The Beatles vs. Green Day

The Beatles vs. Green Day

Lord knows there’s been plenty of Green Day coverage already, but here’s one to add to Keith’s hitherto round-up of the band’s borrowed tunes. In fact, the song “Hold On” appears on what is quite possibly Green Day’s finest moment as a band, the juncture when they were on the brink of becoming their modern-day caricature, but still clearly feeling a charming sort of restlessness. The album Warning, which appeared in 2000, broke somewhat free of the pop-punk trappings that had emerged on ‘90s rock radio in the wake of 1994’s Dookie, and found the band adapting their usual schtick to an array of styles including acoustic-based ‘60s rock. In retrospect, it’s a shame that the album sold so poorly — such a thing may have been what diverted Green Day’s trajectory away from exploring such sounds more fully, and towards the contrived, pseudo-political arena rock preening that has defined the band since the lucrative American Idiot follow-up. Too bad they didn’t take their own Warning.

Returning to the particular song in question, “Hold On” borrows inarguably from the harmonica riff on the Beatles’ “I Should Have Known Better”. It certainly isn’t the most original thing they ever did, nor is it even remotely the best song on the album. It does, however, illustrate where the band members’ heads were during this point, since this one almost had to be intentional:

The Beatles - "I Should Have Known Better" (1964)
Green Day - "Hold On" (2000)

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7 thoughts on “The Beatles vs. Green Day

  1. avatarTravis

    heres a green day one i havent seen yet

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCJkVTBSq0M

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8I5CCpCMis

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    Keith Reply:

    Awesome! I feel like somebody has submitted a DuckTales soundalike for something else years ago. Anyway, I’ll be sure to add this to a revised Green Day super post.

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    Travis Reply:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjPqsDU0j2I

    maybe even this fits in….although ducktale and blood sex booze is more alike i cant help but here it in this a little

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  2. avatarMark Adams

    They are similar, but I can’t agree about Green Day. I’m not particularly into ’60s music generally, so I’d rather forget Warning as a whole. This wasn’t really the sort of thing the band wanted to do, it was an experiment and they missed playing fast music, but fewer album sales wouldn’t have helped to make it an enjoyable experience. They then worked on an album of stuff like they used to do, but Billie Joe Armstrong felt it wasn’t “maximum Green Day” and it seemed they would suffer the same fate as The Clash, but then the masters were stolen (possibly hidden by Billie) and instead of rerecording the album, the came up with American Idiot, some of the songs off of which are considered amongst their best songs.

    And what do you mean pseudo-political? It is political, like Warning is. I guess on the rock opera concept albums the concept was more important than innovation, but they were making use of outside notes for more tension and after the rock operas they added reggae, etc. to their sound. Obviously with a broken fan base people can disagree, but are you making a song comparison here or writing an album review?

    I didn’t have many friends at school at the time and I think my best friend had just transferred to another school at the time I first heard Boulevard of Broken Dreams and I guess I identified with the feelings of loneliness, and this converted me to Green Day.

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    Mark Adams Reply:

    Anyway, is The Foxboro Hottubs Stop, Drop and Roll the exploration of the sound more fully, as you were describing? That one is good and Green Day’s iDos! seems to build on it. Anyway, their recent stuff is real music with real emotions, such as When September Ends (2004), which is about Billie losing his father and Amanda (2012), about the same girl as in Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).

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    Mark Adams Reply:

    And I don’t know how you can say what you said considering the first part of iViva La Gloria! (2009) sounds like the chorus of Deadbeat Holiday (2000).

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    Mark Adams Reply:

    And the verse melody of Holiday (2004) sounds kind of like Hold On.

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