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Has Green Day ever truly 'sold out'?


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#1
musso_kn

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Contentious issue, I know. Before any of you question my 'fandom' as it were, I honestly think it's possible to love a certain artist or group while accepting that they have done some questionable things over their career, unless the form of 'selling out' that occurs defied the very reason you enjoyed the music in the first place.

Perhaps I'm biased, since I became a Green Day fan after listening to American Idiot, but I don't think they've ever sold out 'musically'. Their evolution as a band is something to be celebrated and American Idiot and its pretty but not quite beautiful little sister 21st century Breakdown are commendable achievements. Neither does the eyeliner bother me; they'd always worn it during the pre dookie era and started the craze for bands in the noughties.

As for selling out when they signed to a major label, I don't think I quite stand in a position to say, though I'll let the punks and oldies amongst you argue about that one.

Some of the stuff that happened post American Idiot was a little surprising. I was and still am indifferent to the Broadway production. The kiss me I'm punk converse trainers make me cringe. The one that tops them all though is Billie Joe's appearance on the voice. I watched the clips: he didn't have much to say. It's not his scene, because punk or not, sellout or not, Green Day are a band famous for their songwriting, performances and lyrical statements. Not for a great voice.

I stick with them to this day because, although the trilogy is patchy, it still contains some great stuff and moves me more than a lot of music by other artists, even those I love. But anyway, what do you guys think?

#2
Guest_RedStrokes_*

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I define selling out as directly changing your music to earn money. I don't think they ever truly "sold out", but some tracks such as nightlife and 21 guns have definitely been questionable.
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#3
Malleus

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They never sold out because they never claimed to be some shining image of punk. They just did what they want, and when it was acceptable they were considered cool, but when doing what they want became less cool, they were labeled sell outs and faggots. Whatever.


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#4
failure00

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Yeah. They did. Who cares though? They're a fucking rock band. It's there job.



#5
Clockwise

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They never sold out because they never claimed to be some shining image of punk. They just did what they want, and when it was acceptable they were considered cool, but when doing what they want became less cool, they were labeled sell outs and faggots. Whatever.

 

Totally agreed, if they had stated that they were this pure punk band, with all of these punk ideals and rules and vowed they would never break them, then they would have sold out. But they've literally just done things they want to do throughout their entire career. Some fans don't like the things they have chosen to do, and that's fine. It doesn't make them sell outs, though.


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#6
VIVALAWHATSHERNAME

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You can ask 10 different people on what their definition of 'selling out' is and you'll get 789 different answers. My definition is when an artist sells their dreams, ideas, goals and aspirations for money and fame. Green Day clearly didn't do this. They refused many offers from record labels and only signed with Rob because they felt like he truly understood them and their music. 


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#7
LazyPhil

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Yeah. They did. Who cares though? They're a fucking rock band. It's there job.

No they didn't, they always stayed true to themselves


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#8
X-Kid-X

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I define selling out as directly changing your music to earn money. I don't think they ever truly "sold out", but some tracks such as nightlife and 21 guns have definitely been questionable.

Yea well, you would understand 21 Guns if you knew the meaning of 21st Century Breakdown. And it's an amazing song by its own, too. Nightlife is just experimental and fun. I love it too.

 

Green Day did the oposite of "selling out".

If we're talking before-Dookie-era, well 1,039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours and Kerplunk were kind of a preparation for Dookie.

Dookie is the same, just less personal I guess.

They never sold out because they wanted "TO BE ON TV!" from the first place.

 

If we're talking Warning era 'till today:

Green Day were starting to grow up and develope different ideas and idiologies. Instead of sticking with something they KNEW the world loved, they took HUGE risks.

 

So, to conclud:

Every time Green Day made a turn in their career, they knew the risks.

Why did they decide to go for it?

'Cause it's what they WANT to do. 'Cause they don't own anybody something else than what they want.

 

Wouldn't it be worse FOR EVERYONE if they kept making albums with the same exact style, about the same themes?

Instead, they do things that only part of the fandom doesn't accept.

 

I just know I will love everything they do, so I'm not gonna be pissed off like those ex-fans or whatever.


Edited by X-Kid-X, 16 January 2013 - 01:00 PM.

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#9
failure00

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They never sold out because they never claimed to be some shining image of punk. They just did what they want, and when it was acceptable they were considered cool, but when doing what they want became less cool, they were labeled sell outs and faggots. Whatever.

 

I don't get this. You don't only have to be a "punk" band to sell out. Anybody can sell out. Green Day did. Whether that's "good" or "bad" is up to you.



#10
Malleus

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I don't get this. You don't only have to be a "punk" band to sell out. Anybody can sell out. Green Day did. Whether that's "good" or "bad" is up to you.

