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Green Day - Dookie (Cover Artwork)

Green Day

Green Day: DookieDookie (1994)
Reprise

Reviewer Rating: 5
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Contributed by: greg0rbgreg0rb
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Bruce Springsteen famously said that the "snare shot" that begins Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" "sounded like somebody kicked the door open to your mind." For me——what kicked my mind—door open–was the two hi—hat chicks that start Green Day's "Burnout" and the album Doo.
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Bruce Springsteen famously said that the "snare shot" that begins Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" "sounded like somebody kicked the door open to your mind." For me——what kicked my mind—door open–was the two hi—hat chicks that start Green Day's "Burnout" and the album Dookie. Every time I hear those two seemingly—meaningless count off beats, I know to hit that snare fill on my legs and bust into the first words of one of the most game—changing albums in my musical life.

On "Burnout", Billie Joe Armstrong outright declared he "don't care no more." When I was 12, he was a whole different kind of rock and roll idol for me. Kurt Cobain didn't care either, but I could never understand him anyway. Dookie took me from a radio grunge fan listening to Nirvana, Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots to the underground music fan that I still am 20 years later. Dookie led to the immediate purchase of Kerplunk and 1,039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours which in turn introduced me to Lookout! Records. It opened me up to getting into bands like Rancid and the Offspring, introducing me to Epitaph and Nitro, and everything snowballed from there. Let's throw in a cliché here, but fuck man, the rest is history. It's my history, but I'm sure I share a similar story with thousands of kids at various ages who discovered punk through Green Day's breakout album.

The first song I heard off the album was "Longview" while in my 7th grade woodshop class. We were drafting, and as I'm drawing an enlarged version of Bugs Bunny wearing a backwards baseball cap and baggy jeans or something, the song plays on Chicago's then—popular "alternative" station, Q101. That elastic bass line (allegedly written by Mike Dirnt while on acid, who forgot most of it afterwards) and the George of the Jungle toms sounded like nothing I had heard on the radio before. But then came the LYRICS. It had something like half the words bleeped out–I'm sure I didn't fill in the blank on the masturbation line at that point–but I realized that this song was crazy different. It's nuts to think about a song like that being a radio hit. "And I smell like shiiiiiit‚?¶"

"Basketcase" and "When I Come Around" were the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" of the punk genre, catapulting dozens of punk bands into the spotlight, who grabbed major label deals and radio play on rock stations already looking for the next big thing after grunge. Reprise took a big gamble on these bay—area youngsters, with Rob Cavallo convincing them to sign with the label partly due to his history of working with The Muffs. Him and Jerry Finn produced and mixed the album respectively, and while it took a couple tries on the mixing, the end result captured Green Day's brattiness while beefing them up just enough. Tr√© Cool's snare drums kicked ass and his constant cymbal crashes shimmered (convincing me as a young drummer to overplay my crash cymbals), Dirnt's bass sat nicely in its own domain beneath the guitars, letting his melodic fills poke through, and Armstrong's guitars sounded full but still retained that Stratocaster punk tone. If you've heard the demo tapes that are floating around the internet, you know the songs were solidified and great before stepping into the studio with Cavallo and Finn, but much credit goes to those two for showcasing the trio at their best, and the powerful production was a huge part of their mainstream success.

Re—recorded from its Kerplunk version, "Welcome to Paradise" was a big radio single as well as "She." But it's the deep cuts being so damn good that raise this to classic album status. The country twang and harmonies of "Pulling Teeth" were always one of my favorite parts of the album. The back—half had some of the catchiest numbers like "Sassafras Roots" and the speedy "In the End." And it got me everytime the way "F.O.D." exploded from my speakers into electric awesomeness after a couple acoustic verses. In the golden age of secret tracks, Cool's silly and self—deprecating "All By Myself" was one of the few I bothered to listen to every time I spun the disc. Even the artwork is iconic, with references to their favorite musicians: Patti Smith is there, as well as Angus Young and a Black Sabbath nod, with other references to people around their Bay Area scene.

Green Day achieved a 3—peat with Kerplunk, Dookie and Insomniac. They exploded back into relevance with 2004's American Idiot. But Dookie will always be their apex— not only being their highest selling and most influential album, but coincidentally having the best batch of songs. These are sing—alongs from beginning to secret—track end. The album ignited a punk explosion, opening the door to indie label punk bands to grow into career bands and recording the best albums of their careers. Many cried sellout at Green Day at the time and the Gilman banned them, but without this album, who knows if I would be a punk rock fan today. I owe them big. I started this review with an old quote, so how about another journalists' favorite to end. They say everyone that heard the Velvet Underground started a band. Though Green Day achieved much more popularity than VU ever did during their tenure, I'm positive they influenced just as many kids to start a band. Hell, I was one of them.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
TomTrauma (August 13, 2014)

This is a great record, but a lot of us used to consider Green Day the worst band on Lookout.

fasebuzz (August 13, 2014)

Shit im getting old. I was 11 and spent my pocket money for that as a cassette. It was the time when i finished listening to guns n roses and discovered punkrock for me. Its amazing they were only 21 when they recorded it.

fasebuzz (August 13, 2014)

Shit im getting old. I was 11 and spent my pocket money for that as a cassette. It was the time when i finished listening to guns n roses and discovered punkrock for me. Its amazing they were only 21 when they recorded it.

