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Top 15 Green Day Songs You Are Legally Allowed to Listen to as a Punk

It’s a question as old as time, and one we get frequently here at the Hard Times: “How do I listen to Green Day without looking like a total fucking asshole?” It certainly isn’t easy, but we’ve taken the time to ease the burden for you by compiling a list of certified songs that you are absolutely allowed, no, required to listen to from the little three-piece that couldn’t, Green Day.

15. “King For A Day”

Yeah, I’m ripping the ska/polka band-aid off right away. You’ll live. You wouldn’t know it now from their bland output and middle-of-the-road (read: almost no) political standings as of late, but the members of Green Day have long been strong supporters and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, and this loving homage to Drag is just one of many examples. Not only are we giving you license here to completely love a ska song, but its celebratory message is more relevant now than ever. Billie Joe, if you’re reading this, please relocate your spine and give us more shit like this.

14. “Take Back”

Oh fuuuuuuuck yeah. There’s amp hiss AND feedback within the literal first second of this track, so you already know it’s punk. The band manages to rip through this absolute terror of a song in just over a minute, paying tribute to their more hardcore influences along the way.

13. “Platypus (I Hate You)”

Punk is about anger and rebellion, and boy howdy does this song have it. In response to a music critic slighting them, Billie Joe calmly responded by calling him a “dickhead, fuck face, cocksmoking motherfucker” in the span of one verse that predates Blink-182’s “Family Reunion” by a full three years.

12. “Blood, Sex and Booze”

Yeah, yeah, I know. “A song from Warning? I thought this was supposed to be about punk songs.” Listen, I like this one and I don’t give a fuck what you think about it, and isn’t that what punk is all about? Also, they hired a real dominatrix to whip their sound engineer, producing the screams you hear at the beginning. Pretty damn punk if you ask me.

11. “Brat”

Green Day were calling out nepo-babies before most of the generation that coined the term was even born. Billie Joe, however, takes the lyrics here to a darker place, embodying the character of a rich kid waiting for their parents to perish before getting all of their money, albeit it with humorous lines like “I’m a snot-nosed slob without a job and I know I damn well should”

10. “Panic Song”

Long before “American Idiot” was released, Green Day was already toying with more progressive and operatic levels of punk drama. In a song about the dismal and declining state of American politics, the band spends the entire first two minutes building up a single note played at break-neck speed by bassist, Mike Dirnt. A move that shows a major departure from the radio-ready version of the band that existed just one album cycle before. Mike Dirnt once had to undergo major surgery for Carpal Tunnel syndrome, and with a song like this in his repertoire, it’s pretty clear why.

9. “86”

If to be punk is to rebel, or whatever the fuck people think it means now, then self-rebellion is certainly its highest form. When Green Day signed to major label Reprise in 1994, they were essentially exiled from the East Bay scene they once called home. Rumor has it that Billie Joe penned this one from the point of view of a former friend after sneaking into the famed punk venue, 934 Gilman St., and seeing “Billy Joel must die” scrawled across the women’s restroom wall.

8. “Babs Uvula Who?”

This one answers the question “what if the Ramones did more amphetamines?” and clearly understands the assignment.

7. “J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva)”

Mike Dirnt wrote this one, and he’s barely changed his hairstyle since the band started, so you know he’s the punkest one. Before it was included on “International Superhits” it solely existed on the Official Soundtrack of a movie you’ve probably never seen or heard of called “Angus” so it gets bonus points for being a song your friends probably haven’t heard of.

6. “Desensitized”

This song is not only a B-side but it also starts with audio of Tré Cool breaking a bunch of shit with a baseball bat. For these reasons, this cut has been deemed acceptable punk listening by the Hard Times staff.

5. “Emenius Sleepus”

Who doesn’t have a friend that suddenly sold out and went all corporate, forgot about their punk roots, but not before stealing your copy of “Energy” which is fortunately back in print, but was still kind of priceless as an original pressing, and slept with your ex (looking at you Jared). Don’t you ever feel like you want to scream along to a catchy as hell punk song that adequately describes the situation? Well, now you can! “Emenius Sleepus” is the most perfect “fuck you poser” jam ever written, and is sure to brighten your day while stuck thinking about what your scene could have been if Jared never went to business school. (Go buy a copy of “Dookie” in our store)

4. “Welcome to Paradise”

A song so nice they recorded it twice. Spring for the Dookie version, though, because it doesn’t make you less punk to like things that sound halfway decent. (Go buy a copy of “Dookie” in our store)

3. “Last Ride In”

I know this one isn’t really a “punk” song, but let’s be real: You’re probably in your mid to late thirties now and you need to look after your blood pressure. Not everything needs to be all fast and angry all the time. You’re allowed to sit and chill to a surf instrumental. You deserve to be happy.

2. “Jaded”

Alright, back at it! You can listen to the lead in “Brain Stew” if you really want to, but you already know it and it’s basically the same thing over and over again, so go ahead and smash that skip button and slam dance, or tap your finger, or whatever you can do that won’t alert your boss to the fact that you’re reading this article instead of entering data or some shit.

1. “Basketcase”

Look, I love it. You love it. We all fucking love it. Let’s take the bullshit guard down and admit once in for all that this song is a total fucking bop, and probably the reason you love punk music to begin with. (Go buy a copy of “Dookie” in our store)