Worst to First: Every Green Day Album Ranked
Green Day and punk purists have a complicated relationship. After ascending through the Northern California DIY scene in the late ’80s with their hook-laden take on ’70s punk, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool (who joined in 1990) seemingly abandoned their independent roots to share their sound with the mainstream masses. While many diehard fans viewed their move to a major label as the ultimate betrayal, Green Day proceeded to redefine punk for Generation X with a string of multi-platinum pop-punk releases that infused melody and hints of metal with arena-rocking influences like the Who.
Arguably the second most-important band of the ’90s behind Nirvana, Green Day blew open the doors for neo-punk, punk metal and even third-wave ska outfits that have since gone on to reshape the musical landscape. The trio continued to refine their unmistakeable sound in the new millennium by infusing their bratty brand of pop-punk with biting social commentary and complex arrangements. Almost three decades into their career, they’re legitimate legends and unsurprisingly set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month.
In this installment of Worst to First, we rank each of Green Day’s full-length albums and although there’s a huge amount of creative diversity among them, one thing is certain: They might be often imitated, but Green Day have cultivated an instantly recognizable sound that can only come from them.