Record Time: Green Day's 'American Idiot' was one of the greatest surprises in modern music history
Record Time is a recurring feature written by Flip Rushmore's Alex Smith. Comment with your favorite memories of American Idiot at the bottom of the story, and check out Flip Rushmore's latest release on Spotify.
Ten years is typically plenty of time for an artist's pop-culture moment to come and go. The Beatles put out albums for seven years before breaking up. Nirvana only made it two and a half years from Nevermind to Kurt Cobain's death. We got one album, total, from Lauryn Hill.
Those fortunate enough to make a longer run usually coast by on less-than-essential work by the time they finish their first decade in the spotlight. Only truly special artists are able to bridge the gap and use new ideas to command the attention of two different generations. Any artist that makes two albums at least a decade apart that are both...
...is part of a very short list. You’ve got names like Bob Dylan (1965's Highway 61 Revisited to 1975's Blood on the Tracks), Kanye West (2003’s College Dropout and 2013’s Yeezus), and the Rolling Stones (1966's Aftermath to 1976's Some Girls). There are a handful of others out there, fringe or otherwise, but it’s an exclusive club. And there are zero American rock bands. Well... one, actually.