Why Green Day Stopped Making Concept Albums

American Idiot was a very successful album for Green Day. So of course they tried the concept album again with 21st Century Breakdown. But instead of steadily gaining new audience with three new concept albums they reverted to a normal style of album for Uno, Dos and Tre. Why?

Somehow concept albums were failing Green Day. With graphing I decided to have fun and show you the reason for no new concept albums. Unlike many bloggers who are skilled at making computer graphs, I, the unskilled, had to break out the graph paper. Maybe one day in the far future I will figure out how to make computer graphs the way I want.


This first graph shows all 5 albums. On the left side is the number 1 denoting my favourite song on each album. Then in descending order are my next favourites all the way to the number 12 where I don’t care anymore and rarely listen to that track.

Opinion is involved here. To give some flesh to my opinion I will say that my favourite song off each album is : Wake Me Up When September Ends; 21 Guns; Oh Love; Wild One; and X Kid. Mostly these were the first or second single off each album.

This ‘level of interest’ was contrasted with track number. You can kind of see the dropout in interest toward the far middle of each album.


I drew this second graph, averaging out the tracks and how much I liked them. This clearly shows the dropout again.

Green Day clearly suffers from something common in the writing world. That is the second act slump (in the three act structure). This is common when writing prose. I find it interesting that it also happens when Green Day writes music.

Is it all deliberate? After all they try to suck you into the album with many fine tracks in the beginning. And then of course you would want the climax near the end of the compilation to be a high point. But to be frank, if it always leads to a second act slump (5 times!) perhaps Green Day ought to change their methodology.

Maybe Green Day will stumble onto an order of tracks that makes me like the whole album. Maybe Green Day will raise their game and make me like an entire album of theirs because of merit. But I think they will continue with no new concept albums in a bid to make the second act slump of theirs less noticeable.

Post Script: I don’t know if Green Day managed to avoid the second act slump (in American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown) with their lyrics because I can not get past the slump in music quality to listen to the lyrics.

About Larry Russwurm

Just another ranter on the Internet. Now in the Fediverse as @admin@larryrusswurm.org
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One Response to Why Green Day Stopped Making Concept Albums

  1. Pingback: Are ‘Twenty One Pilots’ ‘Green Day’ Fan Boys? | The Many Rants of Larry Russwurm

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