It doesn’t matter if you’re into hip-hop, metal, or electronic music. If you ever get the chance to see Green Day perform live, by the end of the show you’ll feel thoroughly satisfied. Rarely does a group ever bring so much energy to the stage and express so much love for their fans, young and old.
However, only a few years ago the band’s future was shrouded in more doubt than Anakin’s destiny. Their 2000 release, Warning (Reprise/Wea), received mixed reviews from critics and fans who either enjoyed the pure dose of pop-punk or were completely turned off, claiming the band had lost its direction.
After releasing the International Superhits! (Reprise/Wea) compilation in the fall of 2001 and an album of B-sides in 2002, Green Day gave the impression of a band at the end of their run of success. It didn’t help when the master tapes (20 tracks!) for their next album were stolen. It seemed that Green Day was doomed.
However, the fact that you’re reading this article about Green Day is a testament to the band’s perseverance. Instead of re-creating the stolen album, Billie Joe Armstrong (lead vocals, guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass, born Michael Ryan Pritchard), and Tré Cool (drummer, born Frank Edwin Wright III) vowed to produce a better album. The result was American Idiot (Reprise/Wea, 2004), which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts and has turned out to be a tremendous commercial success, selling over ten million records around the world.
The album, which many dubbed a “punk-rock opera,” caused a stir among some who denounced its criticism of President George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq. Nonetheless, Green Day toured heavily, playing in front of packed venues. Along the way, American Idiot has gone quadruple platinum, and Green Day picked up seven Grammy nominations, winning for Best Rock Album, and taking seven out of eight nominations at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards.
This also spurred sales of their older albums, especially Dookie (Reprise/Wea, 1994), which is now certified diamond, having gone platinum 10 times.