Green Day's groundbreaking, genre-defining 'Dookie' turns 24 today (February 01). But is it their greatest album ever?
Rock Sound staffer Will Cross certainly thinks so. Here's his argument for 'Dookie' being held above everything else Green Day have ever made.
This album is one of the best collections of songs ever. Ever.
From ‘Burnout’ all the way to ‘F.O.D.’, ‘Dookie’ swerves between all kinds of styles and tones without letting up once. You want pop-punk ragers? You’ve got them. Emotional anthems? They’re here. Something in between? You’re covered.
This record encapsulates everything great about Green Day and it changed rock music in the process.
First up - how about those singles? ‘Basket Case’ was the pop-punk club floor-filler but ‘When I Come Around’ showcased genuine emotion in a genre that was (at that point) known primarily for either anger or humour and not a lot in between. ‘Longview’ found a middle-ground between the two with one of the most iconic basslines in music to boot.
Even those three songs could have turned everything punk had been on its head, Let alone everything that surrounded them.
And when that emotion comes, it hits hard. ‘Coming Clean’ deals with Billie Joe’s discovery of his bisexuality as a teenager and ‘Pulling Teeth’ looks at not being able to come to terms with abusive relationships. Elsewhere, ‘She’ and ‘Sassafras Roots’ are all-time classic (albeit slightly more complicated) love songs with feeling by the bucketload, each more affecting and influential than the last.
Green Day’s discography is ridiculous, let’s not mess about. And one that has people arguing over their differing favourites across the board.
Be it the rock opera of ‘American Idiot’ or the billion-miles-a-minute punk buzz of ‘Insomniac’, right through to the irresistible curveball of ‘Warning’ or the ‘Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)’ phenomenon of ‘Nimrod’, it’s all incredible. ‘Dookie’ somehow brings together all of those elements into one bulletproof package.
This album has something for everyone and is the best starting point for anyone wanting to check the band out. It’s Billie Joe, Mike and Tré firing on all cylinders with some the best songs they’ve ever written.
Not only that, it opened the door for so many more classics. And without this album, there’s an argument that so many of the greatest bands of the past 20 years wouldn’t exist, let alone the albums that they created.
Want to see the effect of Green Day’s incredible mix of emotion and humour? Look no further than Blink-182. That fearlessness to create something new within a pre-existing genre? Enter Fall Out Boy. This album inspired a generation of bands who inspired the generation after that. Would Neck Deep, State Champs and Stand Atlantic sound the way they do without ‘Dookie’? It’s unlikely.
And that’s the most impressive thing about ‘Dookie’. This album could sit alongside those bands in 2018 - 24 years after its release - quite comfortably. It could’ve been released in 2018 and people would be loving it as much they did when it came out. Billie’s lyrics still hit home on every song, the guitar is powerful, the hooks and Mike’s bass is still irresistible.
This album changed rock music for a whole host of reasons, and those reasons are still as clear 24 years on as they were on February 01, 1994.