Just three months after Green Day’s seminal 2004 rock opera American Idiot turned 10, the band have been inducted into the Rock And Roll hall Of Fame. It’s quite rare we get a punk band in there, so this calls for a celebration. “I had to go for a walk when I heard the news,” Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong told Rolling Stone last night. “We're in incredible company, and I'm still trying to make sense of this.” Not everyone’s happy about the band’s induction, though. “Green Day over the Smiths and Nine Inch Nails? Nope,” said a commenter on the AP Facebook. “Green Day? Seriously? They're garbage,” added another.
So, it looks like it’s time to defend. Here are 12 reasons why Green Day deserve to be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame:
1. They have a Diamond record.
Green Day are part of a rare club of musicians who have released Diamond-selling albums. That means one of their albums—Dookie—was purchased by over 10 million people in the U.S. alone. That’s more than the entire population of Sweden.
2. They completely reinvented themselves with American Idiot.
This album really put the band back on the map after the tepid sales history of 2000’s Warning. The success of AI exposed Green Day to a whole new generation of younger fans and its success is why they remain so relevant today. Before that, the band hadn’t released a new album in four years and could’ve easily faded into obscurity.
3. One of their albums became a Broadway musical.
(How many bands can claim that?)
4. It’s harder to get inducted/recognized as a punk band.
You don’t see a lot of punk bands in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Yeah, the Ramones, the Clash and the Sex Pistols are all there, but classic rock far outweighs punk. Generally, being a punk band is a lot harder than other genres, coming with little commercial success. But Green Day pushed on to join the elite club of punk bands in the Hall Of Fame.
5. Dookie is one of the defining albums of its genre.
Blink-182’s Enema Of The State is the only pop-punk record that could give it a run for its money.
6. They had an entire album stolen from them. So, they made a better one.
The follow-up album to 2000’s Warning was going to be Cigarettes And Valentines. But when it was near completion in 2003, the master recordings mysteriously disappeared from the studio. Instead of recreating Cigarettes, they made an entirely new album, American Idiot. We know what happened next.
7. They’ve been a band for over 25 years.
Don’t give us any of that “they haven’t been around long enough” B.S.; 28 years is enough! FYI: The Beatles were also inducted 28 years after their formation. And they were only a band for 10 years.
8. They’ve won countless awards.
The band won five Grammys: Best Alternative Music Album for Dookie; Best Rock Album for American Idiot; Record Of The Year for “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams;” Best Rock Album for 21st Century Breakdown; and Best Musical Show Album for American Idiot: The Original Broadway Cast Recording.
9. They’ve sold more than 75 million albums and singles.
That makes them one of the best-selling groups on the planet.
10. They created the graduation song you cannot escape.
“Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” also introduced a massive and varied audience to pop-punk through the Seinfeld finale.
11. They had a huge impact on youth culture.
A punk band like Green Day being so accepted by the mainstream helped make it okay for kids to dye their hair green or rock guyliner as a means of expressing themselves—without getting the hell beat out of them.
12. They had a galvanizing political impact.
With the anti-Bush American Idiot, Green Day fed seething, no-holds-barred, politically charged lyrics to the mainstream radio listeners of America, who, otherwise, would’ve been damaged by Maroon 5’s “This Love.” The album shined a light on the Iraq War and made a generation of disengaged youth actually care.