50 Greatest Pop-Punk Albums

From Blink-182 to the Buzzcocks, we count down the best of punk's most lovable, lovelorn offshoot

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Green Day, 'Dookie' (1994)
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1. Green Day, 'Dookie' (1994)

Naturally, a band named after a day spent smoking pot would perfect youth disillusionment, making mega-hits about masturbation ("Longview"), anxiety ("Basket Case") and ditching suburbia ("Welcome to Paradise") on their major-label debut. Green Day's third LP is a pop-punk gut-punch, perfectly marrying tight melody with a get-bent mentality. After the grunge-dominated early Nineties, that irreverence was a breath of fresh air. "There was a lot of whining in rock at the time," Billie Joe Armstrong told Rolling Stone 20 years after the album's release. "By nature, we're extroverts. So that's what came across in our songs. We knew we were entering an arena of bands that we didn't like."

Despite its underdog spirit, Dookie was a massive success. It was the first pop-punk album that proved the "pop" part of the subgenre tag to be completely feasible, in part because Dookie was an album aimed squarely at teens: either literal ones, or those who never quite left that era of their lives behind. The LP spawned a brand new generation of punks, making the form feel younger and more accessible than ever. "I could care less if people think I'm insignificant because I'm 22 years old," Armstrong told Rolling Stone in a 1995 interview. "That's great. We caused a generation gap." B.S.

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