I’m Worried About Green Day

About a month from today–September 25, to be exact–Green Day will release the first of three albums over the course of five months.

¡Uno! comes first, followed by ¡Dos! on November 13 and finishing up with ¡Tre! on January 15.  Oh, and a big box set comes out tomorrow.

For the hardcore faithful, this is an awesome windfall.  Overall, though, I’m not sure this is a good plan. I see a tremendous risk of overexposure. How much Green Day can the world absorb in such a short period of time?

Green Day is doing this because they can.  As one of the most successful bands of the last twenty years (minus that little hiccup at the end of the 90s/beginning of the 00s), no one is going to tell them “no.” Almost everything they’ve done has been wildly successful.

But three albums in five months?  That’s unheard of prolificness (is that a phrase?) from a major label band. Hell, it’s more than Jack White.  More than Elvis Costello at his peak.  Even the Beatles didn’t release three full albums of new material in that short amount of time.

About the only band I can think of to approach this kind of quantity is Britain’s Guillemots who plan to release four albums in twelve months.  Hello Land came out in June; the second is set for release next month.

Even if Green Day can pull it off artistically is this a good idea from a marketing/brand perspective?  I worry that it isn’t.  So much music and so much ubiquity threatens to dilute Green Day’s value.  They’ll be everywhere all the time, always in our face.

There’s also no guarantee that the Green Day faithful will invest time, energy and money in all three albums and all the sundry that will come with them.

Dudes:  You’re asking a lot of your fans and the public in general.  I hope you know what you’re doing.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

3 thoughts on “I’m Worried About Green Day

  • August 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Any thoughts on why they released the first radio single so far in advance of the release?

    I grew sick of "Oh Love" due to over-excessive radio play at least 2 or 3 weeks ago, more than a month before the album it's on even comes out. Feels like they jumped the gun to me, or the song peaked earlier than planned.

  • August 28, 2012 at 12:10 am

    They'll make millions off of this and give them incentive to keep coming at us with more and more garbage to cram down our throats. It's a sad state, really.

    I used to love them, one of my favourites as a teen and through my early 20's. It's sad how I could buy all their albums, their singles, try to get to their concerts and now I can't even make it through the first single off of their new album(s). The only thing this song has going for it is that it's better than Know Your Enemy.

  • August 28, 2012 at 12:37 am

    I'll be interested to see if it works out for them, actually: the only sorts of artists who can usually carry something like this off are the ones that appeal to the most masochistic of music dorks. Bryn Jones (Muslimgauze) sometimes cranked out two albums in a single month in the few years before his death; he averaged 6-10 a year in the late '90s, not including singles and EPs. John Zorn's 50th-birthday series, Aube's Millennium series (twelve albums, one for each month, though it took him three years to release them all)… some people just like putting the hurt on their audiences.


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