Reprise Records’ Grammy®Award winning rock band Green Day released their long-awaited eighth studio album 21st Century Breakdown in May 2009. Singer-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tre Cool have been writing, arranging, and recording 21st Century Breakdown since early 2006 with producer Butch Vig (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins). The first single, “Know Your Enemy” was the first single that brought them back to the UK, the record proving once again Green Day’s ability to produce hit after hit, with the following singles 21 Guns and 21st Century Breakdown.
Green Day recently performed 21st Century Breakdown in its entirety during a series of warm-up club shows for hometown fans in the Bay Area. In its review of a show at Oakland’s Fox Theater, Rolling Stone commented that the band, augmented by guitarists Jason White and Jeff Matika, and keyboardist Jason Freese, had the “Quadrophenia-like hang of 21st Century Breakdown’s classic rock melodies and lifetime-punk drive down solid” and that the album is “rock opera in which the rock always comes first.” “21st Century Breakdown is Green Day’s best album,” the reviewer concluded, “and at the Fox, they proved that the rock opera can be as punk as a Clash 45.”
21st Century Breakdown is Green Day’s first studio album since 2004’s two-time Grammy Award-winning punk-rock opera American Idiot, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, spawned five hit singles, and went on to sell more than 12 million copies worldwide.