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Today marks the 10th anniversary of the United States release of Green Day's 'American Idiot,' the GRAMMY® Award-winning multi-platinum 2004 album.


I'm going to attempt to paint a picture of American Idiot, Green Day's now decade-old landmark album, that you won't find amidst the other reviews coming out to mark the anniversary of its release. Rolling Stone, Billboard, and other music news outlets are commemorating the record by showering it with praise, and rightly so. They lovingly detail the album's format, the enigmatic yet mischievous characters of St. Jimmy and Whatsername, and the sheer brilliance of the all-out musical assault that drives each track. Of course, no one will dispute that these aspects of American Idiot do indeed contribute to our devotion. Still, with firsthand knowledge of the undying passion that Green Day fans have for their band, I find yet another facet of the album's success to be the most captivating.

I was eight years old (an elementary school student) when American Idiot came out. I remember being hooked in by the radio standards like "Holiday," "Wake Me Up When September Ends," and of course, the kick-drum-fueled first single, "American Idiot." I found my way to a store to buy the album, which was promptly confiscated by my parents. Like so many other protective parents around the world, they were understandably off-put by the black and white "Parental Advisory" sticker plastered onto the front cover of each copy. I took to iTunes and bought the five or six tracks that I had already grown to love.

Amongst all of my other peers in the third grade, the album was a smash hit. I distinctly recall the morning after Green Day's tour stop in my city, when at least a third of my class ranted about how great the show was, and I was left wishing I'd been able to attend. When a girl brought the album booklet to school and flaunted her knowledge of some of the more indecent lyrics, I overheard. We spent multiple recess periods loudly chanting the bridge of "Holiday," and became friends... she remains my best friend to this day, after ten years.

Mind you, these personal remembrances and anecdotes are not, by any means, meant to convince you of the album's measureless charm. When casual music-listeners are asked what they think of Green Day, many will say something like, "Oh, man, 'American Idiot'...that really takes me back to [insert phase of speaker's life here]." It really is utterly phenomenal when you step back to think about the vast section of the populous that American Idiot not only reached but, ultimately, captivated and touched. An album that, first, gets enough popular attention to reach the masses and, second, is meaningful and deep enough to have an emotional effect on each listener is a bona fide rarity. There are many people who will solemnly reveal that the album saved their lives -- it allowed them to better internalize the unfortunate parts of existence that had previously tormented them, and to empathize with the triumphs and downfalls of Whatsername and the infamous St. Jimmy.

The simple point is that American Idiot is undoubtedly far more than the sum of its parts. The thirteen songs that brought Green Day back into the ears of the mainstream made fans out of everyone from soccer moms to lawyers and doctors, and avid devotees out of casual fans. Billie Joe Armstrong has often attested to the fact that, following the release of musical mainstays like Dookie and American Idiot, the album ceases to belong to the band, and is taken in by each fan who embraces it. The songs he wrote are now intertwined within the lives, memories, and minds of the audience. This attribute is what separates good albums from monumental albums, and is the reason that we still sing the praises of American Idiot today.
With this Sunday being the tenth anniversary of one of Green Day's biggest albums, American Idiot, Mike Dirnt posted a photo of a handwritten note with his feelings about the record to his Instagram account. Here's the full text of ... read story
Adeline Records posted on Facebook today that it will be discounting all the Green Day vinyl in its online store for 24 hours. This includes the majority of Green Day's albums, spare a small handful, and a couple of Adeline releases from ... read story
Billie Joe will be part of the Little Kids Rock gala honoring Joan Jett next month in New York City. The annual benefit helps to raise money for the Little Kids Rock charity, which provides music education in public schools across the US ... read story
Featured this week is an apparel set from the Insomniac tour, which went from 1995-1996. Included is a rare tour shirt, and an even rarer hat. Both items were bought directly at a show during the tour, and are in good condition. Shirts like ... read story
Back in 1994 when MTV actually cared about music, Green Day were nominated 3 times for "Longview" as Best Group Video (lost to Aerosmith), Best New Artist in a Video (lost to Counting Crows), and Best Alternative Video (lost to Nirvana). It ... read story
Green Day fans in Japan are finally getting an official release of Demolicious. The album will be released by Warner Music Japan on September 10th. The album was originally released April 19th for Record Store Day around many parts of the ... read story
Billie Joe just shared these really great pictures of his iconic guitar "Blue" on his Instagram. Thanks to Bastard of 1969 for sharing this on our forum ... read story
Most fans are at least somewhat familiar with Billie Joe's recording debut, a record called Look for Love that he recorded with his music teacher at age 5. If you weren't before, you are now! Since a very minuscule number of copies were ... read story
Hot Topic has posted two new Green Day shirts up for sale. One is a "Welcome to Paradise" design, the other is a girls fit shirt with the nimrod. artwork. Check them out at Hot Topic by clicking the images below. Thanks to ... read story
zZounds, an online musical instrument retailer, is giving away one of Billie Joe's new signature Gibson ES-137 guitars that will also be hand-signed by the man himself. The guitar normally retails for $3,299. The contest is open to ... read story
August 14th marked 20 years since Green Day's iconic performance at the 1994 Woodstock festival. Their performance and resulting mud fight helped launch their success as they toured the world for their major label debut album Dookie ... read story
Congratulations to our winner 9876gwen who will have a choice of a $50 gift certificate to the Official Green Day Store or clear Demolicious vinyl and Danny for winning the wristbands by completing the riddles first! Riddle 1: ... read story
We're giving away one of the new F**k Cancer shirts which are being sold to raise money for charity. To enter you have to go Like and comment on this post on Facebook, or retweet this tweet on Twitter. Or do both for two chances to win ... read story
Today we're really excited to start selling these 'F**K Cancer' shirts with 100% of the profits going to the Avon Walk for breast cancer research and patient care. The shirts, black with pink font and ribbon, are stylized like the "Awesome ... read story
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Happening this month:
Oct 03:
Warning was release 14 years ago today!
Oct 10:
Insomniac was released 19 years ago
Oct 11:
Happy Birthday, Matt! He turns 23 today.
Oct 14:
nimrod. was released 17 years ago.
Oct 31:
Happy Halloween!
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