Green Day were pioneers of the mid-1990's punk revival. With their 2004 album American Idiot they reasserted their role as one of the most innovative of all punk bands. These are their 5 best albums.
This is the band's masterpiece. It was released in 2004, 10 years after Green Day's first massive hit album Dookie. They were simply seeking to create longer pieces, more like Queen's classic "Bohemian Rhapsody," and they ended up with a full-fledged rock opera a la the Who's Tommy. The album became Green Day's first #1 and featured the massive hit single "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams."
Green Day signed to a major label contract in 1994 and Dookie is the first album under that contract. The music is nearly a direct descendent of such late 70's British punk bands as the Buzzcocks and the Jam. The album generated 3 massive hit singles, "Longview," "Basket Case," and "When I Come Around." Dookie is simply the best album by any band to emerge out of the mid-90's punk revival.
By 2000 Green Day had lost much of their commercial clout and were no longer seen as existing on the musical cutting edge. With little to prove to anyone the band created perhaps the most melodic and accessible of all of their albums. While keeping much of Green Day's trademark energy, the songs are more varied and try out new effects and styles. While not a masterpiece, Warning is a rewarding album for listening.
Kerplunk, released in 1992, was the last of Green Day's albums recorded prior to a major label contract. Much of their successful formula is present, and it is the first set of recordings to feature Tre Cool on drums.
In 1997, as the commercial juggernaut of Dookie began to fade into memory, Green Day decided to experiment with varied styles. One of those experiments, the ballad "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)", achieved success with adult contemporary audiences. Many of the experiments don't quite work on this album, but when they do, Green Day's music is truly exciting.