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I feel like a lot of the best albums were recorded either over a fairly long time, or a pretty short time. It's really easy to get caught up in the studio process and get into an echo chamber kind of state where everything seems like an awesome idea and you can't be critical or objective about what you're producing. There's a writing technique where, once you've written something, you leave it alone for a while, and come back to it later with fresh eyes, and it allows you to be more objective about what's good and what isn't. I feel like the same thing is true with music, and I feel like that's what happened with the Trilogy. Green Day got caught up creating, which is great, but they didn't give themselves the space to be objective about whether it was actually any good or not, and they ended up with a lot of filler. If they had a producer who was more objective, that would've probably helped, too.
I'm getting a bunch of new gear soon, and I am excited. New pedalboard, a noise suppressor, some locking tuners and a new pickup for my SG. Yay Just buy used, dude. You can easily get a great condition Gibson LP Studio or LPJ in the price range you're looking for if you buy used. https://reverb.com/marketplace?ships_to=&query=gibson+les+paul+max%3A800+min%3A0+make%3Agibson https://reverb.com/marketplace/electric-guitars?make=gibson&query=gibson+les+paul+junior&ships_to=&product_type=electric-guitars&price_min=0&price_max=800&commit=Filter