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With Green Day riding the roller coaster of a career they’ve been having, now seems as good a time as ever to check out the band's top 10 songs. Green Day is one of the punk bands emerging in the '90s accredited with popularizing punk rock in mainstream music. Green Day has found incredible success over the years. The band has released 10 studio albums, selling 65 million records worldwide, performed countless tours, as well as won multiple awards and even boast a Broadway show based off of their album, American Idiot. They are currently in the middle of releasing a trilogy of albums: Uno!, Dos!, and Tre!, with Dos! recently released on November 13, while Tre! is set to be released December 11. The band is also on pause, tour-wise, dealing with lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s recent rehab stint. However, through ups and downs, Green Day seem to still be at a high point in their career, and don’t seem like they’ll be stopping anytime soon.
In honor of Green Day’s rebel attitude, I’ve decided to write this top 10 with the same mentality, not looking to please anyone, just putting up whatever songs I believe are the band's top 10. And here they are:
10) “Homecoming” American Idiot
In writing this, I realized I forgot to include the hit single “Welcome To Paradise,” so along with “Homecoming” they can share this spot. However I love “Homecoming.” I don’t believe it’s as appreciated as its counterpart off of American Idiot, but this song is another 9-minute rock opera-style song. I felt this had to make the list because this is a perfect collaboration from each member of the band. Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Trey Cool each hold their own portion leading vocals on the song, and I love it for that. Now I haven’t found a solid quality video for live versions of the song, since there is no music video for it, I felt the studio version would have to be the best method to appreciate this song.
9) “Deadbeat Holiday” Warning
I was disappointed in looking for a video of this song and couldn’t find anything other then the album art. This song is highly unappreciated in my opinion. I love it. Maybe you’ll enjoy it too.
8) “Last Of The American Girls” 21st Century Breakdown
Coming off of one of Green Day’s later albums, 21st Century Breakdown, this song just doesn’t stay out of my head. It’s catchy and enjoyable, losing some of the punk elements that earlier Green Day accompanied, “Last Of The American Girls” may not be near the top on most lists, but I couldn’t keep it off of mine. Green Day has taken heat for maturing from their earlier stuff and maybe drifting into a more pop scene, accompanied with superstardom. I remain a fan of the newer stuff as well as the older stuff.
7) “Brain Stew” Insomniac
This track combined with the next song, “Jaded,” on Insomniac was released together as one single, due to the seamless flow from one song to the other. This song is classic Green Day.
6) “When I Come Around” Dookie
Another Green Day classic hit, “When I Come Around” is often deemed as one of Green Day’s best hits. I love the song but it drops a little lower on my list. Written by Armstrong about his breakup with his girlfriend (whom he later married), this single was one of Green Day’s first big hits, racking in plenty of air-time on the radio, and remains an iconic song for Green Day fans everywhere.
5) “Longview” Dookie
Green Day’s first real hit never really gets old. Written under the influence, about intense boredom, brought Green Day to popularity. It was embraced heavily by the youth of the '90s, and through plenty of airtime on the radio and through the music video, “Longview” is a key staple in the Green Day catalog. Featuring the funky bass beats of Mike Dirnt, this song is easy to love.
4) “Nice Guys Finish Last” Nimrod
This track is underrated in my opinion, because it’s so fun to rock out to. It gained popularity from being featured in the movie Varsity Blues. This hidden gem is definitely one of Green Day’s best songs.
3) “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” Nimrod
Taking a step in the other direction, this single was the opposite of anything Green Day had produced before, deemed as a punk band, they showed their lighter side with “Good Riddance.” Written by Armstrong for his ex-girlfriend leaving, this song is as sweet as they come, and is used in just about every graduation ceremony (including my own) as well as goodbyes (including the series finale of Seinfeld). Time of your life is an ageless hit that as often as you hear it, you still have to love it.
2) “Basket Case” Dookie
This single, written by Armstrong about his anxiety, is one of the best punk songs released. As one of Green Day’s first real big successes, “Basket Case” has aged great, considering it’s still exciting when it pops up on the radio. “Basket Case” was a tough contender for the number one spot on this list.
1) “Jesus of Suburbia” American Idiot
Probably not what you’re expecting for number one, this nine and a half minute rock opera off of American Idiot is all the best of Green Day. Combining five separate movements into one song, it’s just awesome to listen to. Not nearly gaining as much commercial success as other songs on this list, partially due to its length, the epic “Jesus of Suburbia” is the greatest song Green Day has released.
So there you have it, there are clearly some songs that didn’t make the list that could have. However, I believe this is the perfect blend of songs to showcase Green Day as a band. On another note, though I haven’t included any of the newer songs off of albums Uno! and Dos!, I was very close to doing so. I want to make it well aware that the newer albums that Green Day is coming out with are also great, making this band all the more impressive. They may have changed over the years, but the greatest bands out there have. Bands today have to mature through themselves to grow musically as well as stay relevant. I personally am looking very forward to the release of their next album, Tre!, and I encourage anybody that may not already be a fan of Green Day to listen to their discography. I wish the best of luck to the entire band in their current pause from touring, and look forward to what the future of Green Day holds.
Image credit: Twitpic