It’s almost hard to believe that we’re gearing up for Green Day’s 12th album! Revolution Radio, which is the band’s first release in four years, is set to hit shelves on October 7.
To get you in the mood, we’ve revisited the Californian’s discography and ranked the studio records from 11-1.
11. ¡Tre!, 2012
The subtext of releasing a triple album is that you have three albums worth of songs, and none of them could be cut to make one album, they’re just so good. Tre is concrete proof that this was not the case for Green Day.
The ‘highlights’ on this album are merely moments that rise above mediocrity. ‘Brutal Love’ might be one of the stronger songs from the trilogy, but ’99 Revolutions’ and ‘Dirty Rotten Bastards’ merely receive praise for sitting atop the bell curve.
Underrated Gem: ‘Brutal Love’
10. 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, 1991
1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, the compilation that smashes together their first album 39/Smooth and the first two EPs Slappy and 1,000 Hours, has long been considered the “official” debut album from the band.
Released as Billie Joe was turning 18, the album is full of awkward teenage sentiments and confusing angst – but also a few moments of melodic brilliance. A rough but promising start.
Single: ‘At The Library’
Underrated Gem: ‘The Judge’s Daughter’
9. 21st Century Breakdown, 2009
To follow up American Idiot, Green Day went bigger and bolder. 21st Cenutry Breakdown is a full blown rock opera, with three acts and a cast of characters – but all it proves is that American Idiot was lightning in a bottle. The album has its shining moments, but it’s too weighed down by its own vague narrative to top its predecessor.
Single: ’21 Guns’
Underrated Gem: ‘Murder City’
8. ¡Dos!, 2012
In September 2012, Billie Joe checked into rehab after his infamous meltdown on iHeartRadio. In November 2012 Green Day released Dos; the 2nd chapter in their album trilogy, and the most debaucherous album the band has ever released.
Tales of indulgence and excess are chronicled as the band give their take on garage rock. ‘Fuck Time’ is a hell of a party track, whereas ‘Night Life’ features some awkwardly sexual verses. This album would have been a solid sophomore release for Foxboro Hot Tubs, but instead stands as an interesting middle album.
Single: ‘Stray Heart’
Underrated Gem: ‘Amy’
7. ¡Uno!, 2012
The trio announced at the beginning of 2012 that their new studio album was in fact going to be a trilogy; three full length albums released over six months. Did they pull it off? Kinda.
¡Uno! is the most Green Day of the three albums. If you were going to only release one of these albums, it’s this one. Featuring it’s fair share of hooks and power pop, it’s a “throwback album” to the early days, albeit a bit of an underwhelming one.
Single: ‘Oh Love’
Underrated Gem: ‘Let Yourself Go’
6. Nimrod, 1997
Across 18 tracks (22 on Australian editions), Green Day get a little experimental and cover the most ground yet with Nimrod. It goes from straightforward typical Green Day songs, to instrumentals, hardcore tracks, and even the indelible acoustic ballad that is ‘Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)’. It has its hits, but there’s enough misses thrown in to make it a long listen.
Single: ‘Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)’
Underrated Gem: ‘Worry Rock’
5. Kerplunk, 1992
Green Day really figured it out on Kerplunk; with the explosive drumming of Tre Cool now in the pocket (replacing original drummer John Kiffmeyer), they released an album that set the tone for everything that was to come.
While the songwriting still reeks a little of high school (especially ‘One Of My Lies’), the melodies are tighter, the harmonies are stronger, and the band are experimenting with the formula of pop and punk that would make them international superstars. ‘2000 Light Years Away’ and ‘Christie Road’ still stand as fan favourites over two decades later.
Single: ‘2,000 Light Years Away’
Underrated Gem: ‘Christie Road’
4. Warning, 2000
Warning is the reverse Bringing It All Back Home. In a world in which Green Day are the electric Bob Dylan, fans would cry out “Judas” as Billie Joe took to the stage (and the record) with an acoustic guitar.
More laid back that any album to come before it, or after it, Warning is the sleeper album of Green Day’s catalogue; some strong songwriting, great melodies, and underrated tracks.
Underrated Gem: ‘Church On Sunday’
3. Insomiac, 1995
Insomniac is a lot like Dookie’s evil brother. It’s filled with all the things that make the last album a global phenomenon, but with a darker edge. The songs have a little more bite in them, and the guitars have more grit.
Insomniac is sanding off that pop sheen that made Dookie a worldwide phenomenon, while delivering standout tracks like ‘Brain Stew/Jaded’ and ‘Walking Contradiction’. If you liked Dookie but not this, well, you never liked Green Day anyway.
Single: ‘Geek Stink Breath’
Underrated Gem: ’86’
2. American Idiot, 2004
A decade after Dookie, Green Day became a cultural phenomenon again with American Idiot. After having their original album stolen from their studio, they turned the ambition up to 11 to create a concept album that took aim at the Bush Administration, and turned Green Day from bratty punks to stadium rockstars in the process.
It’s a cultural landmark on the mid-2000’s with its own Broadway Musical, and enslaved another generation of teenagers to the cult of Green Day.
Single: ‘Boulevard Of Broken Dreams’
Underrated Gem: ‘Homecoming’
1. Dookie, 1994
With one of the most iconic albums of the 90’s, Green Day were at the forefront of the punk explosion with Dookie. Their first album on a major label; the production values were given a massive boost, while the songs themselves got a sharper punk edge.
Brilliant moments are all across the album; the walking bass line in ‘Longview’, the drum fills on ‘Burnout’, the ferocity of ‘In The End’. It’s an album that speaks directly to the hearts of confused teenagers (and adults), and will continue to do so for decades to come.
Single: ‘Basket Case’
Underrated Gem: ‘F.O.D.’