In honor of the twentieth anniversary of Kerplunk's release today, some members of the GDA and GDC staff have written their reflections on the album and its key tracks. Join us in listening to the album in full today to celebrate.

Released on January 17, 1992, Kerplunk marked a major turning point in Green Day's career. This was their second and final album for indie label Lookout Records because of how huge it became. It was one of the biggest-selling indie albums of its time, and Green Day's fan-base grew into the thousands during the Kerplunk tours. Due to its incredible success, Green Day was able to land a deal with producer Rob Cavallo and Reprise Records which launched them into super-stardom.

Alex (Captain Peroxide:)

Kerplunk is an interesting album for me. Overall, I certainly wouldn't call it one of my favorites. In fact, on the Green Day album scale, it's unfortunately closer to the bottom of the list than the top. I imagine I may get crucified for saying this, but I just don't think it's all that good. It trades on the same sound as 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours but with less originality, less urgency and less spark. However, I do find that there are hidden gems that punctuate the lesser tracks. "One of My Lies", "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield" and "Welcome to Paradise" (albeit greatly improved upon by the Dookie re-record) all rank among Green Day's all-time best work. However, my personal favorite is "2,000 Light Years Away." Not just because it's catchy, not just because the lyrics are so powerful in their simplicity, but also because I know exactly what Billie Joe is singing about. Having been in a long distance relationship for almost three years, I know all too well the pain of being so far away from the one you love, sharing emotions and laughter, but at a distance. Rarely has a song struck such a personal chord with me, or said so much with so little.

Amanda (Boston:)

When Kerplunk was released, I was still three months (to the day) shy of being born. Its insane to me that my favorite band was just starting to emerge as a legitimate force in the punk rock scene when I was still in-utero. For me, Kerplunk is like their first album - its where they actually started sounding like Green Day, which is probably why it got so huge. The lyrical content is also incredibly relevant to my life now, considering the band was my age when it was written and were subsequently dealing with similar issues - living on their own, being broke, watching friends grow up, falling in and out of love, and trying to decide on their futures. My personal favorite songs from Kerplunk are "Christie Road" and "Android." In the former, I totally understand the total boredom and lack of freedom Billie was feeling ("Mother stay out of my way of that place we go.") In the latter, I relate to Billie's fears for his future and how quickly things seem to be passing him by ("It seems so frightening/time passes by like lightening/before you know it you're struck down.") Overall, Kerplunk has proven itself to be a great album, both for me personally and for the band's career.


I always look back on Kerplunk as a great example of how diverse Green Day has always been. They played at a punk venue as part of a punk scene, but wrote songs like "No One Knows " which didn't fit into what most people thought punk was. A song like "Android" still encapsulates what Billie Joe's writing is all about. He takes something we can all relate to, seeing some poor dude begging for change to get by, and writes a story about that - wondering where he'll be at that point in his life. Kerplunk's lasting legacy, 20 years later, remains true to what Green Day is today - examining life through music. The reason American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown connected with so many people, many who weren't even born when Kerplunk was released, is because Green Day continues to write about the absurdity, beauty and heartache of life through music, just as they did 20 years ago.

Aska (Pasalaska:)

I'll always remember Kerplunk as the album that eluded me for a good six or so months after I got into Green Day - I got into the band after American Idiot was released, and it was while I was collecting their back catalogue that the whole Green Day/Lookout Records split occurred, which for some reason resulted in a great Kerplunk famine for any Australian music stores, both physical and online. I finally found one store that said they could try and get it in, so I ordered it in the hope that it would arrive before the upcoming Green Day concert that I had tickets to in December 2005. It didn't arrive. I remember being in line for the show and feeling like I had some great, terrible secret because I was surrounded by people who knew all of Green Day's songs, whereas I was that new fan that didn't even have all their back catalogue. Luckily for me (selfish, I know), the band didn't end up playing any Kerplunk songs, so my gaping gap in Green Day song knowledge was never exposed to anyone. Kerplunk for me is one of Green Day's best albums, and the first of their albums to capture their true sound and massive potential, thanks to Billie's greatly improved and matured song writing and the addition of Tre on drums.

Ben (Tre's Busted Drumkit:)

Kerplunk, for me, begins and ends with Tre Cool's first song (and his masterpiece), Dominated Love Slave. There are other good songs on the album, yeah, but that's the one that stands out. You listen through the standard Green Day punk rock and then, halfway through the album, what the fuck?! A country song? And it's about S&M? And it's performed by the drummer? Oh, this is gonna be awesome.

Ask anyone who knows me well, and they'll tell you that beneath the asshole exterior, there's a prankster and a goofball always lurking just below the surface. DLS was, arguably, Green Day's greatest "prank" on any album, coming halfway through instead of hidden at the end like All By Myself, and it's always been one that's guaranteed to draw a smile from me. Seeing it live in San Diego was one of the happier moments of my life, as it's a song that I've always wanted to see performed but didn't figure I ever would. I'll probably get laughed at for saying this, but it's one of Green Day's best because, well, it makes you laugh.


For me Kerplunk is the album that showed us just how much Green Day had to offer. Fast paced, catchy and so much fun, but with room for a bit of experimentation with things like 60s sounding acoustic guitar, samples and quirkier sounds and references. It's clear they were open to musical influences beyond just punk. Billie's lyrics are to the point, honest, and personal yet instantly relatable. He gives a thoughtful outlook on his teenage life and all the emotions and questions that came with it. Gone are the sugary sweet love songs, instead we have songs that are still sweet at times but with the beginning of the satisfyingly darker edge that we would see in albums to come. A favourite song of mine is Private Ale, quite a straightforward song about a boy totally in love with a girl who already has a boyfriend and who can't stop thinking about her. I love how they get across that feeling of yearning with both the lyrics and the urgent music, culminating in a very impressive "WHAAAAAAAA!". And the odd sample in the middle and creepy counting at the end makes it nicely strange and interesting. All in all a very enjoyable album to listen to, with so much promise of the great things to come already evident.

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