Artist: Green Day
Released: Feb 1, 1994 (reprise)
Billie Joe Armstrong: Vocals, guitars
Mike Dirnt: Bass
Tre Cool: Drums
Pop-punk music sometimes has a tendency to suck, especially these days. But if we rewind 10 years back to the release Green Day's breakthrough album, Dookie, I remind myself that in every genre of music there will always be an artist I like. The Cali trio's 3rd album, and 1st on major label (reprise), is in my opinion their undisputed best and has remained one of my all time favorite albums ever since I laid ears on it.
It's a progression in their music, if only a little, that's all they needed. Billy Joe's ability to write a good song has become widely apparent ever since. In their first two records Green Day were just a few underground kids in a punk revival band, they showed promise but were nothing more, I don't have to tell you they changed that. Dookie delivered Billy Joe's songwriting in full bloom, cynical and sarcastic, self-loathing, playful and even hateful. Green Day were deliberately acting like snotty adolescents. And they were having fun.
Dookie stormed out onto the charts in 1994, with help from MTV, with the release of the bands first single 'Longview.' The album continued to sell into the summer with the single release of 'Basket Case' (which some describe as the definitive Green Day song), spending 5 weeks on top of the charts. At the end of the summer they played Woodstock '94, stealing the show (if you've seen the footage you'd wish you were old enough (and living in the right country) to have been there) and promoting the album even further. By the time 'When I Come Around' was released, Dookie had almost sold 5 millions copies in the U.S. alone, which eventually went up to 8 million, and to 10 million worldwide. That's 10 million + copies over 10 years, a million copies a year, which is 2740 copies every day… anyhow. Green Day were blending pop into fast drumbeats and careless guitar chords, catchy lyrics over catchy melodies, making way for imitator after imitator. There's just something about it that takes me back every time I listen to it.
01. Burnout: It starts with a fast drum roll and keeps up the pace the whole way through. 'I'm not growing up, I'm just burning out' sets the tone for the rest of the album.
02. Having a Blast: Slowing down a bit and putting a bit more thought into the lyrics. The line 'To me it's nothing' repeated over and over in Billie's careless voice might stick in your head for a while.
03. Chump: Having a Blast and Chump are two tracks that sort of blend together sound wise. You might notice that, lots of the songs sound the same. Personally this is not one of my favorite tracks but it does have rather cool bass breakdown that segues into the next track 'Longview.'
04. Longview: You've all heard this song. The catchy-as-hell baseline over the lazy toms, with a chorus that forces you to chant along to makes for one of the highlights of the album.
05. Welcome to Paradise: Originally recorded on the last album, but re-recorded for Dookie. The Dookie version is much better in my opinion and I always consider this song as a 'Dookie' song. Another highlight to the album about growing up in teenage slums, with one of the best breakdowns ever.
06. Pulling Teeth: The album changes tones here. This song is a very country-ish love song. Pretty corny, but fun.
07. Basket Case: 'Do you have the time, to listen to me whine, about nothing and everything all at once?' The chunky palm muted guitars make
this song, and It's been described as the definitive Green Day song.<
08. She: BRILLIANT song. A beautiful chorus melody with great lyrics. 'Are you locked up in a world that's been planned out for you?' One of my favorite GD songs of all time.
09. Sassafras Roots: A song about wasting time with the people you love. It's one of the 'happier' moments of the album.
10. When I Come Around: What can I say? This was probably the first Green day song I ever heard and it's just a classic. And you've all heard it, so I need say no more.
11. - 13. Coming Clean, Emenius Sleepus, In the End: I review these three songs as one because they are all short, fast tracks (all under 2 minutes) that blend into one another and in a way they almost come out as one song. These three tracks are part of the highlight of the album, so just because I review them as one, don't think they aren't great tracks. In the End is, in particular, a great song.
14. F.O.D.: The best song on the whole fuck
ing album. A soft solo performance on a nylon stringed acoustic by Billie, cascading into the wildly unexpected chaos of distorted guitars and hammering drums, with the unforgettable line 'I'm taking pride in telling you to fuck
off and die.' Not only is this the highlight if the album for me, but I think it's the best song ever written.
15. *All By Myself: The hidden track on F.O.D. The lyrics are hilarious, and it honestly sounds like Billie made them up on the spot.
Song highlights: Longwiew, Welcome to Paradise, She, When I Come Around, F.O.D.
With an album that starts fast and finishes loud, how could I not give it 5/5?