Jul 5, 2009

Top 40 Green Day

As stated months back, I think Green Day is one of those bands that has standed the test of time in my collection. In this blog, I decided to explore some of my favorite songs in depth.
While I don't think the order is worth taking seriously, majority of them are in some form of order of preference. It also shows that I am not as hardcore into Green Day as some people (cough, Alex, cough) as my selections only get abstract into "Shenanigans" material, but never does it stray into their first album.
So without furhter ado...

1. Scattered ("Nimrod") - Most likely my favorite Green Day song. Where "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" has become the cliche graduation song, I feel this song is more on key of pulling out the memories and remembering how amazing those experiences were. Every time I pull out a picture of a few years back, this song pops into my head, and with good reason.

2. Christie Road ("Kerplunk") - I like this song more because it reminds me of being at a coffee shop in San Pedro hearing Jack Anthony and Seth Barnes belting out this song with so much passion. Like "Rivers of Babylon" (best know for the Sublime cover), they managed to harmonize it perfectly and make me love the original more.

3. The Grouch ("Nimrod") - A solid balance of humor and punk in the view of getting older and turning into shit. The song is too damn catchy to be ignored and the subject matter alone can be sprayed onto walls of those in their mid-twenties in pure honesty: “The world owes me, so fuck you.”
4. East Jesus Nowhere (“21st Century Breakdown”) – I don’t think I am religiously conflicted, but when I heard this song bashing organized religion, I felt for the first time there was a song out there that held the energy and delivered the message correctly. The chord progression and breakdown only adds more to the song and makes this an undeniable stand-out on their recent opus.
5. Longview (“Dookie”) – The song that took them to the next level, as they would say. I mostly stick this song in the Top Ten because as a bass player, that lick that Mike Dirnt plays is one of the most iconic in popular culture. Sure, you had “Smoke on the Water” for guitar, but very few bass lines have managed to be as recognizable as this one.
6. Church on Sunday (“Warning”) – I am unsure why I stuck this one this high other than the initial concept of compromise for love.
7. Minority (“Warning”) – Many years after Green Day said “Fuck you” with “The Grouch”, they returned with a “free for all, fuck them all”. The choice of instruments changes from their normal guitar/bass/drums to include harmonica, which give the song a more Americana theme that in itself makes it sound defiant and patriotic at the same time.
8. Nice Guys Finish Last (“Nimrod”) – The introduction to my favorite album had them at their peak as they broke from a guitar intro into a bass line verse. Their humor was still very much present and made the song a cynical masterpiece by finishing the chorus “Don’t pat yourself on the back/You might break your spine”.
9. Basket Case (“Dookie”) – This was one of the first Green Day songs I heard before I knew who Green Day were. In fact, I went about three years not knowing who actually did the song until I sat awkwardly at Alex’s house and the video came on. Going crazy never sounded this catchy or had such great wordplay (“I went to a whore/He said my life’s a bore/Said quit my whining/Because it’s bringing her down”).
10. Whatsername (“American Idiot”) – The closing song to their big comeback album and I mostly like it for similar reasons I like “Scattered”. The factors of living life and thinking back on old friends and wondering if they married Whatshisface. Having graduated high school, I think I associated this song with those friends I hardly see anymore since graduating.
11. King for a Day (“Nimrod”) – Another cross-dressing party anthem. Sure, it was the band’s most obscure song to that date, but it brought a fun appeal to the thought of “G.I. Joes in pantyhose” through a first person account of everyone thinking you are crazy.
12. Walking Alone (“Nimrod”) – Another bummer song that happens to be hyped by use of a harmonica. I think I like this song simply because it reminds me on what I think sometimes when I see people I want to make a good impression around and the inevitable regrets that follow.
13. Castaway (“Warning”) – Not much to say other than this is another catchy, underrated song off of “Warning”, the final bridging album between the old and new Green Day that no one seems to appreciate.
14. Macy’s Day Parade (“Warning”) – Other than thinking they say “Saddest sex you’ve ever seen”, the song’s slow pace and abstract lyrics really sets it apart and gives it some deeper emotion that people think “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” has more of.
15. Hitchin’ a Ride (“Nimrod”) – I think the bass line and the count down into the bridge into the chorus really makes this a brilliant song that seems to be one of the most deluded road trips ever where you eat crow and there is a drought at the fountain of youth. If you’ve ever seen them live, this is also one of the few songs you actually want to have drawn out with crowd participation.
16. Burnout (“Dookie”) – It begins with “I declare I don’t care no more”, and at times, that is just exactly how I feel, standing “in line to walk amongst the dead”.
17. Poprocks and Coke (“International Superhits”) – Very cliché and the lyrics don’t leave much to the imagination, but it’s simplicity recalls the Cure’s “Love Song” and the perfection of making a song so broad, you can add your own definition. I know plenty of things I have used this song to describe (including a relationship amongst Alex and his girlfriend at the time, Helen).
