Green Day is likely the most successful punk band of all-time, which is an inherently troublesome statement when you consider that punk rock, by definition, isn’t really supposed to be successful. How can one credibly sneer at the establishment while the millions keep piling up? It’s a question Green Day has struggled with ever since they broke through with Dookie in 1994, especially now, when Green Day is part of the establishment. But that doesn’t mean that the 2015 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees can’t still rock out, as is evidenced by the surprise release of their new single, “Bang Bang.” And to celebrate the band, we ranked their proper studio albums.
11. 21st Century Breakdown (2009)
One album in and I can already feel the onslaught coming in the comments. Hear me out: this album, while not without its moments, just seems so unnecessary. It was as though, after the massive success of American Idiot, Green Day said “Welp, I guess we’re the band that writes rock operas now!” So many songs here feel like lesser versions of their AI counterparts. “Know Your Enemy” is a lesser “American Idiot.” “21 Guns” is an inferior “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” “Last Of The American Girls” is an off-brand “She’s A Rebel.” After taking nearly five years to release the follow-up to American Idiot, Green Day made an album that sounded far too similar to its predecessor.