American Idiot

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American Idiot by Green Day

“American Idiot”

“Jesus Of Suburbia”

“City Of The Damned”

“I Don’t Care”

“Dearly Beloved”

“Tales Of Another Broken Home”

“Holiday”

“Boulevard Of Broken Dreams”

“Are We The Waiting”

“St. Jimmy”

“Give Me Novacaine”

“She’s A Rebel”

“Extraordinary Girl”

“Letterbomb”

“Wake Me Up When September Ends”

“The Death Of St. Jimmy”

“East 12th St.”

“Nobody Likes You”

“Rock And Roll Girlfriend”

“We’re Coming Home Again”

“Whatsername”

Warning

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Warning by Green Day

“Warning”

“Blood, Sex And Booze”

“Church On Sunday”

“Fashion Victim”

“Castaway”

“Misery”

“Deadbeat Holiday”

“Hold On”

“Jackass”

“Waiting”

“Minority”

“Macy’s Day Parade”

Nimrod

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Nimrod by Green Day

“Nice Guys Finish Last”

“Hitchin’ A Ride”

“The Grouch”

“Redundant”

“Scattered”

“All The Time”

“Worry Rock”

“Platypus (I Hate You)”

“Uptight”

“Last Ride In”

“Jinx”

“Haushinka”

“Walking Alone”

“Reject”

“Take Back”

“King For A Day”

“Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)”

“Prosthetic Head”

Insomniac

NOTE: We’re looking for a knowledgeable Green Day nerd! A review for Insomniac hasn’t been published — yet. We need someone who can write a full track-by-track review of this album (at least a couple paragraphs per song); if you know the music, you can submit a review. You’ll be compensated when visitors make purchases through vendor links on their pages — for as long as your review remains on the site. Get more details in the FAQ.

Insomniac by Green Day

“Armatage Shanks”

“Brat”

“Stuck With Me”

“Geek Stink Breath”

“No Pride”

“Bab’s Uvula Who?”

“86”

“Panic Song”

“Stuart And The Ave.”

“Brain Stew”

“Jaded”

“Westbound Sign”

“Tight Wad Hill”

“Walking Contradiction”

Dookie

This album is a must-have for all teens out there. This was punk trio Green Day’s third record, and it was the album that brought them forward and sent them to the big time.

And how was it that Dookie did this? Well, frankly, with songs of boredom, anger, and, err, masturbation.

Whether it was the band’s confused view of the world, or front man Billie Joe Armstrong’s trouble with girls, everyone can somehow relate to it.

The insanity that is now Green Day first began in the East Bay area of California, when Billie Joe (born 17th February, 1972) and bassist Mike Dirnt (born Michael Pritchard, 4th May 1972), met in their high school cafeteria at age 14.

After a change in the band setup (original drummer John Kiftmeyer ‘Al Sobrante’ was replaced around 1989 by Tré Cool, born Frank Edwin Wright III, 9th December 1972) and an album, 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, Green Day produced a second album, which goes by Kerplunk!, in 1992.

In the spring of 1994, Dookie hit the world, and it led to one hell of a storm.

Green Day became almost a household name, and it was all down to a couple of songs that were just about them whining. It was downright amazing. A lot of younger artists today have said that this album really inspired them, including Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance, and Blink 182’s Travis Barker.

I recommend it to those who love rock, especially those interested in punk. It’s weird, it’s funny and it’s got attitude. Seriously, you should listen to it. You interested yet?Green Day — Dookie: Track-by-track review

1. “Burnout”
This track is a great one to open on. Loud, fast, and pretty damn punk. I think it’s almost a twisted idea on Peter Pan. Sort of:

I’m not growing up, I’m just burning out

Very negative, obviously, but this song really strikes me as being a declaration of Billie’s dislike at the thought of growing up and taking on responsibility. The song is 2 minutes and 7 seconds long, but by the end of it, it’s really clear how immature he feels and also, how useless.

And of course, there’s this boredom. In pretty much every song, the guys are bored. But isn’t every teenager? You can relate to the song already.

This song doesn’t make me feel particularly depressed or anything, but it makes me wonder what it was actually like being Billie Joe and growing up in an area of music, drugs and his own home life.

2. “Having A Blast”
Despite a cheery, light-hearted title, this song is like an early attack on terrorism; it’s teenage angst taken to the extreme.

“Having a Blast” is about the oppressed feelings we all harbour being released in an unorthodox manner: committing suicide, via explosives, and taking anyone nearby down with you.

