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the logo from the band Greenday
the logo from the band Greenday



Greenday is an american (punk)rock band that consists of 3 persons and exists since 1987. The inital formation stayed almost the same; Billie Joe Armstrong (guitar and vocals), Mike Dirnt (bass and vocals) and John Kiffmeyer (drums). Only John Kiffmeyer was replaced through Tré Cool.

History and Evolution

The Beginnings (1987-1988)

members of the band Greenday
members of the band Greenday

Greenday was founded in 1987 when the two friends Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt (both 14) decided to make a band named „Sweet Children“. They had their first gig on the 17th of October 1987 at Rod's Hickory Pit in Vallejo (California/USA). They had the possibilty to „perform“ there, because Armstrongs mother worked in this pub. In 1988 they took John Kiffmeyer into the band who was playing the drums and organised their gigs and everything else. Besides that, he already had band-experiences (Isocrazy).

First Record Deal and Tours (1988-1993)

After some shows, they were discovered by Larry Livermore, who owned the company „Lookout! Records!“. As a result their first EP called „1,000 Hours“ was produced in 1989. Before it appeard in public the bandname was changed; this was the idea of Larry Livermore, because there was an other local band called „Sweet Baby“ and he doesn't wanted to risk a mixing-up. So the bandname became „Greenday“ as it's said they took drugs, and marijuana mostly.

So the first real „Greenday“ production appeard in the spring of 1990 called „39/Smooth“. Some times later two other EP's were produced in the same year called „Slappy“ and „Sweet Children“ (as a tribute to their old bandname – interesting: the same did [Linkin Park] with their album Hybrid theory). After their first (big) tour, through the whole country in 1991 a „best of“ out of this 3 EP's was published, the name was „1,039/smoothed Out Slappy Hours“.

As Kiffmeyer went to College and it became obvious that he did not want / could re-join the band he was replaced through Tré Cool. He was at first only thought as a temporary drummer, but as he played the drums well and they liked him he „got the job“. Having now again a complete lineup they went touring the most part of 1992/93 and played also their first gigs in Europe. In between touring a new album called „Kerplunk“ appeared, that sold very well (50.000+ copies in the USA). If you take in consideration, that Greenday was only playing for a little indie-lable this was a great success.

Breakthrough (1994-1996)

Greenday performing live
Greenday performing live

As the album Kerplunk sold very good, Greenday became interesting for the major lables. After (short) conferences they left Lookout! And signed a contract with „Reprise Records“. This made a lot the their fans quite angry: it's the same story as it's today: if a small band gets success, and changes to a major lable, the first thing (nearly) all the old fans do is accusing them, that they would sell out and commercializise theirselves. So it happend to Greenday.

But Greenday seemed not to care and worked on creating their first „mainstream“ album with the name „Dookie“.
After a 3 week periode of working, the album was released in the february of 1994. It became an incredible (commercial) success as it was played up and down by MTV. Exspecially „Basket Case“, „When I Come Around“ and „Longview“ reached great attention; all these 3 made it to position 1 of the „Modern Rock Tracks“ charts.

As it turned out that the album would be this successful, Greenday started a big tour with Pansy Divison as supporting act. As (sad) highlight could be mentioned their performance on the Woodstock Festival '94; a security man, thought that Greenday bassist Mike Dirnt would be a fan that ran on stage and beat him up; Dirnt lost some theeths therefore. As this was transmitted live on TV, this enlarged the population of Greenday immense. 1995 Dookie was honored with a Grammy for „Best Alternative Album“ besides that Greenday got 9 nominations for the MTV Video Music Awards. Unfortunatally they didn't win at least one.

In the same year, their new single „J.A.R“ appeared and made it from zero to one on the Billboard charts. In autumn 1995 the 2nd major lable album appeared called „Insomniac“. It was a lot of „heavier“ or „punky“ than the „mainstream“ and melodic Dookie album. The album reached good critizisms and it made up the old fans again with Greenday. It didn't became as successfull as Dookie, but still sold more than 2,000,000 times in USA. In the following a planned Europe tournee was cancelled very sudden.