18. Worry Rock (“Nimrod”) – I don’t know exactly the appeal of this song other than the metaphors and being “fucked without a kiss again” and “Promise me no dead end streets/And I’ll guarantee we’ll have the road”. I think the imagery is what sells me on the whole song.
19. Blood, Sex, and Booze (“Warning”) – I cannot really figure out what I like about it other than the abusive relationship tale is rather entertaining.
20. 2,000 Light Years Away (“Kerplunk”) – Everytime I hear “I sit alone in my bedroom, staring at the walls”, I think about those late nights when I can’t sleep. When he says “I see her laughing/We laugh together”, I feel the same way about whoever is stealing my brain from sleep. The song seems to be familiar ground in my life as I always think about people that are not around.
21. Pulling Teeth (“Dookie”) – It’s always awesome to hear songs about women who can kick your ass. This is probably the best one I’ve heard involving this subject matter.
22. Ha Ha, You’re Dead (“Shenanigans”) – Ever think about people you hate and suddenly read about them being dead? I know this song is tongue-in-cheek, chewing on tin-foil once again, but it’s just so brilliant in the fact that you don’t necessarily need to grieve over someone’s death just because they died.
23. When I Come Around (“Dookie”) – One of their best early radio hits simply because they promise the possibility that nothing ever happened, feeling no remorse about pissing other people off with lethargic behavior.
24. Last Night on Earth (“21st Century Breakdown”) – Some people hate their ballads and think they are getting further away from their sound. But on this, their desire to give all their love to you comes across as sincere over a piano melody that is probably their best use to date.
25. Warning (“Warning”) – The simple desire to not “shut up and be a victim of authority” sets up the album for a tone of political defiance over a hypnotic guitar pattern reminiscent of the Kinks. Their ramblings about not paying bills and not talking to strangers mixed with sarcasm prove that they still have some fun left in them, despite maturing in sound.
26. Walking Contradiction (“Insomniac”) – If you get one thing out of this song, it’s this awesome line: “A smart-ass, but I’m playing dumb”.
27. The Static Age (“21st Century Breakdown”) – More proof that the radio’s political agenda sucks as you compare it to static. It has all of the energy of their older sound with lyrics about wanting “to know a goddamn thing, not what’s in the medicine”. It’s fun, it’s short, and reminds you that they still have some punk in their sound.
28. Espionage (“Shenanigans”) – If you heard this isolated from knowledge of Green Day, you probably wouldn’t know, but the song’s tone and use of horns really is impressive and makes it the perfect theme to any spy movie (they settled on “Austin Powers and the Spy Who Shagged Me”).
29. Geek Stink Breath (“Insomniac”) – I may dislike a lot of the darker songs on the album, but this song is just fun to drive around to while acting bizarre.
30. All the Time (“Nimrod”) – More of the reason why “Nimrod” is my favorite album by them. It’s not really that special, but the catchiness makes up for it.
31. Last of the American Girls (“21st Century Breakdown”) – The bass line is not really that impressive, but the lyrics about a defiant girl defiling walls really shows the band’s movement towards storytelling in a manner that seems fit also as a single song.
32. Brat (“Insomniac”) – I’m sure we all have had moments in our lives when we want our parents to just die so we can get free money. Even though this comes across kind of mean spirited, it is like “The Grouch” in the sense that it is just pure fun.
33. Welcome to Paradise (“Kerplunk”) – The true white boy version of “being proud to be from the ghetto” anthem. It was so good, they rerecorded it for “Dookie”.
34. Deadbeat Holiday (“Warning”) – One of the few songs that addresses the concept of being happy to have what you do because some people have it worse off. Also, it’s not very often you have a song start the visually impressive “Wake up, the house is on fire/And the cat’s caught in the dryer”.
35. No Pride (“Insomniac”) – I am just trying to buff out the Top 40 and I remember this song being pretty catchy, though I don’t really have much of an emotional attachment to it.
36. Sassafras Roots (“Dookie”) – This song reminds me of hanging out with Jennifer for some reason. It probably could be all of the references to wasting time or that she’s the only one who qualifies for the “smoking cigarettes” line. But either way, the nihilism makes the song a feel-good tune.
37. Jesus of Suburbia (“American Idiot”) – “American Idiot” didn’t produce too many of my favorite songs, though it did produce this nine minute opus which features several selections for catchy little numbers that recall a poppier Green Day. The unique place in music history probably outshines it’s quality, but it’s still pretty decent.
38. Desensitized (“Shenanigans”) – One of the first songs I heard by Green Day after meeting Alex. I think if anything, this song is memorable just for the intro of someone screaming in total anarchy. Also, the lyrics about being imune to violence really expresses what too much TV can do to even the best of us.
39. Dominated Love Slave (“Kerplunk”) – An awesome joke song that was hard to place simply because everything below it wouldn’t be taken seriously because of how ridiculous this song actually is. The country style really makes this a cynical joy about being macked in the forehead with a chain.
40. One of My Lies (“Kerplunk”) – I have to say, it is a good song, but like I said, anything below “Dominated Love Slave” wouldn’t be taken seriously. I remember this one being catchy, but it holds no real emotional attachment.
Kerplunk: 5Dookie: 6Insomniac: 4Nimrod: 8Warning: 7International Super Hits: 1Shenanigans: 3American Idiot: 2
21st Century Breakdown: 4

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