American Idiot

American Idiot

by Green Day
4.6 165


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American Idiot

If you had to pick one band to don the "least likely to create a rock opera" mantle, Cali-punk trio Green Day would be among the most logical candidates. That makes the existence of American Idiot something of a surprise -- and the excellence of its contents little short of a revelation. There are no half measures on the sprawling disc. Billie Joe Armstrong has created a full slate of characters and given considerable thought to their back-stories -- heck, he even dug out a glockenspiel to add dramatic tension to the nine-minute epic "Jesus of Suburbia." Thing is, Armstrong and company haven't lost their snotty Gilman Street edge in the process -- as evidenced by the snarling, expletive-laced title track and the made-for-pogoing sing-along "Extraordinary Girl." While there's obviously a political subtext running through the disc, Armstrong seldom gets so specific that the disc will sound dated come the next election cycle. Instead, songs like the Clash-styled "Are We the Waiting" and the spare ballad "Wake Me Up when September Ends" delve into adult-oriented emotional distress with the same sort of incisiveness the band once applied to teen angst. While there are occasional lapses into utter excess -- "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" encroaches on show-tune territory -- American Idiot packs enough power, both sonically and emotionally, to make it worthy of extended play (and consideration for a 2004 time capsule).

Product Details

Release Date: 09/21/2004
Label: Reprise / Wea
UPC: 0093624877721
catalogNumber: 48777
Rank: 5505

