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Top 10 Greatest Green Day Songs

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Formed in 1987, Green Day is a punk rock band originating in California and consisting of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool. In 2012, Jason White became a full-fledged member in 2012, though he’d been touring and recording with them for over a decade. The band starting off making a name for themselves in punk rock, but have since expanded into alt-rock, pop punk and other styles, which has earned them massive mainstream popularity and commercial success. They’re now one of the best-selling artists ever. For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites with their most commercially successful songs. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 Green Day Songs. Special thanks to our users Jake Fraser, Jogs Martinez, Rolando Royster, Al Bebak, noehelsalawi, aldqbigsquare, albertficher, pannkakesangen, Ben Knight and Deathmatch1959 for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest.

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They don’t wanna be American Idiots. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Green Day Songs.

For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs.

#10: “Brain Stew”
Insomniac (1995)

This track off Green Day’s fourth album was released as one single with “Jaded,” since the songs bleed into each other. But it’s “Brain Stew” that we’ve chosen for the list, because of its memorable guitar riff and simple lyrics. With its punk rock vibes, the top forty track is also a Green Day live staple.

#9: “Hitchin’ a Ride”
Nimrod (1997)

Nimrod’s first single is an alt-rock and punk rock concoction with a shuffle beat that’s sure to get you moving. Opening with violin, “Hitchin’ a Ride” captivates us with Mike Dirnt’s bass and Tre Cool’s drumming. Billy Joe Armstrong keeps the pace with his vocals and guitar work, and then the song culminates in a build-up where the band lets it all loose. That’s just our kind of ride!

#8: “Welcome to Paradise”
Dookie (1994)

Though it was originally recorded for Kerplunk, it’s the version off Dookie we’ve put here. Their third album’s second single kicks off with a blast that immediately reels you in. Add Tre Cool’s frantic drumming and Dirnt’s bass solo to Armstrong’s vocals and guitar and you’ve got a song that’s an awesome showcase of the trio’s chemistry. It’s classic Green Day all the way.

#7: “When I Come Around”
Dookie (1994)

With its four-chord main riff and two-chord chorus, this mid-tempo punk and alt-rocker may be simple, but it’s also oh-so-effective. Written following Armstrong’s breakup with a girlfriend, “When I Come Around” is so catchy that radio stations wouldn’t stop playing it. The song also topped the Modern Rock Tracks chart and helped cement Green Day’s mainstream popularity.

#6: “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
American Idiot (2004)

Green Day made a name for themselves as punk rockers, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been afraid to experiment. The risk paid off with the concept album American Idiot, which became the band’s second best-selling record. With its alternative rock sound and melancholy lyrics, the effort’s second single didn’t only hit the Billboard Hot 100’s second spot but also won a Grammy and sold over 5 million copies worldwide.

#5: “Longview”
Dookie (1994)

While its subject matter is boredom, “Longview” is far from being a boring track. With its unmistakable bass line, references about drugs and self-love, and Armstrong’s chagrined vocal delivery, Dookie’s first single was the perfect introduction to Green Day’s punk rock style. Known for its shuffle rhythm, the Grammy-nominated number was also accompanied by a music video that quickly caught on with the masses.

#4: “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”
Nimrod (1997)

Before they experimented with rock opera, Green Day surprised fans and critics with this acoustic rock ballad. The track proved the band could find success by changing things up, and that they were more than just punk rockers. While its radio-friendly sound earned them crossover appeal, the contemplative lyrics of “Good Riddance” also made it a popular farewell song.

#3: “American Idiot”
American Idiot (2004)

Four years after the commercially disappointing Warning, Green Day came back in full force with American Idiot. The album’s politically-charged title cut became the band’s first charting single on the Billboard Hot 100, earned them four Grammy nods and recharged their career. Starting off with an energetic guitar riff, “American Idiot” combines the band’s musical talents with Armstrong’s angry and opinionated vocals in a song that gets you rockin’ in just 3 short minutes.

#2: “Jesus of Suburbia”
American Idiot (2004)

Clocking in at a little over 9 minuteslong “Jesus of Suburbia” was a daring choice to be American Idiot’s last single: radio stations balked at its length, while its rock opera style stunned those used to Green Day’s more punk and alt-rock sound. Despite this, the epic track is considered one of the band’s finest compositions. With its five movements, a piano-heavy interlude and anthemic conclusion, is it any wonder rock radio still played the original over the edited cut? It’s just that good.

Honorable Mentions

“21 Guns”
“Geek Stink Breath”
“Wake Me Up When September Ends”
“Are We the Waiting”

#1: “Basket Case”
Dookie (1994)

Recounting Armstrong’s anxiety issues, Dookie’s third single immediately caught on with people that related to its “melodramatic” lyrics and unforgettable punk rock and pop punk sound. Topping the Modern Rock Tracks chart for five weeks, the Grammy-nominated “Basket Case” showed that we didn’t only have “the time to listen to the band whine” but that we also loved every minute of it! The ‘90s simply wouldn’t be the same without it or its music video, which ruled MTV’s airwaves for quite some time.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Green Day song? Be sure to subscribe to for more entertaining top 10s.

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