Well when people talk about Green Day selling out, generally the whole punk aspect is a part of it. What is your definition of Green Day selling out? Maturing, growing old and doing what they want? I don't think that's selling out at all.



#11
Clockwise

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I don't get this. You don't only have to be a "punk" band to sell out. Anybody can sell out. Green Day did. Whether that's "good" or "bad" is up to you.

According to you, how did they sell out?


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#12
DTH

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i'm  not a fan of the label "sold out". and all the little kids don't even get what people mean by it.

 

green day never sold out with their music they were doing. i mean writing angry political songs is for me the opposite what you would expect to sell well.

it's about the behaviour. and green day has done many questionable things that are even contradicting to their lyrics. green day songs as an advertisemnt song for pepsi (or was it coke?), being a mentor in a fucking casting show, censorship of their music after they always prevented that, a sexist music video, suddenly raising ticket prices by 100% and selling exclusive golden circle tickets, playing 23 songs in a full show....

 

i will always love them. but those things certainly effect my oppinion about them as the persons they are now.


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#13
VIVALAWHATSHERNAME

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I define selling out as directly changing your music to earn money. I don't think they ever truly "sold out", but some tracks such as nightlife and 21 guns have definitely been questionable.

Nightlife was not composed for the purpose for making money, I guarantee it. On the other hand, 21 Guns has Butch Vig written all over it's likely that it was mixed with the intention of being a big single, but there's nothing wrong with that.



#14
Clockwise

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i'm  not a fan of the label "sold out". and all the little kids don't even get what people mean by it.

 

green day never sold out with their music they were doing. i mean writing angry political songs is for me the opposite what you would expect to sell well.

it's about the behaviour. and green day has done many questionable things that are even contradicting to their lyrics. green day songs as an advertisemnt song for pepsi (or was it coke?), being a mentor in a fucking casting show, censorship of their music after they always prevented that, a sexist music video, suddenly raising ticket prices by 100% and selling exclusive golden circle tickets, playing 23 songs in a full show....

 

i will always love them. but those things certainly effect my oppinion about them as the persons they are now.

23 songs is a lot more than most bands play for a full set. Every GD show I've seen post AI has been over 30 songs though (2009, 2010, 2012)



#15
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Yea well, you would understand 21 Guns if you knew the meaning of 21st Century Breakdown. And it's an amazing song by its own, too. Nightlife is just experimental and fun. I love it too.


I understand the meaning of 21st century breakdown perfectly, i actually think the lyrics/meaning of the song is brilliant, i simply meant the sound of the song was questionable. Don't question my understanding of green day, they are my favorite band, and I love them with my heart and soul
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#16
Caractériel

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I'm not sure if they have completely sold old, but they've done a few things that make it difficult to argue against. One of the drawbacks of being on a major label is that you are contractually obligated to do certain things, that's why they have corporate sponsored tours and deals with Walmart (even after they openly critisized them for refusing to sell 21CB), you can't just refuse to take part in these things once you've made the decision to sign with them. 

 

As for the music, it's only natural that they've wanted to evolve their sound over the years, or else they'd end up just going stale and turning out the same old stuff. Sure, us fans would like that, but you're not going to progress much by refusing to take your music to the next level. Some songs on recent albums do seem like they were blatantly written for radio airplay though, and are totally not in line with other songs they've released. The Forgotten is a classic example of that, but you can't rag on them for selling out for writing songs that will shift units.

 

I think to really sell out, you need to turn your back on your core audience, and change your music to make money, and as you can hear from some of the new songs, they are still making music that is somewhat true to their roots. Capitalism sucks, but it's very difficult to have a career in anything without shaking hands with the devil, and when they signed that deal in 1994, I doubt anyone would have thought they'd as successful as they became. A lot of detractors are just jealous, and some are just hypocrites (Jonny Rotten). They want to be the best in the world at what they do, make great records and put on huge, totally epic shows, you can't do that without the backing of a major label.


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#17
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Nope. Next question. 


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#18
Sarahnade

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I'm so tired of this argument. Green Day did what they had to to keep playing music for the rest of their lives. They've stayed true to themselves the whole time, major label or not. What more do you want?



#19
DTH

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23 songs is a lot more than most bands play for a full set. Every GD show I've seen post AI has been over 30 songs though (2009, 2010, 2012)

 

nah 23 song is average - under average if we talk about rock bands here. and why referring to other bands? green day was never like the others. thats what made me love them. when i like a band its not only about the music. i still can enjoy the music, but if a band gets to be my favorite it is because of their credibility, their attitude and their character.

 

p.s.: where is the reason to cut your set by 25% ? it shows you wanna make that money with less effort and give a shit about the fans being at that show.

 

edit: everyone stop talking about music changes as an indicator for selling out. it just isn't one.


