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Green Day’s ‘Dookie’ turns 20

On February 1st, 1994, alternative punk-rock Berkeley trio, Green Day, took mainstream music by storm. The band released Dookie on Reprise Records, which took three months to record at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA (September 1993-October 1993). The record’s producer was  Rob Cavallo and certainly wasn’t their last collaboration. This was Green Day’s third studio album (two previous recorded on indie-label Lookout! Records). Dookie received commercial world success  and  reached number two on US Billboard 200 charts and sold 16 million copies world-wide. The album later received a Grammy in 1995 and sprung radio hits, “Welcome To Paradise” (remastered version from 1992’s Kerplunk on Lookout! Records), “When I Come Around,” “Basket Case,” “Longview” and “She.” As of 2013, Dookie has sold over 20 million copies worldwide and remains one of the most influential records to date.

Green Day members, Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals, guitar, lyrics), Mike Dirnt (bass) and Tre’ Cool (drums, percussion) credit their lyrics and musical inspiration for Dookie to various young adult experiences about anyone  in their early 20’s. Dookie covers everything from coming to terms with bisexuality (“Coming Clean,” track 11), anxiety/panic disorders (“Basket Case,” track 7), living on one’s own for the first time (“Welcome To Paradise,” track 5), relationship issues (“When I Come Around,” track 10), girls, (“She,” track 8), boredom, frustration, smoking marijuana (‘Green Day’ is named after smoking weed) and of course, every lonely young adult’s favorite pastime, masturbation (“Longview,” track 4)!

Keep in mind that Mike Dirnt was having an acid trip when he felt inspired to write his famous rolling/mellow bass line for that piece. The idea was to  create a schizophrenic feel for “Longview” (having the track start off smooth and suddenly the loss of control entered with the guitar’s power chords).

All in all, Dookie deserves credit for inspiring the next generation of pop-punk alternative bands (such as Blink 182 and Sum 41) and saving many fans’ lives from depression and isolation. The record rated 5 out of 5 stars for capturing mainstream media attention and earning the band a place in music history. Not bad for a punk-rock band who named their album after liquid diarrhea!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

CD | LP

Author: Savannah Marcha

Savannah is a 2012 graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her BA in Modern Literature and was the poetry editor for the Red Wheelbarrow Publications on campus. Savannah currently resides in Visalia, CA where she works as a reading tutor helping students K-12. Savannah is an inspiring writer and teacher, loves music, and enjoys dissecting lyrics from her favorite band, Green Day.

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