All things considered, Green Day, alongside Nirvana, RATM and The Foo Fighters, are probably one of the most important American bands of the naughty nineties. You only have to look around at the number of Pop-Punk trio's entering our charts at number 31 these days to prove how influential they were. Their music was never groundbreaking. It was simply good, sometimes-not-so-clean punk fun. And where's the harm in that?
This Best-Of then, is well-timed. Green Day have reached something of a crossroads in their career. "Warning", their most recent album, showed a distinct move away from their previous records, with acoustic guitars abounding, and a general relaxed feel dominating the collection. Whether their next album will carry this on further is anybody's guess, but that is not for us to debate here. Now is the time to enjoy their previous exploits.
Green Day's third album, "Dookie" is one which they will always be remembered for. Chock-full of delightful Punk-Pop classics, it's singles: the frenetic "Longview", the melodic "When I Come Around" and the all time classic "Basket Case" prove this indefinitely. The album sold 12 million copies worldwide. It made Green Day into one of the world's biggest bands. They had made the record against which all other American Punk records will be compared. It was never going to be easy to follow.
They managed it, but only with the terribly disappointing "Insomniac". It sounded, rushed, slap-dash, and was full to the brim of filler. Only "Geek Stink Breath" compares to their other work.
"Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)" will forever be known as the Green Day song your Nan likes, and the Buzzcocks's recalling "Redundant" is also here from 1997's "Nimrod". But the album finest moment, and opening track, is the adrenaline-filled punk blast "Nice Guys Finish Last". This also features due to it's inclusion on a film soundtrack. At times, Green Day are reminiscent less of The Offspring and their ilk, and more of the classic British Punk Bands of the late 70's. The Jam, The Skids and others can be heard in countless Green Day tracks.
Indeed, it's tracks like "Nice Guys Finish Last" that were woefully missing from 2000's "Warning". Described, somewhat simplistically as 'Folk-Punk', "Warning" is NOT a classic record, and "Minority", "Warning" or recent single "Waiting" have none of the immediacy of Dookie's finest moments. The record's best tracks, the Costello recalling Church On Sunday isn't even featured.
So, a fine band release a fantastic collection of their finest songs. Sounds good to me. Skip "She", though, eh?
8James Westfox's Score