Break and two new albums (1997-2002)

Armstrong on stage
Armstrong on stage

Nothing happend until 1997 when they started to produce a new album. The album was wanted to have a very different sound than all earlier ones and was called „Nimrod“. It containd a lot of different styles like surf rock ska and also some ballads where you see Armstrong hear strumming his accoustic guitar (you can see that „really“ at the music video to „Time of Your Life“ that won a MTV Video Award for „Best Alternative Video“). The album started in the charts on position 10.

Three other years later in 2000 the 4th album called „Warning“ appeared that followed the style of „Nimrod“. But it wasn't believed to be authentic; the „punk-heads“ did not want to hear one of the commercial most successful bands to play in „their“ style again. So it was no big success and the band lost a lot of importance and popularity. This can be read also on the number of albums sold; all previous albums of Greenday achieved at least 2x platin, „Warning“ made it only to gold-status one time.

Still in 2001 Green Day won 8 California Music Awards. The section were „Outstanding Album“ (Warning), „Outstandig Group“, „Outstanding Male Vocalist“, „Outstanding Bassist“, „Outstanding Drummer“, „Outstanding Songwriter“, „Outstanding Artist“ and las but not least „Outstanding Punk Rock/Ska Album“ (Warning, too).

After a best-of album („Internation Superhits!“) and some singles they toured together with Blink 182. But Blink 182 earned a lot more success and population by the fans than Greenday. Though the tour was produced on the „Riding in Vans with Boys“ DVD.

American Idiot (2003- ? )


In Summer 2003 Greenday went back to the studios to create a new album that was planned to be named „Cigarettes and Valentines“. It was almost finished (20 tracks recorded) the master tapes were stolen. The band reacted very angryly. They were very frustrated and decided not to record it all again, but come up with a new, even better, album.

After the frustration with the album, internal troubles came up and they had to go to kind of a „therapy“ in which they tried to talk about their differences and disagreements and solve them.
The other reason for the „therapy“ was, that Dirnt and Cool said – in public – that Armstrong would be „the bands Nazi“. The following year, the album „American Idiot“ appeared and – went straight to the top of the Billboard charts. The first single „American Idiot“ als became a great success. The album was again in a softer Punk-Rock style, that was suitable for radios and mainstream listeners. As a result „American Idiot“ won the „best Rock Album“ grammy. But they did not stop by winning only a Grammy; in the this-year MTV Music Awards, Greenday rushed trough with winning 7 awards.

Through the year 2005 the band toured – to support the album – playing more than 150 concerts. The tour went throgh the whole world going through Australia, South America, UK etc.
During the tour a liveDVD / CD was made, called „Bullet in a Bible“ on the 15th of november in 2005.
The tour ended in Melbourne (Australia) at decemer 17.
In 2005 they bought their rights back from Lookout! To be able to publish it again. The year after Greenday won again a Grammy, this time for „Boulevard of Broken Dreams“ as the „Record of the Year“. ( It was 16 weeks position 1 of the Billboard Modern Rock Track charts). This is the 2nd longest place ever together with RHCPs hit „Scar Tissue“ and Stainds „It's been awhile“. (Position one goes for Foo Fighters hit „The Pretender“ that stayed #1 for 18 weeks).
A new – till now unnamed – studio album is announced roughly for 2008. Armstrong said in 2007 that he has also 45 songs written with his piano.


Greenday performing live
Greenday performing live

Greendays sound is similar to the old punk bands like The Jam, Ramones and Sex Pistoles, as they are very rare longer than 4 minutes and they use a comparable instrumentalisation: distorted guitars, simple bass lines and very rapid drums. But there are exceptions like Wake Me Up When September Ends (accoustic guitar) and Jesus of Suburbia (longer than 9minutes!). Armstrong said once, that his personal biggest influences would be „The Replacements“ and „Hüsker Dü“ (Greenday covered one of their songs called „Don'T Want to Know If You Are Lonely“). The topics the lyrics are quite simple and down to earth: women, doing drugs and personal feelings like alientation.


