Dookie is the third studio album by American punk rock band Green Day. The album was released on February 1, 1994 through Reprise Records. It was the band’s first collaboration with producer Rob Cavallo and its major record label debut. Dookie became a worldwide commercial success, peaking at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 and charting in seven countries. The album helped to propel Green Day into mainstream popularity.
Dookie produced five hit singles for the band: “Longview”, “When I Come Around”, “Basket Case”, a re-recorded version of “Welcome to Paradise” and the radio-only single “She”. As of 2010, Dookie is the band’s best-selling album, with more than 20 million copies sold worldwide. Dookie won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 1995. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Dookie at 193 on the list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Following the underground success of the band’s second studio album Kerplunk (1992), a number of major record labels became interested in Green Day. Representatives of these labels attempted to entice the band to sign by inviting them for meals to discuss a deal, with one manager even inviting the group to Disneyland. The band declined these advances until meeting producer and Reprise representative Rob Cavallo. They were impressed by his work with fellow Californian band The Muffs, and later remarked that Cavallo “was the only person we could really talk to and connect with”.
Eventually, the band left their independent record label Lookout! Records on friendly terms, and signed to Reprise. Signing to a major label caused many of the band’s original fans from the independent music club 924 Gilman Street to regard Green Day as sell-outs. The club has banned Green Day from entering since the major label signing. Reflecting back on the period, lead vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong told Spin magazine in 1999, “I couldn’t go back to the punk scene, whether we were the biggest success in the world or the biggest failure […] The only thing I could do was get on my bike and go forward.”
Cavallo was chosen as the main producer of the album, with Jerry Finn as the mixer. Green Day originally gave the first demo tape to Cavallo, and after listening to it during the car ride home he sensed that “[he] had stumbled on something big.” The band’s recording session lasted three weeks and the album was remixed twice. Armstrong claimed that the band wanted to create a dry sound, “similar to the Sex Pistols’ album or first Black Sabbath albums.” The band felt the original mix to be unsatisfactory. Cavallo agreed, and it was remixed at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California. Armstrong later said of their studio experience, “Everything was already written, all we had to do was play it.”
The name of the album is a reference to the band members often suffering from diarrhea, which they referred to as “liquid dookie”, as a result of eating spoiled food whilst on tour. Initially the band were to name the album Liquid Dookie; however, this was deemed “too gross”, and so they settled on the name Dookie.
The back cover on early prints of the CD featured a plush toy of Ernie from Sesame Street, which was airbrushed out of later prints for fear of litigation; however, Canadian prints still feature Ernie still intact on the back cover. Some rumors suggest that it was removed because it led parents to think that Dookie was a child’s lullaby album or that the creators of Sesame Street had sued Green Day.
Dookie was released on February 1, 1994. Upon its release, the album charted in seven countries. It peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 in the United States, and was a success in several other countries, peaking as high as number one in New Zealand; the lowest peak in any country was in the United Kingdom at number 13. While all the singles from the album charted in a few countries, the hit single “Basket Case” entered the top 10 in the United Kingdom and Sweden. Later in 1995, the album received a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album, with “Longview” and “Basket Case” each being nominated for a Grammy.
Throughout the 1990s, Dookie continued to sell well, eventually receiving diamond certification in 1999; by 2010, Dookie had sold over 16 million copies worldwide and remains the band’s best-selling album.
The album was well received by all critics, with Allmusic describing Dookie as “a stellar piece of modern punk that many tried to emulate but nobody bettered”. In 1994, Time claimed Dookie as the third best album of the year, but the best rock album of 1994. The New York Times, in early 1995, described the sound of Dookie as, “Punk turns into pop in fast, funny, catchy, high-powered songs about whining and channel-surfing; apathy has rarely sounded so passionate.” Rolling Stone described Green Day as “convincing mainly because they’ve got punk’s snotty anti-values down cold: blame, self-pity, arrogant self-hatred, humor, narcissism, fun”.
All lyrics written by Billie Joe Armstrong, except where noted, all music composed by Green Day.
|2.||Having a Blast|
|5.||Welcome to Paradise (re-recorded version)|
|10.||When I Come Around|
|12.||Emenius Sleepus (lyrics written by Mike Dirnt)|
|13.||In the End|
|14.||F.O.D. (song ends at 2:50, followed by hidden track “All by Myself” performed by Tre Cool, which starts at 4:07)|