As a huge Green Day fan, I wasn't sure if I would like the cast recording album, as it's not Billie Joe singing on it, but having listened to the sample tracks (on the US Amazon site), think its absolutely fabulous. The female voices and multi-vocal harmonies give a totally different dimension to what was/is one of the best (IF NOT THE BEST) albums released in the last 30 years, and the additional tracks (ie Favorite Son/Too Much Too Soon + the 21 CB tracks etc) just add the icing to the cake.
****UPDATE - MY IMPORT COPY CAME ON 6th MAY, AND IT'S JUST AS GOOD AS I HAD HOPED, ESPECIALLY WITH THE TRACK 22 - When it's Time, WHICH IS ACTUALLY GREEN DAY/Billie Joe SINGING A PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED SONG *****
Although Green Day are not singing on the Cast Recording Tracks, they are playing the instruments, so many of the tracks are very similar to the original versions, but there are quite a few that sound different (in a good way), possibly because of the female vocals. It's interesting to hear the mixed together songs - Last of the American Girls/She's A Rebel for instance. Letterbomb/Favorite Son/Too Much Too Soon/Extraordinary Girl and the Green Day track 'When it's Time' would be my favourites (at the moment).
Would recommend this as a "must have item" to any Green Day collector.
Green Day like to take on things that seem impossible. And when it was announced their 2004 smash 'American Idiot' would become a Broadway original, there was doubt among punk rock fans and theatre critics alike.
This cast recording, however, proves that they have once again pulled off the seemingly impossible.
Featuring all the American Idiot songs along with some from 2009's 21st Century Breakdown, as well as new track 'When It's Time', the musical arrangements are masterfully done and the vocal harmonies very impressive. The best thing, though, is they haven't totally destroyed the 'rockiness' of the songs; the singers aren't typical Broadway, perfect, operatic divas and the whole thing still feels very raw and edgy. It means that Green Day fans who weren't sure if they'd like all this - myself included - shouldn't feel that this album is blasphemy to what was the best album of the 00s. This recording features Billie Joe, Mike and Tre playing their respective instruments alongside the orchestra and actors and the sound is rather beautiful. It still has all the political and emotional power of it's namesake with an extra dash of epicness.
Buy it - whether you're a doubter or not - because you sure won't be after you've listened to it. Simply astounding.
'American Idiot' is a one-act stage musical currently playing on Broadway, and is an adaptation of punk rock band Green Day's concept album of the same name. The story is a collaboration between Green Day's lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong and the show's director Michael Mayer. The music is by Green Day and the lyrics are by Armstrong.
For those who have not seen the show, the story centers on Johnny, a rebellious youth who chooses to flee stifling suburbia and his parents' restrictions to look for meaning in his life, and to try out the freedom and excitement of the city. One of his friends stays at home to work out his relationship with his pregnant girlfriend and another friend serves in Iraq. Johnny finds part of himself, including a propensity for heroin abuse, that he grows to dislike, and has a relationship with a girl 'charmingly' called 'Whatsername', and experiences lost love. The story follows the chosen 'paths' of these three friends, through all their trials and tribulations and for the best part presents a lugubrious take on life. The strongest character by far is that of St. Jimmy, a rebellious, sinister, hypnotic figure, conjured up in the mind of Johnny as a reflection of himself.
However, as "Mamma Mia" was for Abba, and "We Will Rock You" was for Queen, "American Idiot" and it's story was only the 'clothes line' for hanging out some superb music and lyrics by Green Day. Surely not too many people (if any) go to these shows on the strength of the story lines. they go for the music, don't they?
If you liked the concept album issued by Green Day in 2004 which achieved popularity worldwide, selling over 14 million copies, charting in 26 countries, and reaching number one in nineteen of them, you will certainly enjoy the cast album which naturally delivers a slightly new take on the numbers. An addition bonus is that additional Green Day songs were interpolated from other sources, including "20th Century Breakdown", 'B' sides, and an unreleased song called "When It's Time". If you didn't hear the concept album then you will be 'rocked-in-your-socks' with the excitement, and energy that the cast put into the awesome Green Day songs.
Favourites? High quality throughout but loved "American Idiot", "Jesus Of Suburbia", "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams", "Knows Your Enemy", and the outstanding "21 Guns".
On a personal note, I was lucky enough to see the show in October 2010, and will never forget the audiences stunned but animated reaction when the opening number "American Idiot" created a 'tsunami' wave of loud pulsating rock music that 'crashed' through the whole theater pinning 'ears back' in the process.
As a postscript, despite a hammering by the New York critics mainly concentrated on the storyline, the show is still running some nine months later and according to the weekly gross takings published for all Broadway shows, is still taking good money.
I was fortunate to see the stage show at the Edinburgh Playhouse and since I'd been waiting for the tour I made sure I had one of the Best Seats in the House. Right from Curtain-Up the every song was an emotional rollercoaster and (for my money) outdoes the CD for quality, every single performer hit the ground running with perfect pitch and tempo. I could have sat through the entire performance blindfold (which, obviously, I didn't) and still have come away (reluctantly) knowing I'd been part of something incredible.
I say "been part of" because I joined in every song and was rewarded with two plectrums used on the encore "Time Of Your Life"(one from Rebecca Naomi Jones, who beamed the broadest smile that made me go weak at the knees and one from Mike Dirnt, who leant down too with a smile, told me to keep "Rocking-On" complete with the universal gesture). I thanked both with what was probably a slack joyed look of disbelief.
The CD is as close as I'll get to the real thing, or at least until the show goes back on tour again....wherever that is, I'm going back again.
As a fan of Green Day since about 2005, I was incredibly excited to hear a musical had been produced around their music. After seeing it on stage in Manchester I came straight home and ordered this CD. It's totally fantastic; the track listing is above, and with regard to the instrumentation, vocal ability and sound production it really is top notch. The addition of the female voices is fantastic as far as I'm concerned, both when they sing solos and as a part of bigger ensemble numbers. The highlights for me are 'Letterbomb', 'Favourite Son' and 'Homecoming', and the only song that I'd skip is 'Extraordinary Girl' ... but that's not exactly my favourite Green Day song anyway. I'd absolutely recommend this for any Green Day fan who's interested in a new production of the music, but especially to fans who enjoy singing along because that becomes 10x more fun when there're three or four vocal parts to play around with!
I loved the original american idiot, in fact i consider it to be one of my favourite albums of all time, and now we have a musical version. In my opinion this is a very good and original idea, and the vocals aren't bad if not a bit cheesy, however this isn't of putting. It also comes with green day playing a nice song called when its time, which was written a while ago but never put on an album. So, if you like green day, then you should buy this, as it will be a long time before anything like this will come up from any band.
I love these CD's! I was fortunate enough to go see the show on Broadway in September 2011 (which was amazing!) and the cast recording takes me right back there. The production is excellent and admittedly, it's a little strange hearing some of the songs sang by girls at first but I think they do a superb job, especially on "21 Guns" and "Letterbomb". I think that most Green Day fans would enjoy the cast recordings and although they are different to the Green Day versions, they are performed very well.
I went to see American Idiot the Musical a couple of weeks ago after a long wait and thought it was amazing. I loved it so much I wanted to see it again and again, but had to do with the soundtrack. However, this CD makes up for it, it is brilliant and takes me back to the stage show. You don't have to have seen the show to love this album but it definitely adds to the experience and makes you relive the musical. I haven't stopped listening to this album since I saw the musical!