazz musician father died, fragmenting his family. Armstrong found solace in his new friend and in music. Dirnt, born to a heroin-addicted mother, was adopted by a Native American mother and a white father who divorced when he was seven. When his mom moved north when Dirnt was 15, he rented a room off Armstrongs house.

For the Record

Members include: Billie Joe Armstrong (born February 1972, in Rodeo, CA), vocals, guitar; Mike Dirnt (born Michael Pritchard, May 1972, in Rodeo, CA), bass, backing vocals; and Tre Cool (born Frank Edwin Wright III, December 1972, in CA, joined band in 1990), drums, backing vocals. Former member: John Kiftmeyer (aka Al Sobrante), drums, 1987-90.

Band Sweet Children formed in Rodeo, CA, 1987; released first EP, 1,000 Hours, 1987; changed name to Green Day, 1989; signed with Lookout! Records, 1989; released first album, 39/Smooth, 1990; signed with Warner Bros.s Reprise Records, 1993; Dookie, major label debut released, 1993.

Selected awards: Grammy Award for best alternative music performance for Dookie, 1994.

Addresses: Record company-Reprise Records, 3300 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505-4694.

Even if either boy had had enough money to buy records, there wasnt a record store in town. They learned about music from their older siblings and friends. They listened to early punk progenitors the Replacements, the Ramones, and the earliest works of British punkers the Sex Pistols and the Buzzcocks. They were finally able to scrape together enough cash by the time they were 11 to buy their own guitars. Thats when Armstrong got his beloved Stratocaster, which he plays to this day.

In 1987 the boys formed the band Sweet Children, with John Kiftmeyer (aka Al Sobrante) on drums. By then Dirnt had switched to the bass. Soon they became consumed by their weekend lives at the Gilman Street Project in Berkeley. This unassuming-looking caning-and-wicker shop housed a major underground punk club on the weekends. That place and that culture saved my life, Armstrong told Rolling Stones Chris Mundy. It was like a gathering of outcasts and freaks. It wasnt about people moshing in a pit and taking their shirt off. Thats one thing I hate about the new mainstream thing: blatant violence. To me punk rock was about being silly. Both boys tried their best juggling music, jobs, and schoolvirtually raising themselves.

Green Day recorded their first EP, 1,000Hours, in 1987 and by 1989 had enough steam behind them to begin lobbying Lookout! Records for a deal. They also changed their name to Green Day, the title of one of their songs. Lawrence Livermore, head of this independent punk label, signed the band immediately upon hearing them. Green Day began touring in earnest after they released their first album 39/Smooth in 1990. Just the week before that Armstrong gave up the ghost at school, dropping out the day before his eighteenth birthday. Dirnt struggled through and got his diploma. Lack of brains hadnt been the problem for either student, it was trying to earn a living and make music that took the toll on their school work.

Broke into the Big Time

Meanwhile, deep in the Mendocino mountains of California, Frank Edwin Wright 111 lived with his family in near isolation. Wrights nearest neighbor was Livermore, and when his band the Lookouts! needed a drummer they called on 12-year-old Wright, renaming him Tre Cool. When Green Day got back from their first van tour in 1990, Kiftmeyer jumped ship. Cool, Kiftmeyers drum teacher, took over where his student left off. 39/Smooth gained the band national attention, allowing them to garner packed houses in most places they played. In 1991, with their new flamboyant drummer on board, Green Day released Kerplunk. Kerplunk quickly broke sales records for Lookout! and several successful tours ensued.

In early 1993 Green Day left Lookout! on friendly terms and began searching for a label that would be able to give them the promotion and tour support that an independent couldnt. Against the odds, Green Day had managed to cut three 7-inch singles, book seven U.S. tours plus two European jaunts, and sell 30,000 copies of both of their LPs all before they turned 21; the major labels had a feeding frenzy trying to sign them. It was Rob Cavallo, the young producer/A & R representative from Warner Bros.s Reprise Records, who convinced the guys to choose Warner. Also convincing was that Warner had been the label of the Sex Pistols and the Ramones.

Dookie

In 1993 Green Day released their major-label debut, Dookie, which is slang for excrement. The music blended raw punk force with pop melodies. The songs were short and catchy. They were also funny and irreverent, highlighting lives of boredom, pot smoking, and masturbation. Rip wrote: 14 whirlwind tunes sweep you up in guitar-drenched sentiments, leaving barely enough time between tracks to catch your breath. Like their musical forbears, the Who and the Ramones, they arent afraid of melodies, and there are some downright pretty ones here, which they tackle boldly, armed with Billie Joes bracing power chords, Dirnts agile bass lines and the dynamic drumming of Tre picked up playing with his jazzbuddies. timecalled it a cathartic punk explosion and the best rock CD of the year so far. MTV put Green Days videos in heavy rotation and the boys graced the cover of nearly every music magazine. Bringing down the house during their mud-drenched performance at Woodstock 94, Green Day solidified their super stardom.

