Thanks for the reminder, I’m playing the album very loudly right now in celebration! Can’t believe it’s been 10 years already. Sometimes I catch myself thinking of American Idiot as Green Day’s latest album, even though there have been four albums since! It’s just that memorable.
I didn’t buy American Idiot right away when it came out. It came out right after I had been dumped and kicked out of my girlfriend’s house, after which I dropped out of college, and while I was working for minimum wage and had zero extra cash for spending on music. So I enjoyed the singles on the radio and probably didn’t get the album proper until two or three years after it had come out.
That said, it’s a great album all the way through. I put it on my Top 134 Albums of All-Time list. And here’s a breakdown of the ratings for each song (in my opinion):
[For those interested, American Idiot was remastered in high-resolution and with no brickwall limiting for HD Tracks a few years ago. The album has never sounded better. Dynamic, full resolution, and none of the clipping that occurs on the redbook CD and iTunes versions. (waveform comparisons)]
I don’t really have any cool personal stories attached to American Idiot. But it’s one of those albums that is a classic from the day it is released. It’s one of those albums where you don’t have to skip a single song because they’re all good and the album wouldn’t feel right without any one track. It’s one of those albums that everyone likes. Me. You. Your neighbor playing it way too loud in the summer with all the house windows open. Even my 60-year-old step-dad would rock it out in his car after I burned him a copy.
There were three b-sides released during the American Idiot era. If you buy the “American Idiot, Part 1” and “American Idiot, Part 2” UK CD singles you get all three b-sides, “Too Much Too Soon”, “Shoplifter”, and “Governator”. All three are really good, but “Too Much Too Soon” in particular is a five star track. I’d consider it essential for Green Day fans.
I first got into Green Day during the Dookie album era. I was 11 when Dookie was released and you could not escape the songs on the radio, the music videos on MTV. It took them ten years to release another album that matched Dookie's sales and hype, but the wait was worth it. Now that it's been ten years, maybe we'll see another instant classic this year?
Anyway, yeah. Happy Anniversary Green Day! If you own the album, give it a listen this weekend. It’s still just as rockin’ today as it was a decade ago.