Picking out a favourite album from your favourite artist is always a painstaking task that, more than often, ends up with the sneaky inclusion of two or three honourable mentions. Can you imagine how difficult it is to do when you were the person who made the albums? Still, every so often, bands and their members will make the choice and, below, we’ve got the favourite Green Day album and the group’s best song from the band’s leader Billie Joe Armstrong.
The conversation came up for Armstrong when the singer sat down with Vulture for a comprehensive conversation about Green Day’s career and their happenings for the next weeks, as the band get set for a massive tour with Weezer and Fall Out Boy, among many other escapades. During that chat, Armstrong shared not only his favourite Green Day album but also the track he considers the group’s ‘best song’.
Armstrong has quickly become one of the most potent voices to emerge from the early nineties punk scene. Following the seminal success of Dookie, Green Day rose to the top of the alternative rock scene. American Idiot was another step toward global domination but neither record lands as Armstrong’s favourite.
What is Green Day’s best album, according to the singer? Naturally, his answer comes with the caveat of the ever-changing paradigms of music: “At the moment, I’m going to say Kerplunk. It’s kind of autobiographical. We wrote that record when I was 18, 19 years old, and it was at a time before punk became mainstream. There’s something about it that feels like a fanzine.
“All of us were living together, living in bands together. It was a coming of age, in a way. A song like ‘Welcome to Paradise’ wasn’t just about teenage heartbreak anymore. It had a lot more to do with life slapping you in the face.”
As well as picking out his favourite album, the singer also had the chance to name the song he thought was Green Day’s best. Despite the words above, the song doesn’t come from 1991’s Kerplunk. Instead, it came from American Idiot: “’Jesus of Suburbia’ is the one that sticks out. It’s so epic. I mean, I’m tooting my own horn, but I think it encompasses so much about my life and friendship and family, and it’s flamboyant and big and bombastic.
“It’s one of those moments where I was feeling like I wanted to take a big risk. It’s so fun to play live, seeing how the entire crowd sings along. It’s just one of those songs.” The track has since become one of the most beloved songs in the band’s arsenal. Like The Who and their magnetic rock opera Tommy, this song became the basis for Green Day’s own musical American Idiot.
Luckily for Green Day fans, there are countless incredible albums and songs to pick through, but if you’re looking for Armstrong’s favourite, you’ll find them below.