NattyBoh (August 13, 2014)

I was 20 when this came out so it wasn't a gateway album to punk for me but I still fell in love with it. I already owned Kerplunk b/c I had seen Green Day open for Bad Religion but this was just soooo much better. Fun, nostalgic album.

filbunke (August 13, 2014)

Green Day (in the era of Dookie and Insomniac) was better than most things today. They had interesting chord progressions, baselines, drum fills and great melodies. A lot of punk today lacks most of that. Chord progressions are boring and the strumming is pretty much the same in every song. It's just so... I don't know.. straight forward and repetetive?

wahhey (August 12, 2014)

This was/is the most important record of my entire fucked up life. It was the first cassette I got as a gift and then it was the first CD I bought a year or so later. Introduced me to the world of punk rock, which has since ruined my life. Thanks Green Day.

Shogun (August 12, 2014)

Great review man. Such a definitive album for me - I need to throw it back into rotation.

peilocal (August 12, 2014)

The first two paragraphs of this review basically sum me up pretty well at the time.

daveyjones (August 12, 2014)

i was sixteen when dookie came out. green day was the second punk band i really got into, after bad religion the year before. a classic album, even if i don't listen to it that much anymore. 'longview' still strikes me as way too slow (like 'come out and play;' radio bait).

JayTee (August 12, 2014)

GOD. FUCKING. DAMMIT. You start out a 20 year anniversary review of the gateway pop-punk record with "Bruce Springsteen". That sums up everything I've hated about this fucking website for the last 5 years.

nothingtoadd (August 12, 2014)

This and the first Punk-O-Rama got me into punk. Still a great listen.

The_Boz (August 12, 2014)

I was in my buddy's room at the very end of a sweltering summer in my small, shitty Midwestern town. I was starting sixth grade in two days. He put on "Longview" and that's the moment I got into music.

FnkDeadBeat (August 12, 2014)

Love this album. just got it on vinyl. it sounds great. wouldn't have gotten into punk without Green Day, even if people think i'm a poser for saying that.

filbunke (August 12, 2014)

Regardless of what people think of Green Day now, this album is seriously good. Pretty much perfect all the way through.

nocontrol (August 11, 2014)

no mention of "having a blast"? for shame.

rubikspube (August 11, 2014)

Good review, great album. It seems like only yesterday I was getting into this in the sixth grade and all I kept hearing was how shitty it was and how I should listen to garbage like Ds-13 and stuff. I guess everyone finally changed their minds. Music is music. The songs on Dookie happen to be good music.

droneclone (August 11, 2014)

No me gusta tampoco.

bastard_sQuad (August 11, 2014)

"wallofyouth (5 hours ago)
i can't talk objectively about this record because i'd probably rely too much on hyperbole, but at least we can all agree that it's the most important piece of art ever created.

yeah yeah, baldsteve, we know, you refuse to listen to this album."

Ha! Yeah. No me gusta.

joeg (August 11, 2014)

dookie was their best album but my favorite is still insomniac. i can't remember the last time i put on a green day record to be honest but insomniac is the one i went to the most.

77punker (August 11, 2014)

Excellent review Greg, I was taken by the way that this record led you to a number of other great bands and labels. I too was impacted, but from a different generation and perspective. I was 35 when this record came out and had been previously bored with the scene and my vast array of punk records. I grew up on punk, still solely listened to it, but basically wore the grooves off all of my early UK punk records, Ramones, DK‚??s, Social D, Misfits, Replacements etc etc etc‚?¶.When I first heard Dookie I loved it and I was really rejuvenated. It led me to discover all of those other great bands from the late 80‚??s & early 90‚??s that I missed, still listen to today & continue to go to their shows ( ie NOFX, Rancid, Bad Religion, Souls etc). I never turned back and I really dig and go to see many of the great newer bands featured on this site. I love punk music and always will!!

wallofyouth (August 11, 2014)

i can't talk objectively about this record because i'd probably rely too much on hyperbole, but at least we can all agree that it's the most important piece of art ever created.

yeah yeah, baldsteve, we know, you refuse to listen to this album.

notfeelingcreative (August 11, 2014)

Never heard of it.

misterspike (August 11, 2014)

This is an excellent review. "Sassafrass Roots" has always been my fave off this rekkid.

tahoejeff (August 11, 2014)

This record is perfect. One of the most important records of my life.

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