Basket Case (song)

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"Basket Case"
Single by Green Day
from the album Dookie
Released November 29, 1994
Format CD, vinyl
Recorded Late 1993 at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California
Genre Punk rock, pop punk, alternative rock
Length 3:01
Label Reprise
Writer(s) Billie Joe Armstrong / Green Day
Producer(s) Rob Cavallo, Green Day
Green Day singles chronology
"Welcome to Paradise"
(1994)
"Basket Case"
(1994)
"When I Come Around"
(1995)
Music sample
Alternative cover
UK edition cover

"Basket Case" is a song by American punk rock band Green Day. It is the seventh track and third single from their third album, Dookie (1994). The song spent five weeks at the top of the Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Origin and recording[edit]

Green Day vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong said "Basket Case" is about his struggle with anxiety; before he was diagnosed with a panic disorder years afterward, he thought he was going crazy. Armstrong commented that at the time, "The only way I could know what the hell was going on was to write a song about it."[1]

"Basket Case" was one of the songs producer Rob Cavallo heard when he received Green Day's demo tape. He ended up signing the band to Reprise Records in mid-1993.[2] Green Day and Cavallo recorded the version of "Basket Case" released on the trio's major label debut Dookie between September and October 1993 at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California.[3]

Composition[edit]

"Basket Case", like the other songs on Dookie, was performed on instruments tuned down to the pitch of E-flat.[3] The introductory verse features only Armstrong and his guitar. During the middle of the first chorus the rest of the band joins in, with Tré Cool adding fast tom fills and explosive transitions and Mike Dirnt adding a bass line that is reminiscent of the vocal melody.

Release and reception[edit]

"Basket Case" was the third single released from Dookie, following "Longview" and "Welcome to Paradise". "Basket Case" peaked at number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, a position it maintained for five weeks.[3] In 1995, "Basket Case" garnered a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group category.[4]

In 2006, on Mike Davies and Zane Lowe's Lock Up Special on BBC Radio 1, the listeners voted "Basket Case" the Greatest Punk Song of All Time.[5] In 2009, it was named the 33rd best hard rock song of all time by VH1.[6]

The song is certified Silver in the United Kingdom for sales of 200,000 [7]

Music video[edit]

The "Basket Case" video was directed by Mark Kohr.[8] The video was filmed in an actual mental institution called Agnews Developmental Center in Santa Clara County, California, at the request of the band members. The mental institution had been abandoned, but most of the structure remained in a broken-down state. The band members found old patient files, deep scratches in the walls and dental molds scattered around.[9] The video frequently references the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The music video was originally filmed in black and white and the color was added in later by Mike Dirnt (Tré Cool confessed it on a Green Day video special at Dailymotion presented by himself), contributing to the surreal effect of the video.

The video was nominated for nine MTV Video Music Awards in 1995: Video of the Year, Best Group Video, Best Metal/Hard Rock Video, Best Alternative Video, Breakthrough Video, Best Direction, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, and Viewer's Choice Award. The video did not win in any of the categories it was nominated for.[10]

Track listing[edit]

Initial pressing[edit]

  1. "Basket Case" – 3:01
  2. "On the Wagon"  – 2:48
  3. "Tired of Waiting for You" – 2:30
  4. "409 in Your Coffeemaker" [Unmixed]  – 2:49

Alternate pressing/Limited edition pressing[edit]

  1. "Basket Case" – 3:01
  2. "Longview" (live) – 3:30
  3. "Burnout" (live) – 2:11
  4. "2,000 Light Years Away" (live) – 2:49
  • (Live tracks recorded March 11, 1994 at Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg, Florida)

These tracks are also available on the live EP Live Tracks

Japanese version[edit]

  1. "Basket Case" – 3:01
  2. "She" – 2:14
  3. "Emenius Sleepus" – 1:43

7" vinyl singles box set[edit]

  1. "Basket Case" – 3:01
  2. "When I Come Around" – 2:58
  3. "Having a Blast" – 2:44
  4. "When I Come Around" (Live from Stockholm, Sweden)

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1994–1995) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[11] 49
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[12] 21
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[13] 12
France (SNEP)[14] 35
Germany (Media Control Charts)[15] 18
Ireland (IRMA)[16] 11
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[17] 39
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[18] 21
Norway (VG-lista)[19] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[20] 3
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[21] 7
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 26
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[22] 1
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[22] 9
U.S. Billboard Top 40 Mainstream[22] 16
Preceded by
"Einstein on the Beach (For an Eggman)" by Counting Crows
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
20 August 1994 – 17 September 1994 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" by R.E.M.

Cover versions[edit]

Year Artist Album
2011 Gnarwolves Fun Club


References[edit]

  • Spitz, Mark (2006). Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Times, and Music of Green Day. Hyperion. ISBN 1-4013-0274-2

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Green Day: Dookie". Ultimate Albums [documentary series]. VH1, 2002.
  2. ^ Spitz, p. 83-86
  3. ^ a b c Buskin, Richard. "Green Day: Basket Case". Sound On Sound. February 2011. Retrieved on February 3, 2013.
  4. ^ Strauss, Neil. "'94 Grammy Nominations: Not Just the Familiar". The New York Times. January 6, 1995.
  5. ^ "BBC Radio 1- The Lock Up Top 30 Punk Songs". Archived from the original on January 22, 2009. Retrieved February 8, 2009. 
  6. ^ "spreadit.org music". Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  7. ^ http://www.bpi.co.uk/certified-awards.aspx
  8. ^ Marks, Craig. "An American Family". Spin. December 1995.
  9. ^ "Billie Joe Armstrong Interview on MTV". MTV. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  10. ^ MTV Video Music Awards | 1995. MTV. Retrieved on February 4, 2013.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Green Day – Basket Case" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – Green Day – Basket Case" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  13. ^ "Green Day Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Green Day.
  14. ^ "Lescharts.com – Green Day – Basket Case" (in French). Les classement single.
  15. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  16. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
  17. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Green Day – Basket Case" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  18. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Green Day – Basket Case". Top 40 Singles.
  19. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Green Day – Basket Case". VG-lista.
  20. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Green Day – Basket Case". Singles Top 60.
  21. ^ "28, 1995/ Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  22. ^ a b c Green Day - Awards. Allmusic. Retrieved on February 3, 2013.

External links[edit]