Green Day’s new album, “21st Century Breakdown,” will break the normal release cycle and come out on Friday, May 15. CDs usually come out on Tuesday.
The punk pop trio is clearly staying with the concept album idea it realized so brilliantly on 2004’s According to Reprise, Green Day’s label, “Breakdown” will be divided into three acts: “Heroes and Cons,” “Charlatans and Saints” and Horseshoes and Handgrenades.” The songs are seen through the eyes of a young couple, Christian and Gloria (I’m sure we could read volumes into the name choices). Song titles include “Know Your Enemy,” which is the first single; “21 Guns,” “East Jesus Nowhere,” “Before the Lobotomy” and “Restless Heart Syndrome.” The album’s producer is Butch Vig, best known for his work with Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, as well as being in Garbage.
We’ve seen labels increasingly flirt with changing release days over the last few years-Emimem did in several years ago and Metallica did it more recently with its latest album. It’s a way to get more attention, drive traffic into the stores still selling the CDs physically. (Despite the digital age, roughly 80% of all CDs are still sold physically, not digitally-although that number is falling and many acts already sell more in the digital format), and show off a little when the album debuts at No. 1 based on only three days of sales. (SoundScan numbers run Monday-Sunday.)