Kerplunk (album)

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Green Day - Kerplunk cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 17, 1991 (1991-12-17)
RecordedMay – September 1991
StudioArt of Ears, San Francisco, California
Green Day chronology
1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours

Kerplunk (stylized as Kerplunk!) is the second studio album by American rock band Green Day, released on December 17, 1991[2][3][4][5] by Lookout! Records.[6] Kerplunk was Green Day's last independent release on the Lookout Records label, and was also the first album to feature Tré Cool on drums. The album sold 10,000 copies its first day and became Lookout!'s biggest-selling release.[7] After debuting it to their fans in the Berkeley, California, area and receiving much approval from the critical 924 Gilman Street crowd, the band packed up in a cramped, converted Bookmobile and headed east. Green Day developed a fan base on the east coast by way of the determined grassroots efforts of lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong. The opportunity paid off, as album sales reached over 50,000 copies. Along with the successful live shows, major labels took notice of Kerplunk's phenomenal popularity. As a result, many labels approached the band. Green Day realized that they had outgrown their record distribution capacity with Lookout! and eventually signed with Reprise Records. With Reprise, Green Day recorded and released their next album Dookie (1994). Kerplunk officially includes only 12 tracks, but the versions released on CD and cassette also include the 4 tracks from the Sweet Children EP. One of those tracks is a cover of The Who's "My Generation".

In August 2005, Green Day pulled the album – as well as all of their other material released through the Lookout! label – due to unpaid royalties.[8] It was reissued on CD by Reprise Records, who Green Day has been with since leaving Lookout!, on January 9, 2007.[9] In Europe, the album was released by Epitaph Europe, and has remained in print. It was reissued on vinyl on March 24, 2009 by Reprise Records and includes a reissue of the Sweet Children EP.[10] There were no official singles released from the album, although "2000 Light Years Away" and "Christie Road" were released as mock-up singles in a Green Day singles box set entitled Green Day: Ultimate Collectors. In November 2017, to coincide with the band's second compilation Greatest Hits: God's Favorite Band, a music video was released for "2000 Light Years Away". As of November 2013, Kerplunk has sold more than 1,000,000 copies in the United States and more than 4,000,000 copies worldwide.[11][failed verification] The album has gone on to be among the best selling independently released albums of all time.

Fan letter[edit]

In the inner sleeve includes an extensive fan letter from a Laurie L, "the plainest, most boring girl at Pinhole Valley High School," who murdered her parents in order to get the opportunity to meet her favourite band Green Day. However, this later turned out to be fiction as it was written by Lawrence Livermore, the founder of Gilman St. and Lookout! records.[12]


Kerplunk was banned from certain stores because of the cover art.[13] The cover features a mostly white picture (with some green added in) of a high school girl with a gun that has been fired. On the back cover, there is a boy lying on the ground with a gunshot wound on his back.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[14]
Alternative Press3.5/5 stars[15]
Christgau's Consumer Guide(2-star Honorable Mention)(2-star Honorable Mention)[16]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[17]
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[18]

AllMusic regards Kerplunk as the "perfect dry run" for the band's later mainstream appeal, saying it contains "both more variety and more flat-out smashes than previous releases had shown."[14] Pitchfork Media states "All in all, it's a magnitude better than its predecessor and only a hair behind the follow up."[19]

In December 2007, Blender magazine ranked the album number 47 on their "The 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums Ever" list.[21]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics are written by Billie Joe Armstrong, except where noted; all music is composed by Green Day, except where noted.

1."2000 Light Years Away" (music composed by Green Day, Jesse Michaels, Pete Rypins and Dave "E.C." Henwood)2:24
2."One for the Razorbacks"2:30
3."Welcome to Paradise"3:30
4."Christie Road"3:33
5."Private Ale"2:26
6."Dominated Love Slave" (lyrics written by Tré Cool)1:42
7."One of My Lies"2:19
10."No One Knows"3:39
11."Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?"2:44
12."Words I Might Have Ate"2:32
Total length:33:58
CD & cassette bonus tracks (Sweet Children EP)
13."Sweet Children"1:41
14."Best Thing in Town" (lyrics written by Armstrong and Mike Dirnt)2:03
16."My Generation" (lyrics and music written by Pete Townshend; originally performed by The Who)2:19
Total length:42:09


Adapted from the album liner notes.[22]

Green Day


  • Andy Ernst – producer, engineer, mixer
  • Green Day – producers
  • John Kiffmeyer – executive producer
  • John Golden – mastering
  • Chris Applecore – cover art, disc
  • Pat Hynes – artwork
  • Thadicus – art direction


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[23] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[24] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "50 Greatest Pop Punk Albums". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 8 October 2019. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  2. ^ Your Mother (17 August 2010). "(WEIRD XD) Green Day – Burnout + Interview (1994)". Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2018 – via YouTube.
  3. ^ "Green Day – Discography Kerplunk". Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Green Day in Wigan, England – Dec 21, 1991". Archived from the original on 26 September 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  5. ^ Egerdahl, Kjersti (2010-01-01). Green Day: A Musical Biography. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-36597-3.
  6. ^ Spitz, Marc (2006). Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Times, and Music of Green Day.
  7. ^ Spitz, Marc (2006). Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Times, and Music of Green Day. New York: Hyperion. p. 76. ISBN 1-4013-0274-2.
  8. ^ "Lookout! downsizes, scales back plans for the future". Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Kerplunk!". 9 January 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2018 – via Amazon.
  10. ^ "The Green Day Authority". Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  11. ^ Grein, Paul. "Week Ending Aug. 8, 2008: Taylor Swift Returns (Comments by Paul Grein)". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2011-01-23.[dead link]
  12. ^ greendayauthority. "Didja Know?". greendayauthority. Archived from the original on 27 October 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  13. ^ "Ranking: Every Green Day Album from Worst to Best". Consequence of Sound. 2016-10-07. Archived from the original on 2017-12-16. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  14. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Kerplunk! Review". AllMusic. Rovi. Archived from the original on March 14, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
  15. ^ Raub, Jesse (22 June 2010). "Green Day: Kerplunk". Alternative Press. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  16. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000-10-15). Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishing. p. 123. ISBN 9780312245603.
  17. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
  18. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 347.
  19. ^ a b "Green Day: 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours/Kerplunk | Album Reviews | Pitchfork". 2007-01-19. Retrieved 2013-05-02.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Adam Downer (6 November 2007). "Green Day: Kerplunk". Sputnikmusic.
  21. ^ "Blender's 100 Greatest Indie-Rock Albums Ever". Stereogum. 2007-11-14. Archived from the original on 2011-12-28. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  22. ^ Kerplunk liner notes. Retrieved 2011-10-13
  23. ^ "British album certifications – Green Day – Kerplunk". British Phonographic Industry.
  24. ^ "American album certifications – Green Day – Kerplunk". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]