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20 Essential Green Day Hits

Take a nostalgic walk through the modern punk band's biggest tracks in celebration of their No. 1 album "Revolution Radio."

1 / 20

"Longview" (1994)

If you want even more Green Daycheck out Fuse's Spotify playlist, with more than 40 songs spanning GD's whole career.

Yeah, Green Day had two albums out before releasing "Longview," the first single from Dookie, but most likely, this was your introduction to the Bay Area punk band. And for a generation of 15-year-old boys, "When masturbation's lost its fun" became the pivotal giggle-snicker line.

2 / 20

"Welcome To Paradise" (1994)

Originally released on their 1992 album Kerplunk, the band re-recorded the track as the follow-up single for "Longview."

3 / 20

"Basket Case" (1994)

True to its title, Green Day set the video in a mental hospital. Armstrong wrote this one as a way to deal with his increasingly debilitating anxiety.

4 / 20

"When I Come Around" (1995)

One of the band's biggest songs is also one of the decade's most enduring tracks. We dig the official video, but nobody beats the mud people at Woodstock '94.

5 / 20

"She" (1995)

Dookie's final single was written about Armstrong's ex-girlfriend, also the subject of "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)." Here's the track, but for a slightly NSFW version, Armstrong performed a nude version at Madison Square Garden.

6 / 20

"Geek Stink Breath" (1995)

The first single from the band's fourth album, Insomniac, details the effects of meth, including rotting teeth, sour blood and "picking scabs off my face." 

7 / 20

"J.A.R." (1995)

Taken from the Angus soundtrack, the track was written in memory of Jason Andrew Relva, a childhood friend of Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt; he died three years earlier.

8 / 20

"Brain Stew/Jaded" (1996)

Here's the point where Green Day grows from fast, three-chord punk anger to a more mature songwriting style, foreshadowing Armstrong's rock opera future. The stewing, bubbling "Brain Stew" blends so well into the hardcore "Jaded," it's hard to remember they're two different tracks.

9 / 20

"Walking Contradiction" (1996)

"I'm a smart ass, but I'm playing dumb" could pretty much describe Billie Joe in one line.

10 / 20

"Hitchin' A Ride" (1997)

Led by Dirnt's propulsive bass line, Green Day continued their dominance with this first single from their fifth album Nimrod. It's all about the slow buildup.

11 / 20

"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" (1997)

And a sea of lighters go up. Billie Joe slows it down and writes this atypical acoustic track, replacing electric guitars with orchestral strings. Prom organizers everywhere immediately throw out their "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" CD single and rejoice.

12 / 20

"Minority" (2000)

"I want to be the minority / I don't need your authority." Billie Joe's punk streak continues into the new decade on the lead single from their sixth album Warning.

13 / 20

"American Idiot" (2004)

With their seventh album, American Idiot, Green Day went from arenas to stadiums and became one of the biggest rock bands in the world, fueled largely by this title track. Armstrong wrote the track to counter what he saw as a growing anti-intellectualism movement. The song would later snag four GRAMMY nominations, including Song of the Year.

14 / 20

"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (2004)

The second single from Idiot remains a crowd favorite, unless you're Noel Gallagher. The former Oasis guitarist accused the band of stealing the song's melody and structure from "Wonderwall." "They should have the decency to wait until I am dead [before stealing my songs]," said Gallagher, who likes to get angry at things.

15 / 20

"Holiday" (2005)

"This song is not anti-American; it's anti-war!" Armstrong would tell fans before live performances of this song. One of the band's most political songs features lines like "Can I get another Amen? / There's a flag wrapped around a score of men / A gag, a plastic bag on a monument."

16 / 20

"Wake Me Up When September Ends" (2005)

The song's original anti-war sentiment took on new meaning after Hurricane Katrina, becoming the de facto tribute song for victims of the natural disaster.

17 / 20

"Jesus of Suburbia" (2005)

The final single from American Idiot, clocking in at more than nine minutes, shows the band in all their operatic, multi-sectional glory.

18 / 20

"Working Class Hero" (2007)

John Lennon's 1970 song has been covered numerous times. Here, Green Day give their interpretation for Instant Karma, a compilation album featuring various covers of the former Beatle's songs.

19 / 20

"Know Your Enemy" (2009)

Though sadly not a Rage Against the Machine cover, the lead single from the band's eighth album 21st Century Breakdown became the theme song from WWE Smackdown. That should tell you all you need to know.

20 / 20

"21 Guns" (2009)

The second single from Breakdown earned two GRAMMY nominations, for Best Rock Performance by a Duo/Group and Best Rock Song. Green Day would later re-record the track with the cast of the Broadway musical American Idiot.

Listen to this entire playlist on Spotify below.

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