With stardom came cries of sellout. Suddenly, along with punkers the Offspring and Rancid, Green Day had brought underground punk rock into the mainstream. Assuredly, it was a new 1990s punk, much more positive and born from a different kind of angst. But it was still punk, English accents and all. Green Day responded to naysayers with reasonable thinking. To Rip Dirnt explained that they couldnt survive to play music without help from the big labels. Selling out is compromising your musical intentions. And we dont know how to do that. Armstrong put it even more simply. Peoplereported him telling a friend, I dont come from that world where you can afford to turn down cash.

Practiced Responsible Punk

Green Day has a lot going for them. Besides being so radio friendly, their live performances are electrifying. Because they consider their brand of punk to have a strong silliness component, they are very silly. And, as one Berkeley club promoter put it in People, theyre just a bunch of nice guys. Theyre polite. They never put holes in the wall. Never vomited on stage. Despite their angry stage posturing and immature antics, theyre three newly married guys who just want to be able to raise the good healthy families that they never had. Armstrong and Cool, in fact, already have a baby each. In addition to being responsible parents, Green Day does their best to be a responsible band. They defy ticket company service charges by cutting their touring costsoften sleeping on the tour busand taking a smaller cut to keep ticket and t-shirt prices under $15. They made sure that 100 percent of the sales of their Lookout! albums go to Lookout! in order to keep that independent scene alive. Proceeds of several of their shows have gone to charity.

No matter how hard they try, first-time fatherhood and a demanding life in the spotlight takes its toll. 1995s Insomniac was a darker, somewhat less accessible album than Dookie. Sales were still good700,000 in less than three monthsalthough not as brilliant as Dookie, which had a sold over 8 million copies by the time Insomniac came out. Reviewers didnt come down hard as they often do on a follow-up album. In Spin, Eric Weisbard wrote, The Green Day three have never crunched as powerfully as they do on Insomniac. One or two moments excepted, the rest is a sustained thrill. People said, On their visceral follow up, Green Day is intent on gaining punk credibility among hard-core denizens of the mosh piteven at the risk of diminished sales. Risky or no, Spinvoted Insomniac number 15out of 20 of the best albums of 1995.

One thing that even the band realizes, according to their 1995 press materials, is that trends are fleeting. When the punk rock craze dies an ugly mainstream death next year (just for the record, it died in the underground two years ago) Green Day will still be standing and theyll be making great records. Or, as Armstrong mused in Rip, Here today, gone later today. But for now, Green Days got a Grammy, theyve helped out their struggling families, and theyre the biggest selling punk band in history. They did all that before they were 25.

Selected discography

1,000 Hours (EP), 1987.

39/Smooth, Lookout! Records, 1990.

Kerplunk, Lookout! Records, 1992.

Dookie, Reprise Records, 1993.

(Contributors) Angus (soundtrack), 1995.

Insomniac, Reprise Records, 1995.

Sources

BAM, January 12, 1996.

Billboard, June 25, 1994.

Details, September 1994.

Entertainment Weekly, June 10, 1994; December 23, 1994; October 20, 1995.

Guitar Player, July 1994.

Musician, September 1994; June 1995.

People Weekly, March 20, 1995; October 30, 1995.

Raygun, April 1994.

Rip, June 1994; March 1995.

Rolling Stone, September 22, 1994; November 17, 1994; December 15, 1994; January 26, 1995; December 28, 1995.

Spin, September 1994; November 1994; March 1995; November 1995; December 1995; January 1996.

Time, June 27, 1994.

Additional information for this profile was provided by Reprise Records press materials, 1993 and 1995.

Joanna Rubiner

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"Green Day." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Green Day." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/green-day

"Green Day." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/green-day

Green Day

GREEN DAY

Formed: 1989, Berkeley, California

Members: Billie Joe Armstrong, guitar, vocals (born San Pablo, California, 17 February 1972); Mike Dirnt, bass (Mike Pritchard, born California, 4 May 1972); Tre Cool, drums (Frank Edwin Wright, III, born Germany, 9 December 1972); Former member: John Kiftmeyer (aka Al Sobrante), drums.

Genre: Rock, Pop

Best-selling album since 1990: Dookie (1993)

Hit songs since 1990: "Longview," "Time of Your Life"


Over the course of the 1990s, Green Day grew from an underground trio beloved by their local punk community to a worldwide pop phenomenon reviled by that same community for "selling out." Along the way, the trio created some of the decade's most tuneful, inspired punk anthems about teenage isolation, insecurity, and apathy. Growing from bratty rebels into mature, polished pop songwriters, they inspired a legion of similar acts such as Blink-182 and Sum 41 and became the best-selling punk band in history.

