Year 3, Day 17: Green Day – Dookie
- Have a Blast
- Welcome to Paradise
- Pulling Teeth
- Basket Case
- Sassafras Roots
- When I Come Around
- Coming Clean
- Emenius Sleepus
- In the End
About the Album
Dookie is the third studio album by punk rock band, Green Day. Recorded in September and October of 1993, the album was released on February 1st 1994 through Reprise Records. The album became worldwide smash hit as well as peaking at number two on the United States Billboard 200 chart. As of this writing, the album has sold well over 20 million copies, making it the band’s most successful album ever. The album is certified DIAMOND by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), having sold over 10 million copies. It won a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 1995.
About the Album
It’s strange. Every once in a while you come across a band’s album that is revolutionary and changes music. The genre of rock and roll and it’s innumerable sub-genres, is known for many revolutionary albums; a prime example being Nirvana‘s Nevermind. Green Day‘s Dookie, while for some, probably isn’t even on the same page as Nirvana’s Nevermind, I’d put it right up there in how it changed the punk genre of music. Dookie brought punk rock music back into the mainstream the way that bands like The Clash, Sex Pistols, and the Ramones did back in the 1970s. Dookie marked the first “professional”, otherwise known as, big label, album release for Green Day.
The album opens with the angst and teenage rage filled opener, Burnout. Musically speaking, it’s two minutes of buzz-saw, machine gun guitar, and snotty hooks from Billie Joe Armstrong that sets you up for the rest of the album. The thing I love about this is album is that it stands in the face of those albums who are heavily front loaded. Meaning, the band desired to front-load the album with the best songs and neglect the back end. Many bands are guilty of this musical sin. But the tracks Having A Blast and Chump set the stage for the promising singles that are smack dab right in the middle of the album.
The album continues with Longview, the lead single, and a song most known for bassist Mike Dirnt’s walking bouncing bassline. But it’s definitely something you have to listen to in order to believe. The track during the verses features the bassline prominently as the guitar isn’t heard from until the chorus. And that just makes the buildup to it, all the more awesome. The following track, Welcome to Paradise, was originally on their album, Kerplunk! and was rewritten for this album. The rewritten track features a more nuanced hook, while maintaining the same formula as the first three tracks: rapid power chords, a plucky bassline, and powerhouse drums driving the song.
Basket Case is easily the band’s most recognizable songs in their repertoire. The song is insanely catchy despite it’s dark meaning. It is without a doubt the best song on this album. While the track She, provides you with arguably the best chorus on this album with a very simple but beautifully fitting bassline. It’s another song on this album that highlight’s Armstrong’s acumen for songwriting. The lyrics are simply ingenious.
Overall speaking, Dookie remains the band’s best album, not just commercially, but musically as well. It is to date, their most influential album, despite American Idiot spawning a Broadway show. This album is the band’s tour-de-force. This album is a required listen for any 1990s kid, and music lover in general.