So the title is almost misleading. A phrase which is used to express one’s self-having a very good time is cleverly turned to mean exactly the opposite. But don’t get me wrong, this is a great song. The whole irony of it is how they so easily got away with the song at the time, but how it would be greatly frowned upon in today’s society.

As a sub-issue hidden behind the words, you have to think why Armstrong would write a song about suicide.

I’m losing all my happiness

Loneliness still comforts me
My anger dwells inside of me

I’m taking it all out on you
For all the shit you put me through

Doesn’t sound too good. Was it bullying or was it just the pressure of growing up? I personally think it’s the second, because, as you’ll find, the whole album is trying to put across the idea.

3. “Chump”
I actually love this song.

I don’t know you
But I think I hate you

Strange how you’ve become my biggest enemy
And I’ve never even seen your face

Have you got any cases like that? No? Well I have. Mainly with musicians who think themselves better than others rather openly.

Who? Oh, I don’t know. Brandon Flowers from The Killers maybe?

I believe this song is about Billie’s hate for his ex-girlfriend’s (Adrienne Nesser, who is now his wife) new fiancée. The relationship was rather a long distance one and that was the only reason the couple split up. Adrienne became engaged to another guy, and if Billie Joe wasn’t already upset about his ‘lost love’ (which he was), he would be now.

But when Billie won back Adrienne and she moved over to California with him, Adrienne’s ex-fiancée was equally displeased with Billie as Billie had been with him. What a tangled mess.

But this song was produced from it all, so perhaps it was a good thing.

4. “Longview”
Who hasn’t heard this song!

This is the ultimate boredom song ever. No one can top this. The song’s ‘catchy’ and undeniably true. And the video just tops it all off.

This is one of the songs written by Armstrong when the band was living in a squat in Oakland, California. Besides playing gigs, or writing new material, they had nothing to do. They were bored:

Sit around and watch the tube
But nothing’s on

It’s also a good whining session about the crap on TV. Armstrong has said himself, all these years later, that we’re living in a screwed up world where news broadcasts about the war in Iraq are interrupted by adverts for Viagra.

Going back to the lighter side of the song (if I may say exists…), I think this song is a gem. It’s amusing, and the video is just brilliant. This was the song that inspired so many artists.

“Longview” was Green Day’s first release from the album, and everyone was going to see it, because with a nice shiny contract from Warner Bros. this song was going to be everywhere.

The video begins with a rather bored looking Billie Joe sitting on a couch in the basement of their terraced house in Oakland, watching TV. A spider monkey also adds to the comedy.

After scenes of the guys playing in the box-room bathroom, Billie starts to slash the sofa, leaving nothing but a skeletal sofa and artificial feather crap everywhere.

Kids hadn’t seen anything like this before. These three guys, barely out of their teens, they didn’t look anything like the artists that dominated the charts, and they certainly didn’t sound like it either.

“Longview” was just the beginning for Green Day.

5. “Welcome To Paradise”
Again, who hasn’t heard this? Originally recorded as part of Kerplunk!, “Welcome To Paradise” is another ‘I’m useless and pathetic’ song. This time round, it’s Billie writing to his mother, describing the strange new place that he, Mike and Tre had moved to.

It begins at the six-weeks-in mark with ‘Dear Mother, can you hear me whining?’ (Didn’t I tell you this band likes to whine?) And after a chorus and verse, which are equally negative about the area, and despite the line ‘For some strange reason, it’s now feeling like my home. And I’m never gonna go,’ the whole attitude of the song changes:

Dear mother, can you hear me laughing?

After 6 months of the place, the guys are still wondering why but they seem to be rather enjoying themselves. So, they’ve enlightened us once again. Moving out isn’t great at first, but sit it out and all will be well.

Hey, you might just end up some rich rock star! It worked for them, so why not you? This song makes me laugh and now, I really look forward to moving out and to where the world is simply your oyster.

6. “Pulling Teeth”
Now, this song has a pretty funny story behind it. It was at the time when Mike Dirnt was dating his long-term girlfriend who would go on to be his wife for a few years in 1996, Anastasia. They were having an innocent pillow fight and the injury-prone Mike managed to fall over and break his arm.

Tré made numerous jokes about Anastasia beating up poor old Mike, rather than him just having a bad fall, and Billie became inspired.

The song’s hilarious, and is just one big joke.

