Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

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"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"
Single by Green Day
from the album Nimrod
B-side "Desensitized"
"Rotting"
Released October 17, 1997
Format CD single
Recorded June 1996
Genre Acoustic rock, soft rock
Length 2:34 (album version)
2:28 (music video)
Label Reprise
Writer(s) Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day
Producer(s) Rob Cavallo, Green Day
Certification Platinum (RIAA)
Green Day singles chronology
"Hitchin' a Ride"
(1997)
"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"
(1997)
"Redundant"
(1998)

"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" is a song by the American punk rock band Green Day. Although written by lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong before the release of the band's third album Dookie (1994), the song was not released until Green Day's fifth album, Nimrod (1997), and was the second single released from that album. An alternative version (in a different key, with a faster tempo and sparer arrangement) did appear as a B-side to the 1995 German import single for "Brain Stew/Jaded".[1] As of January 2012, "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" has sold 2,072,000 copies.[2] The song is also certified silver in the United Kingdom for sales of 200,000.[3]

Writing and composition[edit]

Billie Joe Armstrong wrote "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" in 1990 and did not show the song to his bandmates until the Dookie recording sessions in 1993.[4] During the sessions, the song was determined to be too different from the rest of the songs on Dookie, and producer Rob Cavallo was unsure of how to structure the recording.[4] When the time came to record Nimrod, Armstrong decided to use the song, and Cavallo suggested they add strings to the track. He sent the band to play foosball in another room while he recorded the strings, which took "like fifteen, twenty minutes, maybe a half an hour at the most."[4] Cavallo reflected on his decision to add the strings "I knew we had done the right thing. it was a hit the second I heard it."[4]

In comparison to previous Green Day material, "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" features more mellow, contemplative lyrics with acoustic music. Band member Mike Dirnt went on to state that the release of this song was probably the "most punk" thing they could have done.[5] The song is more commonly promoted on the radio as "Time of Your Life", and it became a Billboard Country Rock chart-topper and an international hit, and was the only song from Nimrod that was a crossover success when released in single form.[6]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Mark Kohr, and features Billie Joe Armstrong singing and playing an acoustic guitar in a bedroom, intercut with "pull-in" shots of various people involved in mundane activities. All of the subjects are shown seemingly staring into space absent-mindedly. Band members Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool make cameo appearances in the video as a person pumping gas (Dirnt), and an injured bike rider being attended by paramedics (Cool). When the video came out, the name of the song was inverted, hence the video's title is "Time of Your Life (Good Riddance)". This title was also used on the single cover.

In 1998 Green Day won their first MTV Video Music Award for Best Alternative Video for "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" and they were also nominated for Viewer's Choice.[7]

The video can be found on their music video compilation DVD, International Supervideos!.

Legacy[edit]

To the band's surprise, the song became a hit at prom dances.[8][9][10][11] Armstrong had not meant it to be a romantic song, and was surprised that it was used so.[citation needed]

The song has also become popular at funerals and graduations.

The song has also been used by many radio stations as their last song under an old format before flipping to a new format, most recently on March 23, 2011, when KGEX (now KZPT) in Kansas City, MO, used it as their last song before flipping from '90s hits as "Gen X Radio 99.7" to adult contemporary as "99.7 The Point".

On August 18, 2008, country legend Glen Campbell performed the song as part of his special on AOL Sessions. [12]

Four days prior to Jay Leno's initial departure from The Tonight Show in 2009, Dwight Yoakam ended his performance of "If There Was a Way" with the chorus' final stanza.[13]

Track listing[edit]

CD
No. Title Length
1. "Good Riddance" (clean remix) 2:28
2. "Desensitized" (non-LP track) 2:47
3. "Rotting" (non-LP track) 2:50
4. "Good Riddance"    
Total length:
8:40
European CD
No. Title Length
1. "Time of Your Life (Good Riddance)" (clean album remix) 2:28
2. "Desensitized" (non-LP track) 2:47
3. "Rotting" (non-LP track) 2:50
Total length:
8:05
Australian CD
No. Title Length
1. "Redundant"   3:18
2. "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" (album version) 2:34
3. "Redundant" (video) 3:20
4. "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" (video) 2:29
Total length:
11:41

Charts[edit]

A 30 second sample of "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)".

Problems playing this file? See media help.
Chart (1998) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart[14] 2
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[15] 5
Canadian RPM Alternative 30[16] 7
New Zealand Singles Chart[17] 40
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay[18] 11
U.S. Billboard Top 40 Mainstream[19] 13
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks[19] 11
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[19] 7
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[19] 2
UK Singles Chart[20] 11

References[edit]

  1. ^ Track Listing for "Brain Stew" Single
  2. ^ Chart Watch Extra: Swift Joins An Elite Club - Chart Watch
  3. ^ http://www.bpi.co.uk/certified-awards.aspx
  4. ^ a b c d Spitz, Marc (2006). Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Times, and Music of Green Day. Hyperion. p. 131. ISBN 978-1401309121. 
  5. ^ VH1 Top 100 Songs of the '90's: "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"
  6. ^ The Charting power of "Time of Your Life"[dead link]
  7. ^ Rock on the net MTV Video Music Award History
  8. ^ Schwartz, Terri (May 8, 2013). "The Best Prom Songs of the '80s, '90s and '00s". iVillage. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  9. ^ CBS Local (April 30, 2012). "Top 10 Prom Songs". CBS. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ Lamb, Bill (2006?). "Top 10 Prom Songs 2006". Top 40 / Pop. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  11. ^ Atlantic Coast Entertainment. "Popular Prom Songs". Atlantic Coast Entertainment. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Glen Campbell - Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)". August 18, 2008. Retrieved August 2, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Dwight Yoakam - If there was a way (Live) HQ". May 26, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2014. 
  14. ^ Australia Charts - Time of your life
  15. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 66, No. 22, February 23, 1998". RPM. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  16. ^ "Rock/Alternative - Volume 66, No. 19, February 02 1998". RPM. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  17. ^ New Zealand Charts - Time of your life
  18. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/1997-12-13/radio-songs?order=gainer
  19. ^ a b c d Allmusic - Green Day chart success
  20. ^ UK Charts Search 'Time of your life'