Green Day have become one of the video eras major stars, unveiling a number of top notch clips over the years that alongside their music helped establish them as big time stars in the music industry. The band has used the video platform to truly enhance their music, whether it be delivering a somber message or eliciting a smile from some of their lighter tracks.
Working with such standout directors as Samuel Bayer, Evan Bernard, Francis Lawrence, Roboshobo, Mark Kohr and Roman Coppola among others, the band has created lasting videos that have stood the test of time. In some cases, these clips have gone on to be nominated for or even won awards. So turn it up and enjoy as we count down the 10 Best Green Day Videos.
'Walking Contradiction'Directed by: Roman Coppola
It might be best to steer clear of the Green Day guys as bad stuff seems to happen all around them. In 'Walking Contradiction,' the band's sense of humor comes through as Roman Coppola has them walking totally unaware through the streets as they unwittingly cause a whole bunch of chaos. An injured biker, a whole bunch of damaged vehicles, a repair man and a newspaper vendor are just a few of the victims while the three Green Day members go about their day unscathed.
'Boulevard of Broken Dreams'Directed by: Samuel Bayer
Following on the heels of their hedonistic 'Holiday' video, 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' finds the Green Day members stalled in the middle of nowhere. This clip is meant to portray the isolation felt in the song, as the three members walk through miles and miles of desolate, rundown areas. The clip is even shot with plenty of scratches to give it that worn down, discovered footage feeling.
'Nice Guys Finish Last'Directed by: Evan Bernard
That Green Day sense of humor is on display again in the 'Nice Guys Finish Last' video. The Evan Bernard-helmed video compares the guys to a football team, even having their own Green Day Stadium as revealed in a voiceover similar to NFL Films. The band is pumped up by their coach, sent on the field, er, stage, where they execute their plays. And yes, there are a few injuries along the way. This 'Nice Guys' video deserves a much better fate than "last" and easily makes our 10 Best Green Day Videos list.
'Stray Heart'Directed by: Roboshobo
The heart wants what the heart wants, and that idea is taken to extremes by director Roboshobo in the 'Stray Heart' video. The clip, one of the few that doesn't feature the members of the band, finds a guy with a hole in his chest attempting to track down his 'Stray Heart,' which obviously has a mind of its own. This little organ is causing his fair share of trouble!
'Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)'Directed by: Mark Kohr
The clip for 'Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)' is a simplistic one, but still very effective in portraying the vibe of the song. The video features Billie Joe Armstrong sitting alone in a bedroom playing an acoustic guitar while intercut shots of people in everyday life pass through. The use of "pull-in" photography is an interesting visual trick, with the emotions of each person's face fully on display. Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool also make cameos in the clip as two of the many characters. 'Good Riddance' is a memorable promo worthy of our 10 Best Green Day Videos list and it also earned the band the Best Alternative Video at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards.
'American Idiot'Directed by: Samuel Bayer
The Samuel Bayer-directed 'American Idiot' clip has a certain style and look that set the tone for the promotion of Green Day's 'American Idiot' album. The green and white striped backdrop and the black shirts with skinny ties draw the eye, and the slow motion shots of the band members performing as a wave of green water comes gushing toward them is awesome as well. Add in some visual trickery with fast and slow motion and Bayer turns a standard performance clip into something visually interesting.
'Warning'Directed by: Francis Lawrence
The 'Warning' video finds us watching a disaster waiting to happen. The main character of this video is a guy who ignores all signs of warning, escaping harm at every point but you just know it has to catch up to him … or does it? Whether it be pulling the tags off a bed, staring at the sun, eating before swimming or operating heavy machinery after downing a bottle of cold medicine, our hero emerges unscathed. Is there anything that will take down this guy? Watch the video to find out.
'Jesus of Suburbia'Directed by: Samuel Bayer
The epic 'American Idiot' song 'Jesus of Suburbia' has an equally compelling short film. Lou Taylor Pucci stars as Jimmy in the video, a bored teen with a bad family situation whose life is filled with parties, sex and fights. The rebellious youth goes through some fairly destructive times before deciding to change his situation. It's an impressive cinematic clip that stands as one of the 10 Best Green Day Videos.
'Basket Case'Directed by: Mark Kohr
One of Green Day's first music videos stands the time as one of its best as 'Basket Case' is an enduring clip that's still entertaining to watch. The band shot the promo in an actual mental institution, with the members appearing properly sedated or restrained. Their numbed state is offset by the bright colors in the clip, hinting at the drugs doing their work. Even though the video didn't win, the 'Basket Case' clip was nominated for nine MTV VMA awards, including Video of the Year.
'Wake Me Up When September Ends'Directed by: Samuel Bayer
'Wake Me Up When September Ends' is one of Green Day's most powerful clips and it sits atop our 10 Best Green Day Videos list. The promo, which is more of a short film, centers on a couple played by Jamie Bell and Evan Rachel Wood whose lives are torn apart when he decides to enlist in the military. Shots of Bell in the horrors of war are contrasted with Wood mourning in a field. It's a heavy video, full of emotion and one of the band's most powerful statements.