Nimrod turns 20

Nimrod turns 20


Green Day’s Nimrod album turns 20 on October 14th. To celebrate, the band will release a limited edition bright yellow 2LP set for fans and collectors, available to pre-order now, here.  

1997 was such a vastly different time to know, the internet was pretty young, Napster was still 2 years away, so music was consumed in an entirely different way, the good old way, YOU BOUGHT IT. You went into a record shop and bought it, took it home, poured over the lyrics, and played it over and over in your car until the cd was too scratched, so you had to buy, yes buy another copy.  I had to, I was singing in a cover band, and Green Day songs always went over well, "Hitchin A Ride" and "Good Riddance" were currency.

I was also part of the masses that latched onto Green Day when Dookie came out, and realising that the majority of their songs were just 3 or 4 power chords on the guitar meant that I could play just about everything they did. I felt like a legend. That continued into Insomniac and then into Nimrod. The album that’s turning the big 2-0.

For me, it’s a trilogy of Green Day albums that resonate with me the most, and Nimrod was almost like the last hurrah of my formative years. You could hear the pop elements coming in, but with punk attitude in "The Grouch", a song that is so damn catchy it should be illegal. It’s structure is perfect and they fooled us all. These guys could write pop songs lined with lyrics that still said ‘fuck you’, literally.

Great harmonies and pop sensibilities continue on "Scattered", a story of love lost and regret, something that their teen-early 20’s fans could absolutely relate to. Safe to say that by Nimrod, Green Day had polished what they do to within an inch of it’s life.

Fury erupts old school style in "Platypus (I Hate You)". 2 and a half minutes of pure hatred toward some unfortunate shmuck. Legend has it, a journalist that had written positive reviews about the band before Dookie, but once that was released and they became commercially successful, the journo changed his mind and pissed off the band with the way he acted. Billy Joe has been quoted as saying “I always wanted to name a song "Platypus" and the song recalls "I hate you", so that would be boring just to call it "I Hate You"

I was always a fan of the story that unfolded as "Jinx" went straight into "Haushinka", and I think this was an early example of what to expect from Billy Joe concept writing that we really saw come to fruition with American Idiot. I loved it, here was a band that I could play along to and hear a real story at the same time.

As I said earlier, this was, for me, a final chapter in a great trilogy, and the turning point for Green Day. A mix of flat out furious and fun punk tomes that reflected where they had come from, with improved song writing and lyrics and a slight change in direction that we would hear on their following album, Warning.

Who would have thought that all these years later, whilst touring, one of the most popular songs for Green Day to play live, is "King For A Day". This jovial, trumpeted ska circus vibed classic is when shit gets crazy at their live shows. It’s fun personified and must be as much of a blast for them to do live as it is to sing along with in the audience.  As you’ll see here, things will often go off piste.

Do I dare write a retrospective article about Nimrod and not mention the most overused song for montage of all time?

Yes, you know the song I’m talking about, famously used for the end of Seinfeld almost a year after release, and at every seniors formal, ball, video project, and sung by acoustic duos and solo musos around the world, this was one out of the box for Green Day. Short, sweet, acoustic, moving and relatable. It encapsulated so much to so many, and to this day remains their highest played song on radio because rock stations can get away with it, as can pop stations and everything in between.

Nimrod is a completely great album. What I mean by that is, as a whole, it’s great. It’s complete, and a stepping stone in the Green Day sound evolution. I’m pretty stoked that there’s a limited edition vinyl edition being released, I’ll be adding it to my collection.

You can get your hands on it too, here. 

- Higgo 

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