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Over the years, Green Day has covered some amazing songs. Not only do they imitate these songs, but they also try to add their own spin to the classics. A good cover, in my opinion, should make the listener want to hear the original version. Green Day certainly accomplishes this, while sticking to their own unique sound. From live covers to covers released on albums, here's my list of Green Day's top ten:


10. "Knowledge" - Operation Ivy

Originally released on Operation Ivy's 1989 EP "Energy," the song has been played live by Green Day since the band began performing. The song was been played at house parties in the early 90s, club shows in the mid 90s, and festivals in the 2000s. Green Day released a studio cover on their "Slappy" EP, released in 1990. Billie Joe has also made a cool habit of calling people onstage to play the instruments during the song. A guitarist, bassist, and drummer are recruited from the crowd, and "learn" the song onstage. This is definitely a special ritual, which helps support a great song!

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9. "I Fought the Law" - The Crickets/The Clash

This song was first recorded by The Crickets, all the way back in 1959. Then, in 1979, the song was covered by The Clash. The Clash are repeatedly mentioned by Billie Joe as a big influence on Green Day's sound. In early 2004, Green Day recorded their version of the classic, which was to be used during the Superbowl in a Pepsi ad campaign. This single was also the last studio recording commercially released before "American Idiot" came out in September of 2004. I personally LOVE the powerful, in-your-face sound of this cover, and I think Green Day interpreted it very well.

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8. "Surrender"/"Bastards of Young" (Live Medley) - Cheap Trick/The Replacements

Cheap Trick released the song "Surrender" in 1978, and The Replacements released "Bastards of Young" in 1985. Green Day apparently has taken a liking for both songs, and plays a "mash-up" of the two songs live from time to time. This mash-up has been dubbed "The Midwest Medley," as it saw it's debut in St. Louis, MO. The real beauty in this mash-up lies in the arrangement. The band seamlessly switches between different portions of the two songs, and lets these part-switches enhance the song. The melodies and rhythms sound great together, so chalk another one up for Green Day!



7. "That's All Right" - Elvis Presley

This song was recorded by the King in 1954, and became one of Elvis' first hits. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine rated the song at #112 on it's list of the all-time greatest songs. Green Day released their rockabilly version in 2009 as an iTunes bonus track to the album "21st Century Breakdown." This cover might be overlooked by the Green Day "purists," as it isn't a punk song. Well haters, I've got some news for ya: Green Day is a punk ROCK band, and they can cover an Elvis song if they damn well want to. And they made it good, too.

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6. "The Saints Are Coming" - The Skids

While the song was originally released in 1978, Green Day and U2 brought it back in 2006. The two bands announced that they would record a cover of the song, and donate all proceeds to the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. In September of 2006, Green Day and U2 also performed the song together live during the pre-game show of the Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints NFL football game. This performance was incredibly meaningful, for at that time the previous year, the stadium at which the game took place (the Superdome) was filled with the homeless survivors of the massive hurricane.

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5. "Hybrid Moments" - The Misfits

"Hybrid Moments" first saw the light of day in 1997, when The Misfits originally released it. Green Day fans weren't aware of the band's interest in the song until last year. The band played the song a total of almost 10 times over the course of all their "secret shows," sometimes playing the song up to 3 times in a row! On December 8th, 2011, the Idiot Club announced that it would release a video of Green Day recording "Hybrid Moments" in their studio. The band dedicated the song to the band Metallica, which was celebrating it's 30th anniversary. The track was mixed professionally, and sounds like an album cut. Awesome!



4. "Blitzkrieg Bop" - The Ramones

The iconic "Blitzkrieg Bop" appeared on The Ramones' first album in 1976. Since then, the song has become an undisputed anthem for punk rock fans. Green Day played the song live at the 2002 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony for The Ramones. This marked a really great moment for punk music, with the one surviving member of The Ramones in the audience. Since then, Green Day has released their cover on the "Tribute to The Ramones" album, and played it live numerous times. "Blitzkrieg Bop" simply does not get old.



3. "We Are the Champions" - Queen

First things first: if you listen to this song and don't immediately feel like you want to kick some ass, there's something wrong with you. This rock ballad was released by Queen in 1977. You'd be hard pressed to find a better hit record duo than the one consisting of "We Are the Champions" and it's B-side, "We Will Rock You." Obviously, Green Day took this song and killed it, in the best possible way. Performed live at the 2004 Reading Festival, the song was played largely the same as Queen's original version, which was very interesting to hear. Billie Joe even sported a Freddie Mercury mustache (a piece of electrical tape) before the song started!



2. "Working Class Hero" - John Lennon

John Lennon released this just after his Beatles career ended in 1971. In 2007, many notable artists (including Green Day, of course) teamed up to cover some of the most famous John Lennon songs for the "Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfur" charity album. This album was released to benefit the relief efforts following the genocide in Darfur. Green Day contributed their cover of "Working Class Hero" to this project. The original song consists only of Lennon's vocals, and one acoustic guitar. Green Day reworked the song to incorporate both acoustic and electric guitar, and also added a solo and other parts, in order to craft their own take on the song.

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1. "My Generation" - The Who

At number one on my list of Green Day's best covers is "My Generation," released by The Who in 1965. This song exemplifies the main aspects of punk rock: simple, clever, and insubordinate. The Who very strongly influenced Green Day's musical style as a whole, and this seems to be the perfect song for them to cover. Green Day released a studio version of the cover on their "Sweet Children" EP; this version was also later re-released on the 1992 album "Kerplunk." This song has always been a live staple for the band, and conveys a TON of energy whenever they play it. It was also featured on the live DVD "Awesome As Fuck" as the only cover song played on the album.

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I hope you guys enjoyed my list of Green Day's top 10 covers! Thanks for reading, and I hope you get a chance to listen to each and every one of these great songs. Leave some comments below letting us know which covers are your personal favorites!
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