It’s taken the entire summer, but we finally have an album from the early 2000s to add to our list of essential summertime listening.
Green Day‘s American Idiot was actually released on the last day of summer in 2004; the title track dropped as a single in late August. So holding off until the end of summer to shine a light on it makes sense, right?
If it’s been awhile since you took a spin through American Idiot, you may or may not remember it’s actually a concept album–a “punk rock opera”–that tells the story of the protagonist Jesus Of Suburbia. Bands attempting to execute concept albums and rock operas have become few and far between in the new millennium, so Green Day was taking a risk with this one. It paid off, however, with multiple hit singles and a Grammy for Best Rock Album in 2005.
It makes the cut as a summer essential for a few reasons. First, punk is always best cranked loud with the windows down and the sun shining. Second, American Idiot‘s concept album status means you have to listen to it front-to-back. And finally, “Holiday” is a total mid-summer jam, and “Wake Me Up When September Ends” makes for a great end-of-summer mixtape closer. Get those and more below, and get the rest of the Summertime ROCK list here.