Accidents will happen
But this time I can’t get up

It’s just how pathetic this male character is. His girlfriend beats him up, but he’s too afraid to dump her, or at least say something about the situation.

Is she ultra-violent?
Is she disturbed?
I better tell her I love her
Before she does it all over again
OH GOD SHE’S KILLING ME!

How can you listen to that and not laugh? It’s pretty genius if you ask me, and this song quite possibly is my favourite from the album.

7. “Basket Case”
This song is about insanity and it’s equally insane within itself.

“Basket Case” is an awesome song to listen to, an awesome video to watch and an awesome one to perform yourself, for all the musicians out there.

It’s fast, fun and just, well, all over the place. As embodied in the video, the beginning is all twitchy and almost high tension, but then all hell breaks loose, with super fast drumming and thrashy guitar. You can jump around to this song and it’s completely punk style.

Pretty much everyone knows the meaning behind this song. Well, anyone who has an interest in Green Day, but even if you don’t know, it’s pretty obvious once you’ve listened to it.

Mike and Billie were beginning to suffer from panic attacks (a year or two later, poor old Billie would be diagnosed with a case of paranoia) and apparently, the only way they could understand and accept what was happening to them was to write a song about it. But in the end (no song title pun intended), Billie is credited as the writer of the lyrics, despite the fact it was a joint effort.

The song describes what it’s like having these panic attacks, how it affects those around them and this amusing idea, ‘Am I just paranoid, or am I just stoned?’ Many may argue that perhaps both of these things were happening.

Like I say, as a performer, this song is a great one to try and when I listen to it, it just makes me laugh how these two guys can make fun of themselves, because really, that’s what they’re doing. They really are insane.

8. “She”
This song is rather hard for me to explain. I know it’s about Billie Joe’s girlfriend at the time, but I don’t know much more of the story.

My guess is that this was a girl who was from a sort of, well-off background, or at least a respectable one, and wasn’t really allowed to be her own person. She felt so locked up, that it got a bit much.

The song’s a good’un though. Musically, it’s interesting with different uses of the instruments, blah, blah, blah. I’m not too sure what to write about it really. I think it’s quite a personal song, not to Billie but the girl.

I do like it though. At times, I feel as though I can relate to it and it’s nice to think that’s it’s a universal feeling!

9. “Sassafras Roots”
I think this is another of Armstrong’s attacks on his beloved Adrienne.

The lyrics ‘So why are you alone, wasting your time? When you could be with me, wasting your time?’ is a clear message, of course, but who its aimed at is uncertain to me.

Another reason why it could be about Adrienne (or ‘Adie’) is that there’s the line ‘Warding off regrets’ — Billie’s almost rubbing it in her face. Nice chap, eh?

It’s a short song and it’s a punchy song, but it’s good. And it’s really another song about boredom. When you’re bored, you’re wasting time. This is yet another song which I find difficult to comment on.

10. “When I Come Around”
Despite a confusing video, some say “When I Come Around” is a Green Day classic, but I believe it’s slightly over rated. It is a good song, but it’s not Green Day at their absolute best. It’s just Armstrong slagging off Adrienne, again!

This time, it’s more of a ‘you had a chance and I think you’re stupid to have thrown it away, but if you’re lucky, I might take you back’ feeling. If I’d been poor old Adie, back in 1993 (although, in reality, I hadn’t even been born yet when the album was released in February), then I’d have been sobbing my eyes out.

But, even though he was being harsh, Billie Joe was saying that he’d take her back, I think.

It is an alright song, just not one of my favourites. Most of the songs are pretty simple, no clever, complicated little guitar riffs or anything, but this song just seems to take it to the extreme.

It’s more about the lyrics I suppose; Armstrong, for once, was more interested in the lyrics than the music!

11. “Coming Clean”
This song is about admitting your sexuality. Both Armstrong and Tre Cool have said they’re bi-sexual, but this was about Billie expressing his uncertainty and also how scary it was to tell people about it.

Seventeen and strung out on confusion

Well, Mom and Dad will never understand

I should think most people go through a stage of confusion and even curiosity, and when someone decides they’re homosexual, or bisexual, then they can relate to this particularly.

But it doesn’t necessarily need be about admitting one’s sexuality. It could also be about any secret:

Secrets collecting dust but never forget
Skeletons come to life in my closet

I like this song. Not only are the words sympathetic, but it sounds sympathetic too. It’s still loud, thrashy Green Day-style, but it is quite melodic and in a bizarre undertone, it is quite gentle.

