Basket Case (song)

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"Basket Case"
Single by Green Day
from the album Dookie
Released November 29, 1994
Format
Recorded
Genre
Length 3:01
Label Reprise
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
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 the American punk rock band Green Day. It is the seventh track and third single from their third studio 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."[3]

"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.[4] 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.[5]

Composition[edit]

"Basket Case", like the other songs on Dookie, was performed on instruments tuned down to the pitch of E-flat.[5] 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. In the third verse, "Basket Case" references soliciting a male prostitute; Armstrong noted that "I wanted to challenge myself and whoever the listener might be. It's also looking at the world and saying, 'It's not as black and white as you think. This isn't your grandfather's prostitute – or maybe it was.'"[6]

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.[5] In 1995, "Basket Case" garnered a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group category.[7]

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.[8] In 2009, it was named the 33rd best hard rock song of all time by VH1.[9]

The song is certified Silver in the United Kingdom for sales of 200,000 [10]

Music video[edit]

The "Basket Case" video was directed by Mark Kohr.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

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)

Charts and certifications[edit]

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
2003 Avril Lavigne Live
2007 Fall Out Boy Live
2008 Elvis Costello MTV:With Billie Joe Armstrong
2011 Gnarwolves Fun Club
2012 Alanis Morissette Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel
2013 Bruno Mars Saturday Night Live (parody)
2014 The Swellers Kerrang! Does Green Day's American Idiot

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". PopMatters. Retrieved July 9, 2015. 
  2. ^ Andrew Winistorfer Inactive Contributor (July 30, 2009). "The Thermals: 'Basket Case' (Green Day Cover) and 'Now We Can See' | Prefix". Prefixmag.com. Retrieved May 17, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Green Day: Dookie". Ultimate Albums [documentary series]. VH1, 2002.
  4. ^ Spitz, p. 83-86
  5. ^ a b c Buskin, Richard. "Green Day: Basket Case". Sound On Sound. February 2011. Retrieved on February 3, 2013.
  6. ^ Fricke, David (February 3, 2014). "'Dookie' at 20: Billie Joe Armstrong on Green Day's Punk Blockbuster". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  7. ^ Strauss, Neil. "'94 Grammy Nominations: Not Just the Familiar". The New York Times. January 6, 1995.
  8. ^ "BBC Radio 1- The Lock Up Top 30 Punk Songs". Archived from the original on January 22, 2009. Retrieved February 8, 2009. 
  9. ^ "spreadit.org music". Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Certified Awards". 
  11. ^ Marks, Craig. "An American Family". Spin. December 1995.
  12. ^ "Billie Joe Armstrong Interview on MTV". MTV. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  13. ^ MTV Video Music Awards | 1995. MTV. Retrieved on February 4, 2013.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Green Day – Basket Case" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Green Day – Basket Case" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  16. ^ "Green Day Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Green Day.
  17. ^ "Lescharts.com – Green Day – Basket Case" (in French). Les classement single.
  18. ^ "Musicline.de – Green Day Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  19. ^ "Chart Track: Week 34, 1994". Irish Singles Chart.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Green Day – Basket Case" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  21. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Green Day – Basket Case". Top 40 Singles.
  22. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Green Day – Basket Case". VG-lista.
  23. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Chart Top 100". Retrieved July 9, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Green Day – Basket Case". Singles Top 60.
  25. ^ "28, 1995/ Archive Chart: January 28, 1995" UK Singles Chart.
  26. ^ "Green Day Album & Song Chart History: Radio Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
  27. ^ a b c Green Day - Awards. Allmusic. Retrieved on February 3, 2013.
  28. ^ "Italian single certifications – Green Day – Basket Case" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved January 9, 2015.  Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Green Day in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically
  29. ^ "British single certifications – Green Day – Basket Case". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 9, 2015.  Enter Basket Case in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search

External links[edit]