As punk is – like nearly all sub-cultures – seen as a way of livestyle and not only music; Greenday was accused after their great (commerical) successes with Dookie and American Idiot not to have the punk way of life, and having sold our theirselves. Besides that, a lot of punks do not like, if they see that Greenday is described by their label as „Punk“. They say, Punk is something different for them. They were also accused to provocate „calcuated anti-americanism“ (Brandon Flowers/the Killers) for commercial success. He also was angry, seeing on the Live DVD (that was recorded in England) thousands of people singing „American Idiot“. Noel Gallagher (Oasis) accused them lately to have „stolen“ the song Boulevard of Broken Dreamss by his song „Wonderwall“. An accusation that has no truth in it in my opinion, because if you listen to the songs, you won't hear any similarities.



This was the first Greenday album that was published through Lookout! Records. The painting on the cover is made by Jesse Ivy. This is the first and only album with the drummer Kiffmeyer.

Cover of the album "39/Smooth"
Cover of the album "39/Smooth"


1.At the Library – 2:28

2.Don't Leave Me – 2:39

3.I Was There – 3:36

4.Disappearing Boy – 2:52

5.Green Day – 3:29

6.Going to Pasalacqua – 3:30

7.16 – 3:24

8.Road to Acceptance – 3:35

9.Rest – 3:05

10.The Judge's Daughter – 2:34


This is the 2nd album of Greenday and the last one that was published trough Lookout! Records. It appeared on the 17th of January in 1992. It was the debut-album with the new drummer Tré Cool. As this album sold quite good, (actually it was one of the best selling albums ever published through a indie-label) Greenday became interesting for the major labels. The album consists of 12 regualry tracks and the CD + Casette versions offers 4 additional bonus tracks, which were originally from the Sweet Children EP. Up to the end of 2006 the album sold ~700.000 copies in the USA and all in all 4 million copies.

Cover of the album "Kerplunk"
Cover of the album "Kerplunk"


2000 Light Years Away – 2:24

One for the Razorbacks – 2:30

Welcome to Paradise – 3:30

Christie Road – 3:33

Private Ale – 2:26

Dominated Love Slave (written by Tré Cool) – 1:42

One of My Lies – 2:19

80 – 3:39

Android – 3:00

No One Knows – 3:39

Who Wrote Holden Caulfield? – 2:44

Words I Might Have Ate – 2:32


This is the first major label album of Greenday and the label name is Reprise Records. The producer was Rob Cavallo. It appeard the 1st of february 1994. It became a worldwide commercial success and gave Greenday popularity in the mainstream. Though many punk-rockers said, that Greenday had „sold out“ theirselves. Dookie is up to today the best selling album of Greenday (even better than American Idiot) and the only album of them that made it to diamond status (10million copies sold).

cover of the album Dookie
cover of the album Dookie


Burnout" – 2:07

Having a Blast – 2:44

Chump – 2:54

Longview – 3:59

Welcome to Paradise – 3:44

Pulling Teeth – 2:30

Basket Case – 3:03

She – 2:14

Sassafras Roots – 2:37

When I Come Around – 2:58

Coming Clean – 1:34

Emenius Sleepus (Mike Dirnt, Green Day) – 1:43

In the End – 1:46

F.O.D. – 5:46


The 4th studio album of Greenday, it appeard on the October 10, 1995. It reached double platin and was #2 in the charts, it can't be called very successful, for Greendays affairs. This can be explained with it'much darker and more punk style tracks on it, that made the album less suitable for the mainstream.

