I was listening to the Sirius XM station Lithium, classic alternative, in the car yesterday and I heard the Green Day song “Waiting,” from their 2000 album Warning and that got me to reminiscing. I forgot how big of a Green Day fan I was when I was growing up. I wore out my copies of Dookie, Insomniac, and Nimrod. I thought the music I was listening to was punk but what I was too young to realize was at the time the trio were actually being ostracized From the punk rock community.
Signing to Reprise Records prior to recording Dookie was seen as selling out by many of their peers but indie labels weren’t as strong then as they are now. Now you can sign to labels like Sub Pop or Fat Possum and still sell a ton of records. Back then that wasn’t really an option so I really can’t blame them. It’s not like they started doing spreadable butter commercials. Also, lets not forget that The Ramones, who many call the fathers of punk rock, were under contract to Sire Records for most of their careers and that label is owned by Warner Music Group.
I will say that I don’t much care for the current version of Green Day. I don’t have any interest in a band who makes music for arenas (i.e. U2, Coldplay) but I do miss the punk rock sellout version of the band. They do have to take some of the blame for spawning the Sum 41’s and Simple Plan’s but what can you do when less talented bands are copying your style? When it comes down to it, these albums are full of catchy melodies and singable hooks that have aged much better than anything made by their peers. They do need to get some credit for that even if you aren’t a fan of what they are doing today.
Below I have posted a few choice selections from their mid-90’s run.
Green Day – Burnout (from Dookie)
Green Day – Having a Blast (from Dookie)
Green Day – Brain Stew (from Insomniac)
Green Day – Walking Contradiction (from Insomniac)
Green Day – Hitchin’ A Ride (from Nimrod)