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Too Long Didn’t Listen: A ranking of all of Green Day’s albums

As Green Day just released its 14th studio album “Saviors,” let’s take a moment to look back and rank all of the albums released by the Oakland natives up until this point.  

13. “Father of all…” (2020)

This record is bafflingly bad. With mystifying lyrics and failed experiments to somehow make this band more unaccessible than they already are, there’s not much of anything worthwhile here.

12-10. “Uno,” “Dos,” “Tre” (2012)

Green Day’s trilogy of number-themed albums from 2012 are all going at the same point on the list because there is so little to say about them individually. It’s a great example of when quantity does not equal quality, as these are some of the most forgettable fillers in any artist's career back to back to back.

9. “Warning” (2000)

“Warning” is memorable for being a more acoustic-driven record than anything the band had written up until this point. The issue is, if you played a lot of songs from “Warning” on electric guitar, they’d just be fairly forgettable Green Day songs. Even with the acoustic switch-up, that’s what most of those songs are. 

8. “1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours” (1991)

Green Day’s debut has all of the hallmarks of the incredible band it would become. As musicians, Green Day displays shocking technical skills and the ability to craft a hook for a new band. While impressive as a debut, “1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours” is, in retrospect, a fine, one-note, pop-punk record that showcases more potential than actually memorable tracks. 

7. “Revolution Radio” (2016)

“Revolution Radio” is very much of the same ilk as “American Idiot” and “21st Century Breakdown.” Green Day wrote a consistent set of good songs after the filler mess of the trilogy, which was something the band needed to prove. While nothing on “Revolution Radio” is new for Green Day, it’s still a worthwhile listen with plenty of memorable tracks.

6. “Kerplunk” (1991)

“Kerplunk” as a sophomore album does its job of iterating the sound of the debut. On this album, Green Day hits the balance of pop and punk that most bands in the genre never do. While it’s present on “1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours,” “Kerplunk” is the album of which Green Day became the band so many people remember them.

5. “21st Century Breakdown” (2009)

On “21st Century Breakdown,” Green Day is becoming bigger and more dramatic than ever. Whether that’s a positive or a negative comes down to personal taste. For me, “21st Century Breakdown” features more spectacular highs from the band, it’s just also counterbalanced by forgettable lows. However, the good outweighs the bad.

4. “Insomniac” (1995)

Following up on your breakthrough album isn’t going to be an easy task, but “Insomniac” lives up to the challenge. While the formula hasn’t changed from the first three records, making it hard to talk about it without repeating myself, “Insomniac” is still a great pop-punk album with fantastic writing and performances across the board. It’s an incredibly consistent record from a band at its peak.

3. “Nimrod” (1997)

“Nimrod” feels the most like the middle ground between the Green Day of the ‘90s and the Green Day of the ‘00s. “Nimrod” manages to lean toward the pop-rock end of the spectrum while retaining some of the scrappy, raw energy the band built its identity off of. Green Day continues to maintain their dominance atop pop-punk on “Nimrod,” while also showing signs of what’s to come. 

2. “Dookie” (1994)

The sound Green Day started with “1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours” is perfected on “Dookie.” While the band would follow up “Dookie” with a similar record, no return to their old sound will ever capture the magic of this record. “Dookie” is simply filled with some of the most instantly memorable songs in pop-punk and alt-rock history. Genuinely everything Green Day has done up until this point is improved tenfold on “Dookie.” 

1. “American Idiot” (2004)

“American Idiot” is not only the peak of this list and Green Day’s discography but also one of the best pop-punk albums of all time. Green Day’s lyricism and storytelling are focused and taken to with “American Idiot’s” compelling story as a concept album. Most of all, like “Dookie,” “American Idiot” is just such a strong collection of songs. Green Day’s lofty ambition and phenomenal execution of a variety of different sounds put this a step ahead of the rest of the band’s discography.

If you want to hear about the band’s new record, Saviors, I’ll be reviewing that album on my podcast Depths of Music (also available with The Post) in the coming weeks. 

Please note that the views and opinions of columnists do not reflect those of The Post. 

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