It’s almost a song for the youth. That sentence is rather cheesy, and I regret writing it, but it is true. I believe it’s one of the most apathetic songs Green Day have ever written.

Sure, it’s easy to relate to loads of their other tracks, but everyone can listen to this and say, ‘Yeh, I know what you mean.’

12. “Emenius Sleepus”
“Emenius Sleepius” wasn’t penned by Armstrong, but by bassist Mike Dirnt.

It’s about he saw an old friend that he’d not seen for quite a while, and it scared him how much the friend had changed:

What have you done with all your time
And what went wrong?

suggests that this friend of Mike’s wasn’t doing particularly great.

And now I think I’m sick and I wanna go home

I’m not sure if this is means he’s shocked at how terribly his friend’s life is going, or that he feels weird because he’s so different, like he isn’t the same as his friend, like they used to be.

But really, you feel sorry for poor ol’ Mike. It wouldn’t be too nice if the kid you’d been best friends with for, like, ever, turned up again and was completely different. It’d be kinda depressing, because you’d probably hate the guy now. I mean, everything you liked about him (or her) has gone and so you’re just left with this person who’s nothing like you, has no similar interests, aspirations or anything. I would not want to be in that situation. Ever.

13. “In The End”
Listen to the song, and you’d think it’s another attck on, by now, the rather crushed Adrienne. But no, you’d be wrong!

Armstrong has said that “In the End” is not about his own life, but about his mother’s. His father died when Billie was 11 and a few years later, his mother remarried to a man that neither Billie Joe nor his five siblings liked.

There had been a few songs in the previous albums with evidence of his dislike for his stepfather, but in this song he is almost trying to make his mother feel guilty.

Once you’ve discovered the meaning of this song, it’s rather uncomfortable listening. Billie Joe has always said that family means more than anything to him, and that he adores his mother, so this song is rather brutal and harsh.

14. “F.O.D. (Fuck Off And Die)”
This is an awesome song. I love it. It begins with Billie wildly beating on some acoustic guitar, saying similar things as “Emenius Sleepus” but less negative.

It’s more about just meeting up with someone, who, although they’ve changed since you were last with them, you can still have fun:

Let’s nuke the bridge we torched 2000 times before

Well, I use the term ‘fun’ loosely. But this cheery feeling of getting over the differences of time and distance soon disappears.

Enter electric guitar, bass and some super drumming and it’s all anger, hate and a general disgust:

You’re just a fuck
I can’t explain it ’cause I think you suck
I’m taking pride
In telling you to fuck off and die

Oh what wonderful chaps Green Day are! This verse can be of use to an angry teenager. But I’m not encouraging anyone to start saying it to people!

Jokes aside, this is a pretty good song. It’s a good one to listen to, especially after a stressful day or a day ruined by certain individuals.

15. “All By Myself” [hidden bonus track]
I used to think All By Myself was not only sung by, but also written by, Tré. But after further research, I discovered it was actually written by Billie. Which is, to a fan like myself, almost hard to swallow, if you’ll excuse the dirty pun there.

This song is just plain silly. It’s the guys messing about and having a laugh. It’s one of those songs that are at the end of a record, and you have to leave the track before (in this case, “FOD”) running for ages until this small nugget of gold begins.

It’s a little ditty about Billie and his not-so-great love life. Mr. Cool performs it brilliantly, making you laugh like the comedian he is. It’s an awesome ‘song’, if you can call it that. But perhaps it wouldn’t be a good idea to play it to your parents.

But then again, should you play any of this album to them? Hell yeah!

Dookie by Green Day

“Burnout”

“Having A Blast”

“Chump”

“Longview”

“Welcome To Paradise”

“Pulling Teeth”

“Basket Case”

“She”

“Sassafras Roots”

“When I Come Around”

“Coming Clean”

“Emenius Sleepus”

“In The End”

“F.O.D. (Fuck Off And Die)”

“All By Myself” [hidden bonus track]