Cover of the album "Insomniac"
Cover of the album "Insomniac"


Armatage Shanks – 2:17

Brat – 1:43

Stuck with Me – 2:16

Geek Stink Breath – 2:15

No Pride – 2:20

Bab's Uvula Who? – 2:07

86 – 2:48

Panic Song (Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt) – 3:35

Stuart and the Ave. – 2:04

Brain Stew – 3:13

Jaded – 1:30

Westbound Sign – 2:13

Tight Wad Hill – 2:01

Walking Contradiction – 2:31


After taking a break, the 5th studio album Nimrod appeared on the October 14, 1997. Nimrod sold as good as Insomniac and got very good critics. Besides that it's a example of the falling popularity of Greenday; this and the Insomniac album both were not able to get even close to the success of Dookie. Still it containted one hit, called „Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)“ that is – Greenday untypically – an accoustic ballade.

Cover of the album "Nimrod"
Cover of the album "Nimrod"


Nice Guys Finish Last – 2:49

Hitchin' a Ride – 2:51

The Grouch – 2:12

Redundant – 3:17

Scattered – 3:02

All the Time – 2:10

Worry Rock – 2:27

Platypus (I Hate You) – 2:21

Uptight – 3:04

Last Ride In – 3:47

Jinx – 2:12

Haushinka – 3:25

Walking Alone – 2:45

Reject – 2:05

Take Back – 1:09

King for a Day – 3:13

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – 2:34

Prosthetic Head – 3:38


The album appeard in 2000 and was a warning. But not the way Greenday wanted it to – it was a warning for Greenday, because they're popularity was on free fall and they stopped somehow to be interesting for most people. You can see this quite well on the sellings: it became #4 in the charts and was honored with „gold“ status, but it was the worst selling album since their big success with Dookie. On this album you can find a lot of accoustic songs. Up to august 2006 it sold 5 millions copies worldwide. Besides that, this is the first album since Kerplunk! That wasn't produced with Rob Cavallo.

Cover of the album "Warning"
Cover of the album "Warning"


Warning – 3:42

Blood, Sex and Booze – 3:33

Church on Sunday – 3:18

Fashion Victim – 2:48

Castaway – 3:52

Misery – 5:05

Deadbeat Holiday – 3:35

Hold On – 2:56

Jackass – 2:43

Waiting – 3:13

Minority – 2:49

Macy's Day Parade – 3:34

American Idiot

The 7th and actually last studio album of Greenday appeard on September 21, 2004. This one was again produced by Rob Cavallo and it's the only album of Greenday that reached #1 in US and UK charts. With this album, the band changed their style completely and it was kind of a concept album. It wasn't sure whether the band would be able to get back to great success. This (great) album only exisits, because the master tapes of their former album „cigarettes and valentines“ were stolen and Greenday decided to come up with a comepletely new album. Worldwide more than 14,500,000 copies were sold, 500,00 of them in the USA. It was the big success Greenday needed after more than 10 years of waiting after Dookie.

Cover of the album "American Idiot"
Cover of the album "American Idiot"


American Idiot– 2:54

Jesus of Suburbia– 9:08

Holiday– 3:52

Boulevard of Broken Dreams– 4:20

Are We the Waiting– 2:43

St. Jimmy– 2:55

Give Me Novacaine– 3:25

She's a Rebel– 2:00

Extraordinary Girl– 3:33

Letterbomb– 4:06

Wake Me Up When September Ends– 4:45

Homecoming– 9:18

Whatsername– 4:15


studio albums







American Idiot

Studio Eps

1,000 Hours


Sweet Children

Live Albums

Live at Gilman Street

Live Tracks

Bowling Bowling Bowling Parking Parking

Foot in Mouth

Tune in, Tokyo

Bullet in a Bible



Welcome to Paradise

Basket Case


When I Come Around


Geek Stink Breath

Stuck with Me

Brain Stew/Jaded

Walking Contradiction

Hitchin' a Ride

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)


Nice Guys Finish Last




Macy's Day Parade

Poprocks & Coke

I Fought the Law

American Idiot


Boulevard of Broken Dreams


Wake Me Up When September Ends

Jesus of Suburbia

The Saints Are Coming

Working Class Hero

The Simpsons Theme


1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours

International Superhits!



International Supervideos!

Riding in Vans with Boys

Bullet in a Bible