Musical Comedy: Green Day

gdThis post is intended as supplemental material for the course “Sounds of Laughter: Musical Comedy in the United States”

This post summarizes artists mentioned in the section “Pop Goes the Punk” (Ellis 2008, 266-72).

Contrary to much conventional wisdom, the advent of pop-punk did not emerge with Green Day’s ten-million-selling 1994 album, Dookie. Instead, the subgenre’s sound, form, and lyrical predilections date back to the very roots of punk rock on both sides of the Atlantic. (ibid, 267)

Examples of influential bands include The Buzzcocks (YouTube) and The Ramones (YouTube), which, “both drew from the maligned bubblegum pop tradition.”

Ellis’ description of Green Day:

Despite the perhaps envious critiques of their detractors, Green Day have become the most influential punk band of our times, spawning a pop-punk movement that has been dominant in commercial and underground rock since the release of Dookie…Both “Longview” [see below] and “Basket Case” were satirical salvos aimed at the slacker youth of the early nineties… songwriter Billy Joe Armstrong clearly intended to implicate himself and his subculture as part of the pervasive condition of apathy, self-absorption, and entropy. (ibid, 269)

In a time when the band is more known for rock operas and Broadway shows, it’s jarring to see their style from peak of the 1990s.

See Also:

Week 3 (Sounds of Laughter)

Green Day on YouTube

Author: Leah Pogwizd

Bassist and Instructor

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