Kerplunk

It’s 1992. The Seattle grunge movement is in full swing, George Bush, Sr., is leaving office, the East Bay punk scene is burgeoning, and a group of 20-year-olds who like pot and playing punk rock have released their second full-length album. Think of it this way: you know Dookie? American Idiot? 21st Century Breakdown? Well, Kerplunk is the album that started all of that; without it, we probably never would have heard that famous, acid-inspired bass line on “Longview” or the epic 9-minute length of “Jesus of Suburbia.” The quality of this album is what ensured that Green Day could sign to a major label (angering several thousand “hardcore” fans in the process) and go on to be the stadium-filling, chart-topping band they are today. Kerplunk has everything that’s good about the Berkeley trio’s major-label blockbuster Dookie and even more besides, and continues everything that’s good about their previous releases. You want amazing drumming and the best bassing this side of Insomniac? You got it. You want guitar hooks that rival “American Idiot” and “East Jesus Nowhere” for pure catchiness? You got them, too. What about lyrics that show the thoughtful, creative side of… California stoners? Well, here they are.

In short, Kerplunk is a perfect slice of pop-infused punk rock. From the “big surprise” on “One for the Razorbacks” to “Android”‘s recognizable fear of growing old, you’ll undoubtedly find something to like here if you’ve ever liked anything by Green Day (well, maybe not if you like “Last Night on Earth”… blegh). Say, you liked “Welcome to Paradise” from Dookie? Check out its original version here, the best track among many great ones; if any one track sold the album, it was that one. Hah, so “All By Myself” was your cup of tea? Well, Tre Cool made his singing debut here with the hilarious “Dominated Love Slave”. Even the freakish drop in quality when the attached Sweet Children EP kicks in at track 13 is forgivable… I mean, Minneapolis? Hüsker Dü or The Replacements probably came back to sabotage the recording anyway. Just kidding.

So, into the murky depths of the track-by-track we go. Each song’s review also includes a letter grade for it, and a few lines of lyrics that I think are the best in the song (usually the chorus) or represent the song well overall. This is my first review of anything other than a Harry Potter book (and, c’mon, I was 12), so go easy on me. Hey, maybe you’ll even want to buy this album after reading it. Anything’s possible, right?

Green Day — Kerplunk: Track-by-track review

1. “2000 Light Years Away”
Green Day’s second full-length album gets off to an excellent start with a relatively fast-tempo burst of romantic pop punk, written by Billie Joe Armstrong about his future wife. The song starts off with a simple but extraordinarily catchy guitar riff (this album is chock-full of them), leading into Armstrong’s forgivably whiny vocals, with some surprisingly good lyrics that set the standard for the rest of the album’s songwriting. Tre Cool’s drumming is excellent throughout, and combines with the also-excellent bass of Mike Dirnt in the bridge to create the rhythm section that is a signature of ‘90s Green Day. “2,000 Light Years Away” is not Kerplunk’s best song, but this doesn’t mean it isn’t great anyway; this song is a good opener and easily captures the fun but thoughtful attitude of the album. Rating: A-

“I sit all alone in my bedroom
Staring at the walls
I’ve been up all damn night long…”

2. “One For The Razorbacks”
This is the type of song that you will probably overlook in your first listen of Kerplunk. However, if you, like me, find yourself listening to the album more than once, “One for the Razorbacks” will most likely become a standout before long. The song begins with an excellent melody of bass and fast-picked guitar chords before climaxing with drum beat that leads into the first verse. The guitar provides a good rhythm during the verses and chorus, but is nothing special; however, the catchy and melodic (if, again, a bit whiny) singing and great lyrics, telling the tale of a disillusioned girl named Juliet, will have you humming this song over and over again. And this isn’t even the best part; no, after a brace of verses and choruses comes the last vestige of Billie Joe Armstrong’s uncharacteristically awesome skills with the fretboard on 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours—a breakneck, insanely catchy 20-second guitar solo. Rating: A

“‘Cause I’m losing what’s left of my dignity
A small price I’ll pay to see that you’re happy
Forget all the disappointments you have faced
Open up your worried world and let me in!”

3. “Welcome To Paradise”
And here we are, folks: My personal favorite Green Day song. Like most of you, probably, I first heard this song on Dookie. The two versions are quite different, but just about equally as good; the Kerplunk version has a rawer sound to the guitar (which may or may not be preferable to the later version’s faster, but dryer and more “radio friendly,” sound), while the bass is more prominent and the singing a bit whinier and less aggressive. The guitar riff is instantly memorable—it was the first thing I ever learned to play—and Tre Cool’s drumming is perhaps at its best here. Like on “2,000 Light Years Away,” Mike Dirnt shines in a bass solo during the breakdown, combining with Cool’s drums and a scratchy, palm muted guitar riff to deliver a satisfying buildup to the song’s third verse. Of all the excellent songs on this album, “Welcome to Paradise” is undoubtedly the best. The lyrics speak of Armstrong’s life away from his parents’ home, living in an Oakland warehouse; it’s a slightly dark but amazingly fun song to listen to, and perfectly represents everything good about Kerplunk. Rating: A+

“Pay attention to the cracked streets and the broken homes
Some call it slums, some call it nice…
I wanna take you through a wasteland I like to call my home
Welcome to paradise!”

