Recently, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees for 2015 were announced, and among them was the iconic punk band Green Day. Formed in 1987 by lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt in the California East Bay (and later joined by drummer Tre Cool), these punk idols followed in the footsteps of their predecessors the Clash, the Sex Pistols and the Ramones.
Described as “the perennial punk adolescents, true to the ethos of every basement and garage-rock band that preceded them,” Green Day has proven over the past two decades why they’ll be forever remembered by generations past and yet to come. Here are what many consider the top 10 songs by Green Day, and the reason they deserve to be recognized in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- “Welcome to Paradise”
Originally on their album Kerplunk!, the track didn’t really become a hit until the release of their next album, Dookie. The gritty imagery and “I don’t car I’ll make it on my own” attitude of this song portrays the very essence of Green Day’s punk roots.
- “Geek Stink Breath”
This track from their 1995 album Insomniac is an example of why so many parents wanted their kids to stay away from that damn rock and roll music and its bad influence. Green Day has always known how to push buttons, and this song proves it.
- “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)”
Even if you weren’t a big fan of this song, a part of you still liked it and knew all the words. Showing off a softer side to the punk band, this track became popular for graduations.
- “Jesus Of Suburbia”
While the whole American Idiot album is a masterpiece in itself, what with launching a whole musical inspired by the rock opera, this track alone shows the growth the band had made as they strayed away from their short, catchy, and loud tunes to a more thoughtful, provoking and musically dynamic long-form poetry.
- “21 Guns”
With their continued musical growth as more than just a punk, garage-band, this song showcases the ballad-esque form lead singer Armstrong is capable of delivering with a more extended range than had really been heard before.
- “Brutal Love”
Fans are split on their opinion of the latest project the band put out with their trilogy of albums, Uno! Dos! Tre!, but this track from the third installment showcases Green Day’s ability to transcend genres as it conveys a bluesy and even country-like feel.
As stated before, Green Day has always known how to push buttons; they’re the kings of testing limits, and this tune proves it.
- “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
This track has become one of Green Day’s signature tracks, having even won a Grammy for Record of the Year in 2006. Its dark lyrics sent a profound message of angst and hopelessness that really resonated with the youth of America.
While not the most lauded of Green Day’s albums, Warning did give fans this catchy track that spells out word for word what the band has always been about: being on the outside and proud of it.
- “Basket Case”
Possibly the greatest hit ever from Green Day, this song holds the very heart and soul of the punk group’s garage-band days while still moving forward into the revered musicians they would one day become.