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Green Day bio, timeline, discography, pics & more

Green Day

Green Day photo 2009
L2R> Mike Dirnt, Tré Cool & Billie Joe Armstrong

Green Day Biography

This Punk-Rock trio was founded in the late '80s in Berkeley, San Francisco Bay Area USA, by two 14-years-old guys: vocalist + guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt, real name Mike Pritchard; the pair began playing music as Sweet Children; in 1989 they were joined by drummer John Kiffmeyer and the group changed its name to Green Day.

That same year, the new band released an independent EP titled "1,000 Hours".
During 1990 Green Day recorded two discs: the 4-track EP "Slappy" and their debut full-length, "39/Smooth"; the latter was later repackaged and retitled "1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours". Months after releasing their first album Kiffmeyer left Green Day, Tré Cool, real name Frank Edward Wright, replaced him on drums.

The band toured frequently around the Bay Area writing new material and in 1991 they issued "Kerplunk" which attracted major label attention and the trio was finally signed to Reprise Records.

In 1994 Green Day released the expolsive third full-length disc, "Dookie"; three singles off the album stormed The Modern Rock chart: both, "Longview" and "Basket Case" peaked at #1 and "Welcome To Paradise" reached the #7 position; the group's third LP soared to the #2 spot on The Billboard 200 chart whilst gliding into the top 10 in several countries, selling over 12 million copies worldwide. Green Day with "Dookie" won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance.

The follow-up, "Insomniac", immediately shot to #2 on The Billboard Top 200 Albums chart upon its October 1995 release and generated the Modern Rock #1 hit "When I Come Around" plus three Modern Rock top 5 hits: "Geek Stink Breath", "She" and "Brain Stew" as well as a minor hit with "Walking Contradiction"; the album was also a top 10 smash in U.K. and Australia.
That same year, the group, topped The Modern Rock Tracks chart with another single, "J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva)", a song taken from the soundtrack to "Angus".

They returned in October of 1997 with "Nimrod" which reached the top 10 on the North American Albums charts and nearly replicated the success of the multi-platinum previous LPs; two singles, "Time Of Your Life (Good Riddance)" and "Hitchin' A Ride", eventually enjoyed a chart presence on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks peaking at #2 and #5, respectively; "Redundant" reached the #16 spot on the same chart and the final single "Nice Guys Finish Last" was one place short of cracking the top 30.

Three years later Green Day resurfaced with "Warning", the record was another transatlantic success, it rose to #4 on The Billboard 200 Albums chart spawning two Modern Rock top 3 hit singles including the #1 "Minority" and "Warning" plus the modestly-placed chart single "Waiting".

In July 2002, the band released "Shenanigans" which collected B-sides cover-songs and other material, the compilation reached the #27 slot on the U.S. Top 200 chart.

The threesome returned to action in early 2004 with the rendition of "I Fought The Law" used in the Pepsi television commercial, the track preceded the release of Green Day's seventh album, "American Idiot", which arrived in September; it rose to #1 on The Billboard 200 chart while the title-song became an instant #1 on The Modern Rock chart and on the Canadian Pop Singles chart. The second single off the now six times platinum album, "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams", shot to #1 on both Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks charts falling just one position short of #1 on The Billboard Hot 100; the song eventually won them a Grammy for Record Of The Year. A new top 40 hit, "Holiday", followed in spring 2005, this single was another massive smash on U.S. Alternative and Active Rock radio as it soared to #1 on Billboard's charts; the fourth single "Wake Me Up When September Ends" hit #6 on The Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at #2 on The Modern Rock Tracks that summer, while the final single, "Jesus Of Suburbia", climbed into the top 30 of the alt-Rock radio chart in the fall.

October 2006 saw the Punk-Rock trio team up with U2 for a rendition of The Skids' classic "The Saints Are Coming" in aid of Music Rising, a New Orleans focused charity set up by U2 guitarist The Edge, producer friend Bob Ezrin and Gibson Guitars' chairman Henry Juskiewicz to help replace the musical instruments lost during Hurricane Katrina.

Less than a year later Green Day contributed a cover of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" to the major benefit-album project "Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign To Save Darfur", where more than half a million have died from violence and disease during four years of rebel discord. The track hit #14 on The Hot Modern Rock chart.

In May 2009 Green Day released its long-awaited eighth studio record, "21st Century Breakdown". The first single off the CD, "Know Your Enemy", went straight to #1 on both Hot Modern and Hot Mainstream Rock charts. Like its predecessor, the album peaked atop the charts in Canada, U.K. and several other European countries and even in the U.S. wehre, nevertheless, it stalled at sales of one million. The second single off the CD, "21 Guns", hit #4 on The Hot Modern Rock chart; "East Jesus Nowhere" and "Last Of The American Girls" followed reaching the #17 and #26 spots, respectively, on the same chart.

Green Day issued "¡Uno!" in the fall of 2012, the first of three albums in the ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tre! trilogy, a series of studio albums released from September 2012 to January 2013. The inaugural single, "Oh Love", debuted at #1 on The Rock Songs chart and was promptly followed by another hit single: "Let Yourself Go".


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Green Day pictures:

  • Green Day band mid 90s Green Day band mid 90s
    "Dookie" era (mid-'90s)
  • Green Day band 2000 Green Day band 2000
    Group shot 2000 - "Warning" era
  • Green Day 2004 Green Day 2004
    Green Day 2004