4. “Christie Road”
The fourth song on the album opens with a few quick hits on Tre Cool’s drums and a slow, chugging guitar riff that reflects, to some degree, the interesting combination of metal, grunge and punk rock guitar sound on 1,039…. Billie Joe Armstrong’s lyrics are top-notch on “Christie Road,” describing his frequent teenage escapes to a nearby railroad line to smoke and “kill some time.” The singing also is above-average here, and mostly avoids the whininess that sometimes detracts from other songs on the record (ignore an annoying voice crack in the second verse and you’ll be good to go); the singing in the chorus is especially good. The ending has the guitar move into a quick, higher-pitched riff, which sounds good but also a bit ill-matched with the final sung lines of the song. Overall, “Christie Road” is a very nice song, but except for the stellar vocals in the chorus, it lacks a feature that makes it really stand out, and doesn’t quite capture the pure catchiness of other Kerplunk songs. This song would probably be excellent acoustic. Rating: A-

“Give me something to do to kill some time
Take me to that place that I call home
Take away the strains of being lonely
Take me to the tracks at Christie Road!”

5. “Private Ale”
A faster, more intense chugging guitar riff starts off “Private Ale,” the next in the series of kick-@$$ songs that make up the first third of Kerplunk. A lead guitar shows up briefly but drops out immediately, a bit of a disappointment. You’ll notice that the lyrics in the verses are essentially the same, except for the first line, but this is compensated by some excellent, angry singing from Billie Joe Armstrong and a chorus which rivals that of “One for the Razorbacks” for catchiness, backed up by furiously pounding guitar chords. Tre Cool once more shows his utility to the band, keeping up the rhythm and providing lots of little drum fills. Though it lacks a rhythm section or bass solo, “Private Ale” showcases a great feature of Kerplunk: Mike Dirnt’s bass is still audible basically all the time. Like the best songs on this album, “Private Ale” is simple and catchy. Oh, and it has a strange, hilarious bridge (think “drill sergeant with distortion”).
Rating: A-/A

“Because I feel so right
Let my imagination go
Until you’re in my sights
And through my veins temptation flows!
Whoa-oh
Out here…”

6. “Dominated Love Slave”
A joke track that I’m not going to rate. “Dominated Love Slave” features Tre Cool singing and playing guitar for the first time on a Green Day album, and has hilarious lyrics about bondage and masochism made even funnier by Tre’s country-parody singing and some weird background noises. Okay, fine, if I had to rate it: B+

“Want you to slap me and call me naughty
Put a belt sander against my skin!
I wanna feel pain all over my body
Can’t wait to be punished for my sins!”

“Dominated Love Slave” is not exactly the best Tre song, but it fits the album. by KreyzMcKormik (0)

7. “One Of My Lies”
“One of My Lies” has grown on me quite a bit; I previously dismissed it as just filler, but now I see it as a pretty good pop-punk song despite still considering it to be among the “worst” on this album. The singing is my main complaint in this song; the chorus is excellent, just like ALL of this album’s choruses, but the verses suffer from a sense of disorganization and wordiness, while Billie Joe’s characteristic whine is annoying rather than endearing. Still, the guitar on “One of My Lies” is crisp and excellent, and Mike Dirnt’s bass provides some nice fills and good rhythm, while the lyrics manage to show some developing maturity among cries of “And all I want to do is get real high!” Rating: B

“I used to pray at night
Before I laid myself down
My mother said it was right
Her mother said it too
Why?”

