10 Best Green Day Videos
Green Day have a history of making great, even amazing music videos. The pop-punk trio has always had a knack for poking fun at punk, rock stardom and pretty much everything else worth making fun of. Whether they’re running around pretending like they’re a football team or acting like they’re brain dead, Billie Joe and the boys get an E for Effort for their video output. Here’s a list of the 10 Best Green Day Videos
‘Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)’ (1997)
As far as Green Day videos go, this one is sort of lame — but then again, it won an MTV Video Music Award, so there’s obviously something to it. What keeps it from going totally south: It’s a really catchy, awesome song, and frontman Billie Joe Armstrong gives a heartfelt performance. The clip also features drummer Tre Cool bleeding on the sidewalk and bassist Mike Dirnt pumping gas. Where else are you going to see the famous members of Green Day doing inane stuff like that?
‘When I Come Around’ (1994)
This video screams “low budget,” but it’s fun enough to watch. It’s all about voyeurism on a grand scale — and the concept is sort of “the watcher is watching the watcher is watching the watcher” meets “a bunch of brooding punk-rock dudes walking around town and acting all punk rock.” Not groundbreaking by any means, but still worth placement on this list.
‘Welcome to Paradise’ (1994)
The video for ‘Welcome to Paradise’ isn’t high art — which is why it got our attention. It’s real concert footage of the band barreling through one of the better tunes on both the ‘Kerplunk’ and ‘Dookie’ albums. (It was re-recorded for the latter.) Because it’s so real, it stands out from other gimmicky videos made around the same time.
‘Hitchin’ a Ride’ (1997)
‘Hitchin’ a Ride’ is a high-art concept clip in the vein of the Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Tonight, Tonight’ video. It stars two Green Days: one dressed in 1920s-era garb, walking and performing on a treadmill, and the other in the ’90s, rocking the f— out in what appears to be a Shriners club. Fans will enjoy the little drum fill at 0:47 as much as any other part of this video. Because it’s just sooo cool. So Tre Cool.
The song ‘Longview’ is about two things: boredom and masturbation. Sure, you can be all sorts of bored in a music video, but you’re not going to make it past the censors having an actor openly flog the bishop. How do Green Day get around that? By cutting between lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong acting like a crazy monkey in front of a TV and the band raging away on their instruments. Works for us.
‘Geek Stink Breath’ (1995)
Like ‘Longview,’ there’s really no easy way to depict taking methamphetamines — that’s what the song is about — in video form, so this is all about the concept. Meth destroys your teeth, so as a substitute, we get a guy with a tongue ring getting the shizz drilled out of his chompers at the dentist. Also, some grainy shots of the band powering through the tune, just for good measure.
‘Walking Contradiction’ (1996)
The song ‘Walking Contradiction’ is reminiscent of Alanis Morissette’s ‘Ironic,’ in that it’s unclear whether Billie Joe Armstrong knows what “contradiction” means. In theory, the same problem applies to the video, but in practice, this one’s a winner. The members of Green Day walking around and causing carnage without even knowing it, and if it’s not their best collective video performance, there are some thrilling moments. The electrician getting zapped by Mike Dirnt certainly deserves some kind of award.
‘American Idiot’ (2011)
‘American Idiot,’ next on our list of the 10 Best Green Day Videos, appears to be a regular performance clip, but around the 1:36 mark, all hell breaks loose. The American flag backdrop melts into a green ooze, and what happens next is ‘You Can’t Do That On Television’ meets the video for ‘Black Hole Sun.’
‘Basket Case’ (1994)
Another one of those fantastic ‘90s concept videos, ‘Basket Case’ features the fellas’ finest bit of acting. Catch Mike Dirnt getting wheeled in on a gurney, then walking past the place onstage he should be standing (and having the nurse show him back).
‘Nice Guys Finish Last’ (1999)
In this, the chart-topping entry on our 10 Best Green Day Videos list, the band pokes fun at punk rock, mosh pits, stage-divers and themselves. In the official version, you get the non-bleeped language, too, which is a nice little gift for all of you foul-mouthed wretches out there.