Celebrating the release of Green Day’s 13th studio album, Father Of All Motherfuckers, which landed at #1 on the ARIA Album Chart this week, we look back at their eight most successful singles on the ARIA Single Chart over the course of their career.
Peak: number 19
The title track of their sixth album, “Warning” was released as it's second single and had lyrics that consisted mostly of words and phrases that would appear on warning signs and labels. It peaked 10 places higher than lead single “Minority”.
7. "21 Guns”
Peak: number 14
Taken from eighth album 21st Century Breakdown, this rock ballad with a chorus that has been compared to “All The Young Dudes” deals with patriotism and war. Like “Warning”, it was released as the album’s second single and performed marginally better than the first – in this case “Know Your Enemy”.
6. "Wake Me Up When September Ends”
Peak: number 13
While the video for this single from American Idiot also dealt with the impact of war, the song was written about a very different type of loss – the death of Billie Joe Armstrong’s father from oesophageal cancer on September 1, 1982, when the singer was 10 years old. It also became associated with Hurricane Katrina, which struck in the same week the single was released.
5. "American Idiot”
Peak: number 7
The American Idiot album would be Green Day’s most successful release in Australia, going six times platinum to Dookie’s five times – and the album’s title track brought them back to the ARIA top 10 for the first time in six years. “American Idiot” took aim at the dumbing down of American society by mainstream media, with Billie Joe Armstrong reacting to the idea of people being proud to be “dumb rednecks”.
4. "When I Come Around”
Peak: number 7
The song that kicked things up a notch for Green Day, this fourth single from Dookie took them into the top 10 for the first time and brought their debut album, which had previously peaked at number 26, back to the chart and all the way to number 1 in March 1995. The song was written about Billie Joe Armstrong’s long-distance relationship with his future wife, Adrienne Nesser.
3. "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams”
Peak: number 5
A number 2 hit in the US, this second single from American Idiot is Green Day’s most successful single on the Billboard Hot 100. In Australia, it became their second to reach the top 5. In the storyline of the American Idiot album, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” is the hangover after the party of “Holiday”, and deals with ideas of isolation and estrangement.
2. "Redundant/Time Of Your Life (Good Riddance)”
Peak: number 2
Following the top 10 success of “When I Come Around”, Green Day came nowhere near matching that with the singles from second album Insomniac. “Hitchin’ A Ride”, the lead release from third album Nimrod, reached number 26 and both “Time Of Your Life (Good Riddance)” and “Redundant” fell some way short of that before some bright spark came up with the idea of putting them together as a double A-side release. The result: almost a number 1 smash. Both tracks dealt with relationship woes faced by Billie Joe Armstrong – “Time Of Your Life…” which was written before Dookie was released, about an old girlfriend who’d left the country and “Redundant” about the troubles in his marriage.
1. "The Saints Are Coming” (with U2)
Peak: number 1
This collaboration with U2 is on top of this list kind of on a technicality, but a number 1 single is a number 1 single. Their charity remake of the 1979 single by Skids was an instant chart-topper but only spent six weeks on the top 50.
Father Of All Motherfuckers is out now, here, along with a stack of really cool limited edition merch items!
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