8. “80”
Wow, look at that. “80” is the 8th track on this album! A-hem. Anyway, “80” isn’t significantly better than “One of My Lies,” making this part of the album the part to skip if you have to. Again, it is by no means a bad song, and provides a nice slowdown å la “Christie Road,” with tongue-in-cheek lyrics about Billie Joe Armstrong’s future wife Adrienne, who he nicknamed “Aidy”—also the subject of “2,000 Light Years Away.” However, it lacks that song’s charm, and the juicy, vaguely grunge-like guitar sounds a bit uninspired this time around. Billie Joe’s singing is less interesting than on other songs on the album, and though the chorus is nice, it seems to drag on for a bit too long, and the song as a whole seems like it could be cut down by a good thirty or forty seconds (it’s the longest on the record, tied with “No One Knows”). “80” is not a bad song, but is probably the one you should skip, if you do skip any of Kerplunk’s gems (the Sweet Children EP tracks notwithstanding—see below). Rating: B-/B

“I do not mind if this goes on
‘Cause now it seems I’m too far gone
I must admit that I enjoy myself
80, please keep taking me away.”

9. “Android”
After a few solid but relatively average tracks, “Android” livens things up again, beginning with an instantly catchy riff (think “Welcome to Paradise” but with a thicker sound). The lyrics funnily and perfectly capture a teenager’s uncertainty about his future and fear of old age, as Armstrong sings about seeing an “old man in woman’s shoes” and wondering about his past. Tre Cool has several drum mini-solos, alternating well with the guitar’s riffing and palm-muted rhythm. Every element of the band blends excellently on “Android,” with Mike Dirnt’s bass meandering along in the bridge (which, like that of “Private Ale,” is hilarious—this time, think “lazy old man + fart noises”), and his backing vocals supporting Armstrong’s in the song’s melodic conclusion, before Tre’s drums and the guitar riff kick in again to finish it. “Android” is another song that has in it everything that is good about Kerplunk, and only “Welcome to Paradise” really surpasses it for pure memorability and display of Green Day’s songwriting skill.
Rating: A

“It seems so frightening
Time passes by like lightening
Before you know it you’re struck down
I always waste my time on
My chemical emotions
It keeps my head spinning around!
Waste away…”

10. “No One Knows”
Easily the slowest song on Kerplunk, “No One Knows” continues the pattern of excellent bassing with a long, haunting intro by Mike Dirnt. The guitar is absolutely unremarkable when it comes in (it’s just three or four palm-muted power chords with only the barest of rhythm, though it picks up a bit on the chorus with the album’s characteristic grunge-like sound), but the great bassing is complemented by the most mature-sounding vocals on the album, worthy of those of Warning. The lyrics again speak of growing up, but this time in relation to the subject’s friends—after all, anyone’s late teens are rife with uncertainty and the capricious nature of friends… and I speak from experience. “No One Knows” is equally as long as “80,” and to some degree it suffers from the same problem of dragging on. However, the bass intro and the singing are enough to sustain the song and make it interesting throughout, so you’ll likely have no problem keeping it on through it’s final chorus (which ranks among the best on this album of excellent choruses). Rating: A-

“Call me irresponsible
Call me habitual
But when you think of me
Do you fill your head with schemes?
Better think again ‘cause no one knows.”

11. “Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?”
As the title indicates, the eleventh song on Kerplunk is about The Catcher in the Rye, Billie Joe Armstrong’s favorite book. It deals with the same sort of coming-of-age issues found in both that book and on many of the other songs on this album, and is, unfortunately, the last truly excellent song here. The album’s characteristically raw guitar sound is prominent here, at its best despite lacking the instantly memorable riffs of “Welcome to Paradise” or “Android.” Mike Dirnt’s bass is less of a part of this song than it is of “No One Knows,” but still continues Kerplunk’s excellent practice of leaving it audible beneath the electric guitar, and Tre Cool again delivers a solid performance on the drums. Billie Joe’s vocals are top-notch again; though lacking the maturity of those of “No One Knows,” they are well suited to this song and sound genuine and honest, switching well between the slower verses and yelled chorus. The chorus is, once again, very good, though its repetition at the end of the song can be a little bit wearing. Rating: A-

“Well I say there’s a boy who fogs his world and now he’s getting lazy
There’s no motivation and frustration makes him crazy
He makes a plan to take a stand but always ends up sitting
Someone help him up or he is gonna end up quitting!”

12. “Words I Might Have Ate”
The first entirely acoustic Green Day song (uh, maybe the only acoustic one, period, besides their cover of Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge”) is somewhat of a disappointment, not reaching the quality of “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” or even “Macy’s Day Parade.” No, this is not the album’s one bad song, but it doesn’t have a big draw for me like most of the others. The bass is good, and audible for the entire song, but Tre’s drumming is basic, and the acoustic guitar is flat and boring after a couple of listens. The vocals are a little above average for Kerplunk, showing some nice pitch changes and harmonies, with good, thoughtful lyrics, but also get quite whiny at some points. None of these things make this song bad, but it is a—forgivably— average track. Rating: B-

“But now it’s gone
And I take the blame
So there’s nothing I can do but take the pain
Why?”

