Green Day’s politically-charged punk anthem ‘American Idiot’ has this week hit the UK Top 25 for the first time since its original run in October 2004. The song had been the subject of a social media campaign, which aimed to propel it to the top of the UK singles chart in an effort to protest Donald Trump’s ongoing UK visit.

While the campaign failed to achieve its ultimate goal, number 25 is by no means a failure. This is only the song's sixth week in the Top 40, at a time when streaming rules the charts and 14 year-old songs are disadvantaged not only by the nature of streaming itself, but by the algorithm used to calculate official chart positions from it. Add to that the success of the English football team and, as a result, the success of unofficial anthem 'Three Lions', and reaching the Top 25 starts to seem like a rather impressive feat. Indeed, 'American Idiot' was the second most downloaded song of the week, losing out only to the football favourite.

The campaign was organized by DJ Jon Morter, a Green Day fan since seeing them in 1994 and the brains behind several similar high-profile campaigns. Speaking to GDA shortly after the charts were announced, Morter told GDA that he had used various British aliases when giving interviews to the mainstream press 'just for a giggle', including the names of English footballers and comedians. When asked how he felt about the final chart position, he told us:

"[It feels] Fucking ace to be honest! Look... let's be straight here, on one hand I started this as a bit of a giggle, yet on the other it was part of the 1.8 million British signatures in protest at our weak Prime Minister's offer to Trump of a full UK state visit, something which he clearly hadn't earned. The campaign stayed pretty much under the radar for over a year until the announcement of a date he was coming. Once we had that it was all systems go and the numbers started shooting up. What amused me was the amount of gammon who were commenting how much they hated the campaign, yet they clearly didn't realise how their arguments were only helping our reach even further, so naturally we did all we could to keep them going!

Considering we dominated the Amazon Chart (7 slots in the Top 30 including numbers 1 and 2), we topped the Google Chart, and briefly usurped Three Lions on the trending Spotify chart (in fairness we dropped back out of the chart pretty swiftly straight after but that was expected), we're pretty happy. No. 2 on downloads to our unexpected World Cup run is good enough for me!"


The song peaked at number three in September 2004, on its initial seven-week stint in the UK Top 100. It then re-entered the charts in summer 2005 for a further eight weeks. This third entry into the Top 100 marks the song's 16th week in the UK charts, though the chances of 'American Idiot' returning for a 17th week remain slim. You can check out Green Day's full UK chart history here.
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