It was twenty years ago today–February 1, 1994–that an unknown indie punk band out of the Oakland area released their first major label album. Green Day’s Dookie started slow but eventually picked up momentum, especially after all the energy went out of grunge following the death of Kurt Cobain in April.
Dookie eventually became a monster, selling somewhere north of 20 million albums around the world. Of the 14 tracks on the album (15, if you count Tre Cool’s version of “My Way” which is hidden at the very end), five were released as singles. And all five–“Longview,” “Welcome to Paradise,” “Basket Case,” “When I Come Around” and “She”–are still regularly heard on the radio.
After Dookie came a flood of punk rock into the mainstream. Offspring. Rancid. NOFX. Blink-182. Sum 41. Some of these bands fared better than others, but for a while, alt-rock was dominated by fast snotty punk.
As well as propelling Green Day into superstardom, Dookie also became one of those rare coming of age albums for a generation of kids growing up during the Alternative Nation years. It will forever be an important cultural touchstone for them. And the album has aged very, very well. To my ears, it doesn’t sound dated at all.
So happy birthday, Dookie. You’re still as bratty as ever.