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#20
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Nightlife was not composed for the purpose for making money, I guarantee it. On the other hand, 21 Guns has Butch Vig written all over it's likely that it was mixed with the intention of being a big single, but there's nothing wrong with that.


Yes I agree, I don't think nightlife was made for that reason, especially considering it wasn't even a single. I simply meant its questionable considering how much more radio friendly it is than previous songs

#21
Clockwise

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nah 23 song is average - under average if we talk about rock bands here. and why referring to other bands? green day was never like the others. thats what made me love them. when i like a band its not only about the music. i still can enjoy the music, but if a band gets to be my favorite it is because of their credibility, their attitude and their character.

 

p.s.: where is the reason to cut your set by 25% ? it shows you wanna make that money with less effort and give a shit about the fans being at that show.

 

I'd really still argue that 23 songs is actually above average for most headlining rock bands, and about average or just above average for rock bands at GD's level. 

 

I can understand your disappointment at your show being shorter than the average Green Day show, but that's a far cry from them selling out. It's not like they have always played 35 song sets. Most of their shows in the 90's and early 2000's were less than 23 songs.



#22
DannyDirnt

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In my opinion, no. They never sold out.

 

When they signed to a major label, they saw an opportunity and went for it. Even, if you wanna go deeper in this, they didn't know they were gonna be that big with Dookie. Hence the consequential problems between them int he Dookie era.

 

American Idiot/21st Century Breakdown = Sell Out? No. They did what they wanted, not what the label told them to so they would earn more money. Cigarettes & Valentines was stolen and they decided they should start all over again and make a new album. Also, Billie said at that point they didn't think they should be in their 30s and writing about masturbation (something comprehensible) and they wanted to sound fresh and new. Is my opinion biased? I doubt it, I'm not a big fan of American Idiot.

 

They sounded more commercial because they just liked the sound, I'd say. I highly doubt they ever did it to earn more money or to have more fans.

 

And I even heard people, I think, saying Green Day had sold out with the trilogy. On that subject, ¡Uno! is somewhat mainstream, ¡Tré! is just simple punk pop like any punk pop band and ¡Dos! is one of the least mainstream things they've ever done.

 

Their current shows are bigger, but that's not either because they've sold out. You can't deny their 21st Century Breakdown stage was epic as hell. Besides the lights and decoration they only new thing in the base is the catwalk so who cares anyway? :lol:

 

Their clothes: They've just grown up and changed their clothing style. I admit I do not like the fact that they are customised because that makes them look less like the 99% and more like the 1% since that's something most people couldn't do. But, in the end, it's their money and their clothes anyway.


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#23
Sausage Gravy

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Who cares?


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#24
VIVALAWHATSHERNAME

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Yes I agree, I don't think nightlife was made for that reason, especially considering it wasn't even a single. I simply meant its questionable considering how much more radio friendly it is than previous songs

You consider Nightlife to be radio friendly?

 

With lyrics like:

 

Cheap champagne stain on a even cheaper suit
Hope there's more in your pants than a bus route

 

and

 

Baby girl coco dancing the cooch
One hand on my knee one hand on the hooch

 

There isn't any curse words but still, I wouldn't tag this as radio friendly. Stuff like When I Come Around, Redundant, Good Riddance, Westbound Sign is the most radio friendly stuff they've done. 



#25
WorryRock02

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no i don't think so...they still loves their job and they believe in what the do, always. i think that someone can be blame to be "sold" only when he lost his own passion



#26
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Nope. Next question. 

 

Rep.

 

In my opinion selling out is a load of bullshit, but anyway.

 

They moved to a bigger label to earn more money doing what they love, and let their music be heard by more people. All artists aspire to have their work admired by as many people as possible.



#27
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They accepted money to make the music better. I'd say they sold out, but I wouldn't say it's a bad thing that they did.
This is why I hate punks.

#28
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This isn't towards you OP (musso_kn), but who cares? I honestly don't understand why people are turned off to a band just because they think they "sold out," whatever that even means.  Someone should be turned off to a band simply because they don't like their music.

 

It just blows my mind.


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#29
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[quote name="VIVALAWHATSHERNAME" post="5097607" timestamp="1358359974"]You consider Nightlife to be radio friendly?
 
With lyrics like:
 
Cheap champagne stain on a even cheaper suit
Hope there's more in your pants than a bus route
 
and
 
Baby girl coco dancing the cooch
One hand on my knee one hand on the hooch
 
There isn't any curse words but still, I wouldn't tag this as radio friendly. Stuff like When I Come Around, Redundant, Good Riddance, Westbound Sign is the most radio friendly stuff they've done. 


I think you just made my point for me. Lil Wayne is radio friendly. There are the same type of style except not quite as well written


#30
WorryRock02

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even an underground band is paid for his music...or an artist...or whatelse...so everyone is sold out :P however i don't care...i love them anyway




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