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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
on 18 September 2012
Like many others of my generation, I caught onto Green Day in 1994 due to "Basket Case"; 18 years and various house moves later, this was the ideal opportunity to reclaim the CDs I'd accumulated and lost in the interim.
Nicely packaged, with nice clear quality across all the albums, this is a definite plus for anyone who likes this band, whether they've got the old albums or not, no matter if they're new or long-time fans.
1,039.... (1990): what you'd expect from what was essentially a trio of stoner kids, most of the songs are about girls or being stoned, each showing the talent that Billie-Joe & Mike would continue to show for the next 20+ years. John's drumming isn't as powerful as Tre's, but the style similarity is evident.
Kerplunk! (1992): Tre's first album with the band, it shows in some places that he's fairly new to the unit as he and Mike hadn't yet fallen into the same step musically - nevertheless, a brilliant album finished off with a final four tracks featuring previous drummer John.
Dookie (1994): the album that gave Green Day to the world; the bouncing tunes hiding dark lyrics are highlighted by the now perfectly synced rhythm section - and those dark lyrics point to the (slightly) increased maturity of the band.
Insomniac (1995): a slight disappointment over the previous three; very bratty in places, most of the album retains the lyrical mood decline but with less of the bouncy riffs of Dookie to counter.
Nimrod (1997): an improvement over Insomniac, showing the band's versatility in musical and vocal styles from the heavy growling of Take Back, the acoustic ballad Good Riddance, and what the hell, King For A Day. The last Green Day album I considered worth the money.
Warning (2000): Green Day bring out the acoustics and other unexpected instruments - only ever liked a couple of tracks on this, and while I appreciate the versatility and talent they showed, this and the following albums to me weren't quite right, which probably shows they matured more than I did...
American Idiot (2005): 11 years after taking over the world, and 5 years after losing it to Blink-182, Green Day's rock opera remains one of their most popular, and better than Blink's self titled album of the previous year. Great concept, better ideas and songs than Warning, but still a few low points (the slow and soppy ones - Boulevard, September, Whatsername...).
21st Century Breakdown (2009): Another long-story concept, with overall better songs than American Idiot, but still an album I can't listen to without skipping at least one track.
Overall, a good bargain box set, once you've weighed up the pros and cons - I could have spent more on downloading just the early albums, missing out the ones I wasn't keen on, but it's no big deal having the whole lot and not listening to all of it.