Longview (song)

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"Longview"
Single by Green Day
from the album Dookie
Released February 1, 1994
Format CD single, 7", VHS promo
Recorded September–October 1993
Genre Punk rock
Length 4:00
Label Reprise, WEA International
Writer(s) Billie Joe Armstrong / Green Day
Producer(s) Rob Cavallo, Green Day
Green Day singles chronology
"Longview"
(1994)
"Welcome to Paradise"
(1994)
Audio sample
file info · help
Music video
"Longview" on YouTube

"Longview" is the debut single by the American punk rock band Green Day. It is the fourth track on the band's third album, Dookie and was released as the lead single. The song was the band's first single to top the Modern Rock chart in the U.S. The music video for this song received heavy airplay on MTV and is largely credited for breaking Green Day into mainstream popularity.

The song describes intense boredom. Lyrically, the song is about a day spent sitting around the house, doing absolutely nothing of importance, masturbating, and smoking marijuana until the days are no longer fun. The song captured the attention of many youth at the time with its overt allusions to masturbation. Bassist Mike Dirnt has stated that the famous bass line intro to this song was written one night while he was high on LSD,[1] and what remains on the album is what he and lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong could recall in the morning.[2] At most shows in the 21st Century Breakdown World Tour, Billie Joe picked a random audience member to sing the song or play the song on electric guitar onstage.[3]

The song is named after the city of Longview, Washington, where it was first performed in 1992.[4] The band had already written the song prior to arriving in the city.[5]

In 1995, Green Day received four Grammy Award nominations, including Best Hard Rock Performance for "Longview". The band won Best Alternative Music Performance for Dookie.[6] Rolling Stone ranked it #3 on the list of Best Singles of 1994.[7]

The song can also be found on their 2001 greatest hits collection International Superhits!, and a live performance can be found on the Bullet in a Bible CD/DVD.

Concept[edit]

"It's about boredom, and smoking dope." – Billie Joe Armstrong[8]

"I guess it was just living in the suburbs in a sort of shit town where you can't even pull in a good radio station. I was living in Rodeo, California, about 20 minutes outside of Oakland. There was nothing to do there, and it was a real boring place." – Billie Joe Armstrong in an interview in Guitar Legends magazine, May 2005.

"When Billie gave me a shuffle beat for Longview, I was frying on acid so hard. I was laying up against the wall with my bass lying on my lap. It just came to me. I said, "Billie, check this out. Isn't this the wackiest thing you've ever heard?" Later, it took me a long time to be able to play it, but it made sense when I was on drugs." – Mike Dirnt in Rolling Stone magazine, 1995.

Track listing[edit]

Initial pressing[edit]

  1. "Longview" – 3:59
  2. "Welcome to Paradise" (live)
  3. "One of My Lies" (live)
  • Live tracks recorded March 11, 1994 at Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg, Florida

These live songs are also available on the live album Live Tracks

German pressing[edit]

  1. "Longview" – 3:59
  2. "Going to Pasalacqua" (live) – 4:12
  3. "F.O.D." (live) – 2:44
  4. "Christie Road" (live) – 3:49

Card sleeve[edit]

  1. "Longview" – 3:39
  2. "On the Wagon" – 2:48
  3. "F.O.D." (live) – 2:44
  • Live tracks recorded March 11, 1994 at Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg, Florida

7" vinyl box set[edit]

  1. "Longview"
  2. "Welcome to Paradise"
  3. "Coming Clean"
  4. "Chump" (live from Stockholm, Sweden; Same version on Live Tracks)

CD promo[edit]

  1. "Longview" (radio edit) – 3:55

Reception[edit]

PopMatters listed "Longview" as the seventh best Green Day song, citing "This song didn’t become an instant classic of its genre merely because Armstrong said the word "masturbation" on the radio—it's all in the delivery."[9]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1994–1995) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[10] 33
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 30
US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 36
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 1
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 13

References[edit]

  1. ^ Coryat, Karl (November 1994). "Green Day's Mike Dirnt". Bass Player magazine. p. 9. 
  2. ^ "Times Talk- Billie Joe Armstrong (Full Interview) Part 3". YouTube. 2007-02-27. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  3. ^ "Green Day – Longview, live at Sportpaleis, Antwerpen 17 october 2009". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  4. ^ Our friend/roadie Kaz Hope ... Billie Joe Armstrong on Twitter. 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  5. ^ Paulu, Tom (2011-06-15). "Longview's Green Day connection". The Daily News (Longview, Washington). Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  6. ^ "37th Grammy Awards – 1995". Rock On The Net. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  7. ^ "Rocklist.net Rolling Stone (USA) End Of Year Lists". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  8. ^ GDA | Song Meanings
  9. ^ by AJ Ramirez. "Nice Guys Finish Last: The Top 15 Green Day Songs". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  10. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Green Day – Longview". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  11. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
Preceded by
"Selling the Drama" by Live
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
June 11, 1994
Succeeded by
"Fall Down" by Toad the Wet Sprocket