Best of 2016 Playlist

October 10, 2015

Best of the Artist - Green Day

They're responsible for the 90s sudden interest in punk rock, and (along with blink-182) for the wave of pop punk bands that would come in the 00s. Hard to believe "Insomniac" is 20 years old isn't it? So in honor the the album's 20th birthday, we've made Green Day our next entry in our "Best of the Artist" series. We've tried to keep everything short and sweet, much like their songs, but more so we don't end up with a long ass post. To see other lists in this series go to our Top 10/Quick Picks page.

10. She 
One of the simplest, and yet most memorable bass intros the band has offered. It's a fan favorite from the band's infamous album "Dookie". Like "Basket Case" it's a punk classic that has only gotten better with time (mostly because the band's more recent music isn't so hot). If you need another reason to love this song watch this video from the band's "Jaded in Chicago" performance, which originally aired live on MTV in 1994. Armstrong's sporadic intro is to die for. 

9. Wake Me Up When September Ends
Somewhat of a musical follow up to "Good Riddance" it is another example of the band's skill at slowing things down and writing something not so "in your face". Lyrically speaking of loss, specifically Armstrong's father's death, everyone can find something in this track to relate to. How many of you reading this have listened to this song while sitting in the grass, on the last day of summer? Be honest, everyone has at least once. 

8. Know Your Enemy
A great follow up to "Holiday", this was the lead single from the band's album "21st Century Breakdown". Fast with a powerful drum beat as the backbone, it is definitely the best example of 21st century punk rock. Combining the basic punk rock aesthetic with some mainstream rock appeal, Green Day delivered yet another hit.

7. Brain Stew
Given that we're releasing this post to commemorate the band's 4th album, it's be pretty stupid if we didn't include at least one song on the list. "Brain Stew" shouldn't be overlooked just because it's on a different wavelength than the band's typically upbeat punk. The slow and steady riffs and Armstrong's almost lethargic vocals give it a more authentic punk sound that's also rawer than songs found on "Dookie". 

6. American Idiot
Any Green Day list wouldn't be complete without the title track, and lead single, from their 7th album. "American Idiot" embodies the best of punk's rebellious, and at times, anarchic ideology. It's the perfect way to start the album. Tt grabs your attention with an energetic guitar riff, and keeps it there with Armstrong's government slamming lyrics. 

5. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) 
The other standout acoustic track from the band, "Good Riddance" strips away everything but Armstrong's vocals, guitars, and the string orchestration. Not what was expected of the CA rockers, but was embraced with open arms by the mainstream audiences. From the experimental album "Nimrod", this along with "Hitchin' a Ride" and "King for a Day" (both on our honorable mention list), have become setlist staples despite never achieving the success of other songs on this list. 

4. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
We've chosen the band's most successful song from the American Idiot era to top our list. It goes without saying that this particular track is amazing. Seriously, if you're a GD fan and don't jam out to this song then please explain why. Sure it's not punk rock, but it's still a wicked tune, and the band's first serious arena rock anthem. 

3. Holiday
One of the band's most accessible songs for mainstream audiences, it does everything right. Like successor "Know Your Enemy" the band takes their punk rock riffs and lyrics and mixes them with mainstream rock. The production on this song is leveled out perfectly, with no one part overtaking the others as they had in previous tracks. 

2. Basket Case
The band's signature from their breakthrough album, shit doesn't get much better than this. "Basket Case" became a radio and crossover hit with MTV putting the video in its daily cycle. And even though it has become a bit overrated and overplayed in recent years, it's still one of the band's best songs. 

1. When I Come Around 
You instantly think 90s when you hear this song's guitar and bass riff. If you don't, then you're not a 90s kid like the rest of us. The first example of the band's overall skills at songwriting, as it wasn't cut and dry punk power chords and angst ridden lyrics. It displayed a more mature, alt. rock oriented Green Day that we would see a lot more of in later years. But this song hits all the right notes in ways that modern Green Day songs could never.