"Jesus of Suburbia" is a song by American rock band Green Day. It was released as the fifth and final single from their seventh studio album, American Idiot, and the second song on the album. It is Green Day's second longest song (their longest song being "Homecoming") and their longest song to be released as a single. The studio version of the song, a five movement piece, runs just over 9 minutes and was considered to be unfriendly for radio, so it was cut down to 6½ minutes for the radio edit. The long version was still played on many album rock and alternative rock radio stations. At most live shows on the first leg of their 21st Century Breakdown World Tour, the band would pick a member from the audience to play guitar for the song. The single has sold 205,000 copies as of July 2010.
Two versions of the "Jesus of Suburbia" music video exist, directed by Samuel Bayer (who also directed the music videos for the first four singles released from the American Idiot album). The official music video premiered on October 14, 2005 in the UK and on October 25, 2005 on the MTV network for viewers in the US. One version is a 12-minute edit, complete with a plot and dialogue; the other is a six and a half-minute director's cut, inclusive solely of the music itself and devoid of additives. The six-minute version is censored[clarification needed], whereas the twelve-minute version is not. The video starred Lou Taylor Pucci as Jesus of Suburbia. Jesus' love interest (Whatsername) was played by Kelli Garner. Jesus' mother was portrayed by Canadian actress Deborah Kara Unger. Although Armstrong was originally tipped to provide the acting role of the main character, this was altered during pre-filming.
The plot of the video essentially follows that of the song. Despite the fact it is the second track, the video reveals Jesus' and Whatsername's relationship before it is revealed in the story. The video pays homage to "1979" by Smashing Pumpkins--it also made use of the snorricam which created the videos' notable up close shots in the convenience store and party scenes. Touring guitarist at the time Jason White appears briefly on Jesus of Suburbia's television of the performance at Milton Keynes during Part 4 (Dearly Beloved).
Jesus of Suburbia has received universal acclaim. People magazine called the song "epic" and a "magnificent nine-minute rock opera." It is often recognized as one of Green Day's greatest songs. It was voted the greatest Green Day song of all time in a Rolling Stone readers poll in September 2012.Magnet considered the song underrated, saying "Some will look at this choice and sniff, “How the hell can you call that underrated?” ... But how in the world can you call it “overrated” when the five-movement, nine-plus-minute song bobs and weaves its way through standard-issue pop punk (“Jesus Of Suburbia”), a piano-laced interlude (“City Of The Damned”), the slobbering, thundering middle section (“I Don’t Care”), acoustic mid-tempo connective tissue (“Dearly Beloved”) and an outsized, anthemic curtain call (the spectacularly good “Tales Of Another Broken Home”), all in service of a tale of bored rebellion as nuanced as Pete Townshend’s “Quadrophenia” and as powerful as any of Paul Westerberg’s snot-nosed teenage character studies?"