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Green Day   Primary Artist
Tre Cool   Drums,Vocals
Billie Joe   Guitar,Vocals
Rob Cavallo   Piano
Mike Dirnt   Bass,Vocals
Billie Joe Armstrong   Guitar,Vocals
Kathleen Hanna   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Jason Freese   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Tre Cool   Composer
Green Day   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Doug McKean   Engineer
Rob Cavallo   Producer,Audio Production
Bill Schneider   Guitar Techician
Mike Dirnt   Composer
Chris Bilheimer   Art Direction
Mike Fasano   Drum Technician
Billie Joe Armstrong   Composer
Reto Peter   Engineer
Kenny Butler   Drum Technician
Chris Dugan   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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American Idiot 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 165 reviews.
Mr-McAwesome More than 1 year ago
Seeing as how Green Day's new album 21st Century Breakdown is two days away from release some might see it pointless to review this cd but after reading many of the reviews on this sight I have a few things to say. First off, this is Green Day's best album because they grew up. Dont get me wrong 1991's 1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours through 2000's Warning are all rememberable albums but American Idiot is the best. Another reviewer pointed out that the band grew up and matured because America grew up and matured. Yes the 90's were very laid back. Our biggest issues besides the end of the Gulf War were the huge Yellowstone fire and Bill Clintons little affair. When Billie Joe wrote the songs on the album Dookie most of our troops werent hunting for Osama bin laden and raiding the towns and homes of Iraqies and Afghanies. The twin towers were still up and the pentagon had yet to require remodeling due to a plane destroying part of the building. Green Day did the right move with this album because they said what needed to be said at the time. American Idiot is better than their previous albums because they grew up. The people that say this is the problem are clearly the ones that need to grow up themselves. Secondly, this album is not emo. Simple Plan and Fall Out Boy are emo. This album has raw emotion and its relatable in a mature way. Saying this album is emo is very much like saying The Wall by Pink Floyd is emo. Those two albums have similair stories and they are both amazing for a reason. Actual emo music consists of whiney teenagers who got a red mustang for their birthday when they wanted a black on. Thats all emo music is. Its people that dont have issues making up issues because depressed people seem to get more attention than happy peole but its all fake and stupid. American Idiot captures real situations and a) makes you relate to these issues and b) delivers them in a way that seem believable. Lastly I just want to defend Green Day for the way they look. For all you idiots reading this pay attention cause im only typing this once. THEY ARE ROCKSTARS. IF BILLIE JOE WANTS TO DRESS IN BLACK AND WEAR EYELINER THEN SHUT UP AND LET HIM!!! All you morons that claim to be die hard fans of Green Day yet hate this album for retarted reasons like the ones mentioned above please shut up. Just shut up. Why penalize a band that changed thier sound? If everyone was like you people all the other great bands would've failed too. The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and many others wouldn't have succeeded if the world was full of tone deaf morons that clearly dont know what good mucic is. Michael Fee age 20
Guest More than 1 year ago
Before i heard about Green Day i was like into pop and stuff like that, but one day i heard Blvd of Broken Dreams on the radio and i vowed to figure out who sang it then a couple nights later on Saturday Night Live the music guest was Green Day and the first song they played was Blvd of Broken Dreams so i was like OH MY GOD thats who does that song! I just had to go out and buy that CD and now Green Day is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE BAND OF ALL TIME!I hate to listen to pop music now, now i mostly listen to classic rock and punk rock.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When you ask people why they like a certain song, they may say they like it because it has a catchy beat or is something fun to dance to. If you were to ask me, I'd say the lyrics and inspiration behind the songs are first and foremost on my music priority list. When I had first heard of the album American Idiot, I thought that this was an album I wouldn't be forgetting anytime soon. And I was right. The first song I had listened to from the album was Extraordinary Girl. I immediately fell in love with it. The lyrics meant something to me. I felt... connected with it, as if Billie Joe was singing about me. I guess that proves how great he is at writing songs. I can honestly say that I had never felt that way about a song before. I immediate listened to other songs on the album. Whether it be the personal close-to-home Jesus of Suburbia, the intense and dark Boulevard of Broken Dreams, the painful but beautiful Give Me Novocain, or the small but great vocal additions of Mike Dirnt and Tre' Cool in Homecoming, I loved it all. But there was one song on the album that REALLY hit home. This song was so great and intense I still get watery eyes from it every single time I listen to it. That song would be the last song on the album, known as Whatsername. The song's meaning is mainly about trying to forget about somebody that you made a mistake with, and that it's you that has to live with it. I've been there, and I can't get it out of my mind. So for me, the song Whatsername is like therapy. My favorite part of the song would have to be the following lines, "And in the darkest night, If my memory serves me right, I'll never turn back time, Forgetting you but not the time..." In conclusion, this is by far the best album I've ever listened to. I HIGHLY recommend this album, and look forward to every future Green Day album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is really a great album. Some of it is a bit softer than I like (Wake Me Up When September Ends, etc.), but I'm not going to knock good music. They did a better job with this CD than with their others, which are also good. I definitely recommend this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm an old guy who has been listening to popular music for 50 years. I have had very little interest in music in recent years. But this record is amazing - I place it with Nevermind, London Calling, Born to Run, even Sargeant Pepper. It's that good!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This new cd may be very differnt from what we Green Day fans are used to, but, its Green Day, so it shall kick some green a$$! Billie Joe is hot and have a green day!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd is sooooooo awsum!!!!!!!!! my mom let me get this. Im 10. And even my mom loves this cd! i think the parental advisery is a lil bit overratted though. This is a purty clean cd. Therre s not hardly any cussin. blvrd of broken dreams is my fav! buy thsi cd!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Green day is so awesome!!!!! all the songs are awesome espically american idiot! keep up the good work
Guest More than 1 year ago
After 4 years, Green Day has done it again. Give Me Novacaine and Jesus of Suburbia is great. Its great to have them back. This new sound it awesome.