13. “Sweet Children”
At this point, the original Kerplunk gives way to the four tracks of the Sweet Children EP. Though it sounds like it might have been the first thing the band ever released (plus, “Sweet Children” was also Green Day’s original name), this EP was simply a poorly-recorded collection of the band’s oldest tracks that was tossed out in 1990—after 39/Smooth and the 1,000 Hours and Slappy EPs, the original incarnations of 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, had already been released—from Skene Records, when the band stopped in Minneapolis for a few weeks while on tour. Emphasis “poorly-recorded”; the production quality is terrible. “Sweet Children” has a very cool guitar and bass riff, but John Kiffmeyer’s drumming leaves a lot to be desired—the band made a smart move, replacing him with Tre Cool in ’91. Billie Joe Armstrong’s signing is… well… it sucks. Nice lyrics, about those oh-so-troublesome early-teen hormones, but, really, the singing is a big fault of this song… and the next songs don’t get any better. I can forgive these last four songs as being “bonus tracks,” but, yeah… nobody will blame you for skipping. This song is average at best. Rating: C+/B-

“Sweet young girl so soft and blond
Doesn’t attack me, but she did once
Intoxication’s in her veins
Sweet young boy plays with her brain.”

14. “Best Thing In Town”
Remember how I said the singing of the next songs doesn’t get any better? Well, here’s your proof. 80% of the lyrics on this one are completely unintelligible. There is nothing above below-average in this song, besides a nifty little guitar solo in the bridge, and the production quality almost kills that, too. This song just barely escapes being actually bad, but it’s definitely the worst song on the album. Rating: C

“Come with me, let’s go for a ride
Follow me on to the other side
[Something, something, something
Something, something] best thing in town!”

15. “Strangeland”
“Strangeland” is so similar to “Best Thing in Town” that the two songs will probably just blend together for you. Everything I just said still applies. The guitar solo is worse here, but the rhythm guitar is a little bit better, and the vocals are also a little better, if even more mumbled. Take your pick. Rating: C

“Looking at the clouds in the sky
[Almost everything after this is entirely unclear]”

16. “My Generation”
The mediocrity of the last two tracks is, thankfully, not the last word of this stellar album. This two-minute cover of one of The Who’s most famous songs is surprisingly fun and overcomes a lot of the quality issues that plague the other Sweet Children tracks. Billie Joe Armstrong has some fun with the vocals and there are mini-solos for each instrument and a longer, very good guitar solo at the end. It’s still inferior to all of the original Kerplunk tracks, but between this song and the guitar riff on “Sweet Children,” the end of what I consider to be Green Day’s best album is bearable. Rating: B-

“Talkin’ ’bout my generation!”

Well, that’s it for Green Day’s Kerplunk. If you like fun, catchy pop-punk, there’s no album better than this one. Comment on the review, please!

—Daniel Franc (“Francfurter”)

Kerplunk by Green Day

“2000 Light Years Away”

“One For The Razorbacks”

“Welcome To Paradise”

“Christie Road”

“Private Ale”

“Dominated Love Slave”

“One Of My Lies”

“80”

“Android”

“No One Knows”

“Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?”

“Words I Might Have Ate”

“Sweet Children”

“Best Thing In Town”

“Strangeland”

“My Generation”

1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours

NOTE: We’re looking for a knowledgeable Green Day nerd! A review for 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours hasn’t been published — yet. We need someone who can write a full track-by-track review of this album (at least a couple paragraphs per song); if you know the music, you can submit a review. You’ll be compensated when visitors make purchases through vendor links on their pages — for as long as your review remains on the site. Get more details in the FAQ.

1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours by Green Day

“At The Library”

“Don’t Leave Me”

“I Was There”

“Disappearing Boy”

“Green Day”

“Going To Pasalacqua”

“16”

“Road To Acceptance”

“Rest”

“The Judge’s Daughter”

“Paper Lanterns”

“Why Do You Want Him?”

“409 In Your Coffeemaker”

“Knowledge”

“1,000 Hours”

“Dry Ice”

“Only Of You”

“The One I Want”

“I Want To Be Alone”