Album I can't live without: American Idiot
The album I couldn't live without
At the outset of 2004, neither Green Day nor the musical public guessed what the band's summer release of that year would bring.
By the end of September it was clear that the Berkeley trio had transformed their careers, revolutionised their live show, and fuelled a raging debate about how the music press used that controversial, slippery word: "punk".
At age thirteen I'd never really heard the Replacements, or even the Ramones, let alone any of the East Bay hardcore outfits that Billie Joe's group cited as influences. But Green Day, essentially a mainstream pop group, threw those inspirations into the limelight of mass media as they emerged, eye-liner clad, with quasi-fascist getups, rallying at the Bush administration.
I found all my vague schoolboy anti-authoritarianism being channeled into a guitar-driven concept album, performed by three guys who acted like they had ADD. It was awesome.
But regardless of the thin line between homage and theft that American Idiot loves to tread, and whatever you think about the Broadway musical and the clusterbomb of corporate merchandise that followed it, American Idiot affords 13 tracks of tight, furious, operatic but unassuming powerpop.
And it more than deserves a spot on any decent all-time-faves list.
View all contributions