Guest More than 1 year ago
all of their albums are amzing, and this one is no exception. all of the songs have so much meaning put into them. the songs deal with real problems that we all will incounter eventually in our lives. this album only puts those problems into music and is wonderful. i can't stop listening to it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD tells us how green day feels about America and i think that this is good because everyone is thinking about that even if they are denying it. I like this whole CD especially " Wake Me Up When Sept. Ends"
Guest More than 1 year ago
greenday has evoleved from nothing to everything to everything from slappy hour to american idiot to bullet in a bible green day is a awsome band this band will go on and on and no there not old guys trying to look cool unlike what sleazy boy said
Guest More than 1 year ago
Words cannot describe how much I love this album. I listen to it almost every day. It's simply amazing. Totally worth it. Catch Green Day live if you can, their concerts are awesome.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Perhaps people don't understand just what rock and roll is, but Green Day has reinvented themselves and showed how they fell about the world right now and take on heavy subjects such as the war in Iraq and the election of bush. Politics aside, every one of these songs is beautifully crafted and they will make you stop because ignoring music this good would be a crime. From the hard rocking american idiot and holiday, to the moody ballad from boulevard of broken dreams, to the grande finale of whatsername(one of the most touching songs I have ever heard in my life), everyone of these songs will invoke emotions that are undiscribable. I cannot reccomend this album highly enough and can guarantee that you will be listening to this until the next album comes around.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is amazing. I first heard boulevard of broken dreams on the radio and imediately fell in love with it. I have a huge, and ever-growing CD collection but American Idiot remains my favorite. It has hardly left my CD player since the first time I pushed "play." Each song is different and passionate and gives you feelings that range from wanting to jump up and down to feeling sad or bittersweet. i also love that greenday's lyrics were new and different and fresh, totally breaking out of the "i lost my gf" "poor me" "bla bla bla" trend that many other artists seem to follow. It's an amazing CD and i have no regrets to buying it. So take the chance...and get American Idiot, Greenday!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well its a good album but i ahve to say Green Day was a lot better when they released their first few albums
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
green day is the best of the best enough said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is really good. I got hooked to Green Day by listening to Boulevard Of Broken Dreams. I also really liked Wake Me Up When September Ends and Whatsername. Whatsername is a very touching song. I liked all the songs in this album. This album is the best! Whoever says this album sucks must be crazy. They dont have any taste in music then. I would really recommend this album to everyone. Trust me, you'll like it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best cd I've ever listened to and probably the best I ever will listen to. This reminds me somewhat of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" with several nods toward The Who's "Tommy". Just so everyone knows, this is a rock opera, and for those who don't know, a rock opera is written to tell a story. This is the story of the Jesus of Suburbia, who leaves his friends (refered to as "the underbelly), his mother, stepfather (Brad), and home in "Jingletown, USA" to larger things in the place only refered to as "the City". But he finds himself just as lonely and miserable in the City as he was in Jingletown. He then rapidly changes his personality and becomes a whole other person, the one called "Saint Jimmy", a devilish and dangerous rebil. Jimmy/Jesus later meets a girl refered to as Whatsername and he falls madly in love with her and......well I won't give the whole album away. Green Day has matured alot in music and how much they care about it and how much thought is put into it. This is more than just another punk album. It's just incredible. An outstanding Album from the lords of Punk rock. I stooongly recommend this album to anyone with an open mind toward music or stories. Alot of care was put into this album. I would get it...Heck, I DID get it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
American Idiot is one album that'll just blow your mind. The dark air about it, the schizophrenic side, the political issues. It's more or less to say... PERFECT. When people complain about how it's not like their old music. Funny, laid-back, and relaxed. It's a rather unarguemental subject. They're getting older--And the world isn't what it was. When they grew up, they didn't HAVE to worry about being bombed, at least not to this extent. They didn't have kids being killed everyday. It WAS a lot more relaxed. But now, with 9-11 and the war, times have changed. Let's face it, everyone's growing up to fast. This album was one of the first to express it. That takes a lot of guts, to step back from the spotlight and make something no one else dared, even though it risked losing so many fans and popularity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first heard of Green Day's American Idiot I thought that this would be something that no one would forget and it is true. It has been a while since the CD came out and a new one is around the corner and people seem to be talking about it more than I remember. I love the way that the lyrics are. They make you feel like you're in the shoes of Jimmy from begining to the very end. That is what I like about the way Bille Joe Armstrong writes, it makes you feel like it's happening to you. When I watched the Jesus of Saburbia music video I felt like I was tied even closter to the music for some reason and now I look beond the lyrics and see the true story behind the whole story. That song seemed to open my eyes for me in more ways than one. What I wonder is what is going to happen in the next CD and will it open my eyes even further and I'll see beond the words and find something inside of me that I didn't know of before. That's another thing about Green Day you can find yourself by listening to what they have to say. Listening to what they have to say will probably help someone more than visiting a shrink will. I can't wait for the New CD to come out and it is drawing near. I know that I will be one of the first people to buy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is amazing. Some highlights are the punk opera Jesus of Surburbia and Saint Jimmy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album sounds like theyve turned spiritual. The only true Green Day songs are American Idiot and Holiday. Im really dissapointed in this album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
OK, I was a little hesitant on this one based on some reviews. But, I think this one is a winner. I really like a band who is willing to make a statement. The upbeat sound of American Idiot and Whatsername have such an 80's beat - kind of like the Kinks. And call me crazy but I found Extraordinary Girl to sound a bit Beatles-ish.