When ten-year-old Billie Joe Armstrong met Michael Pritchard, the two boys with chaotic home lives bonded over their love of music. Born in the bleak refinery town of Rodeo, California (just north of Berkeley), Armstrong was dejected over the recent death of his jazz musician father; Pritchardwho later changed his last name to Dirntwas born to a heroin-addicted mother and was a child of divorce when his adopted parents split when he was seven.

In 1987 the two formed the group Sweet Children with the drummer John Kiftmeyer (also known as Al Sobrante), with Dirnt on bass. They spent every weekend at the popular punk hangout/club Gilman Street Project in Berkeley. After changing their name to Green Day, they independently recorded an EP, 1,000 Hours, and soon after were signed by the Berkeley punk label Lookout Records, which released their full-length debut, 39/Smooth (1990), ten blistering tracks recorded in a single day. Both albums bear the group's distinct voice: a mix of classic late-1970s punk attitude and snarl spiked with an aggressively catchy sensibility.

Kiftmeyer quit the band after Green Day's first major tour in 1990, and the Lookout chief Larry Livermore suggested his neighbor and Kiftmeyer's drum teacher, Frank Edwin Wright (Tre Cool), as a replacement. Although 39/Smooth helped gain the group national attention and packed houses across the United States, it was their next album, Kerplunk! (1992), that shattered Lookout's sales records and paved the way for the band's ascension to rock stardom.

Seeking a label that would give them wider tour support and promotion, Green Day signed a contract with Reprise Records, a division of Warner Bros. Records. With Rob Cavallo on board as a producer, the group released Dookie (1993) (a slang for excrement), which provided a soundtrack to the media-hyped Generation X cohort of disaffected teens and twenty-somethings already primed for the music through the popularity of Nirvana. Their first professional, big-budget production, Dookie refined the group's catchy, speedy three-chord punk revivalist sound and brought out the inherent tunefulness of the songs.

Hits such as "Longview," "Basketcase," and "Burnout" chronicle the lives of drug-addicted, bored, and uninspired punks. The band's sound is classic punk (The Jam, Buzz-cocks) slathered with the same joy of pop beloved by the Ramones. Armstrong's lyrics are blunt, as in "Welcome to Paradise": "Some call it the slums / Some call it nice / I want to take you through / A wasteland I like to call my home / Welcome to Paradise."

The group graced the covers of countless music magazines and performed a legendary, career-making set at Woodstock '94. Meawhile, the album was flying out of stores, eventually selling more than 8 million copies. A 1994 Best Alternative Music Performance Grammy followed, although the prosperity and accolades failed to cushion the cries of betrayal emanating from their erst-while fellow denizens of rock's underground.


A Dark Follow Up

Though all three were married with children at this point, Insomniac (1995)again produce by Cavalloshows no signs of leaving behind the adolescent concerns of Dookie. This darker album, although not nearly as popular as Dookie, further refined the band's sound, telling the stories of confused teens ("Armatage Shanks") and bored kids awaiting their inheritance ("Brat"). The singles "Geek Stink Breath" and "Brain Stew"both chronicling the hell of addiction to methamphetamineadd a more deliberate, heavy bass-end sound to Green Day's repertoire, with the latter featuring a choppy, big riff guitar sound similar to AC/DC.

After canceling a 1996 European tour, claiming exhaustion, the band took a year off to catch up with their families. They returned to the studio with Nimrod (1997) another step forward in the expansion of the group's sound that is best remembered for the least predictable songs: the rockabilly punk thumper "Hitchin' a Ride" and "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)." The latter, a string-laced ballad about taking time to appreciate your life, shows signs of punkers reluctantly growing up: "It's something unpredictable / But in the end is right / I hope you had the time of your life."

By the time of Warning (2000), Green Day had taken over the production reins from Cavallo and recorded an album of swinging pop songs that were, in some ways, worlds away from their Gilman Street punk roots. Though Armstrong's jaded view of the world remains, songs such as the plucky acoustic rocking title track, "Church on Sunday," and "Misery" bear the imprint of pop craftsmen, not punks aiming for light speed.

Though their punk peers from the old days abandoned them, Green Day never forgot their roots on the way to pop stardom. Their influential 1990s albums inspired a whole generation of punk groups (Good Charlotte, New Found Glory) to find ways to fuse pop and punk.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

1,000 Hours (Lookout!, 1987); 39/Smooth (Lookout!, 1990); Kerplunk!, (Lookout!, 1992); Dookie (Reprise, 1993); Insomniac (Reprise, 1995); Nimrod (Reprise, 1997); Warning (Reprise, 2000); International Superhits! (Reprise, 2001); Shenanigans (Reprise, 2002).

WEBSITE:

www.greenday.com.

gil kaufman

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"Green Day." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/green-day