Know Your Enemy (Green Day song)

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"Know Your Enemy"
Green Day - Know Your Enemy cover.jpg
Single by Green Day
from the album 21st Century Breakdown
B-side
  • "Lights Out"
  • "Hearts Collide"
ReleasedApril 16, 2009
Format
Recorded2008
Genre
Length3:11
LabelReprise
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Green Day singles chronology
"The Simpsons Theme"
(2007)
"Know Your Enemy"
(2009)
"21 Guns"
(2009)

"Know Your Enemy" is a song by the American punk rock band Green Day. It was released as the first single from their eighth album 21st Century Breakdown, through Reprise Records on April 16, 2009, and the group's first single since Jesus of Suburbia, released 4 years earlier. Billboard described the song as being lyrically "just as politically charged as last time (on American Idiot)", having a "Modern Rock radio-ready chorus", whilst the song's producer Butch Vig "brings enough punk sheen for mass appeal."[2] It was the first, and one of only three songs, to top the Rock Songs, Alternative Songs and Mainstream Rock Tracks Billboard charts at the same time. Know Your Enemy has been certified Gold by the RIAA and has sold 798,000 copies as of August 2010.

Release and reception[edit]

It was referred to by Spin as sounding "like an out-take from the Dookie sessions".[3] About.com's Bill Lamb said the song was "standard issue Green Day", "not a stroke of genius" and "not on par with their last album", but said it was a "great appetizer" for one of the most eagerly awaited albums of 2009.[4] Pitchfork Media described the track as having "pedantic stiffness" and "nothing more than a rote protest song preaching to the converted".[5] Rolling Stone called the song one of the highlights of the album, praising the punk-oriented sound and calling it a "Clash-size bootboy chants".[6] Billboard said that "The lead single from the band's new release, "21st Century Breakdown", finds the group just as politically charged as last time", but also said that "While the subject matter is broad and may be missed by some, "Enemy" has enough charm to amp up the airwaves until (21st Century) Breakdown is released."[2]

Billie Joe Armstrong told Q, "It’s a rallying song. It’s about liberating yourself from a lot of bullshit that you see on TV."[7] The song managed to top both the Billboard Mainstream and Alternative Songs charts at the same time, while cracking the Top 30 on the Billboard Hot 100, so far reaching number 28.[8] The song entered the Alternative Songs chart at number eight and rose to number one in its second week. It kept the top spot for six weeks. It became available as a downloadable song for the music video game Rock Band on July 7, 2009, along with the songs "East Jesus Nowhere" and "21 Guns" and is also featured on the soundtrack to the video game NHL 10.[9] It has been used on the trailers for movies The Spy Next Door and Free Birds as well as being used to promote Comcast and the Wimbledon on ESPN.

During their "21st Century Breakdown" tour show in Minneapolis on July 11, 2009, Billie Joe Armstrong told the crowd that the song had been recorded on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, MN.[10]

"Know Your Enemy" was used as the theme song for WWE SmackDown since the show's debut on Syfy from 2010-2012.

It is also played at Green Bay Packers games when the away team comes out of the locker room.

FC Halifax Town also use this as their walk out song when playing at home.

The song is also featured on the Awesome as Fuck live album.

The song appears in Shaun White Skateboarding and as DLC for the Rock Band video game series.

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Motion Theory's Matthew Cullen (who helmed the video for Weezer's "Pork and Beans" in 2008), and it premiered on MTV and other stations across the globe on April 24, 2009. In the video, the band is performing at night on a stage in a field surrounded by a barbed wire fence. Shots of the band are also frequently seen through night vision closed-circuit cameras that surround the field, as well as on helicopters that patrol the area with searchlights. The final chorus of the song shows fire burning behind the band in silhouettes of the band members (Billie Joe has a man with a guitar behind him, Tre Cool has a man playing the drums behind him, Mike Dirnt has a man playing bass behind him). The video was shot in Downtown Los Angeles.

Track listing[edit]

CD and digital download
No.TitleLength
1."Know Your Enemy"3:12
CD
No.TitleLength
1."Know Your Enemy"3:12
2."Lights Out"2:16
3."Hearts Collide"2:39
Hot Topic limited CD
No.TitleLength
1."Know Your Enemy"3:12
2."Lights Out"2:16
Digital download - EP Napster Exclusive
No.TitleLength
1."Know Your Enemy"3:12
2."Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (Live from Irving Plaza)4:24
3."F.O.D." (Live from Prague)2:24
Digital download - Single
No.TitleLength
1."Know Your Enemy"3:12
2."Lights Out"2:16
3."Hearts Collide"2:39
7" vinyl
No.TitleLength
1."Know Your Enemy"3:12
2."Hearts Collide"2:39
Vinyl Box Set
No.TitleLength
1."Know Your Enemy"3:12
2."21 Guns"5:21

Charts and certifications[edit]

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Single Review: Green Day - Know Your Enemy : Female First
  2. ^ a b "Know Your Enemy". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 5, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2009.
  3. ^ Gaston, Peter (March 24, 2009). "Green Day Set Release Date for 21st Century Breakdown!". Spin. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  4. ^ Lamb, Bill. "Green Day - "Know Your Enemy"". About.com. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  5. ^ Raposa, David (April 22, 2009). "Green Day - "Know Your Enemy"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  6. ^ Sheffield, Rob (April 27, 2009). "21st Century Breakdown: Green Day: Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  7. ^ "First Look: Green Day's new video "Know Your Enemy"". NineMSN Music Fix. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
  8. ^ "Artist Chart History — Green Day". Billboard. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  9. ^ "MTV Games, Harmonix & Warner Bros./Reprise Records Partner With Green Day to Bring Their Music Exclusively to Rock Band". RockBand.com. June 11, 2009. Archived from the original on June 15, 2009. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  10. ^ "Concert review: A Green Day reckoning". July 11, 2009. Archived from the original on July 15, 2009. Retrieved July 12, 2009. Before singing the current radio fave "Know Your Enemy," he said, "The day we recorded this song was the first day of the Republican Convention. The Republican Convention was here, right? We got those [bleep] out of office, right?"
  11. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Green Day – Know Your Enemy". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  12. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Green Day – Know Your Enemy" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – Green Day – Know Your Enemy" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Green Day – Know Your Enemy" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  15. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  16. ^ "Green Day Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  17. ^ "RADIO TOP100 Oficiální: Know Your Enemy". Rádio Top 100 Oficiální. International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
  18. ^ "European Hot 100 Singles — Know Your Enemy". Billboard. Retrieved July 9, 2009.[dead link]
  19. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Green Day – Know Your Enemy". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  20. ^ "Green Day Chart History". RÚV. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  21. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Green Day". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  22. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Green Day – Know Your Enemy". Top Digital Download. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  23. ^ "Charts.nz – Green Day – Know Your Enemy". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  24. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Green Day – Know Your Enemy". VG-lista. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  25. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Green Day – Know Your Enemy". Singles Top 100. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  26. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Green Day – Know Your Enemy". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  27. ^ "Green Day: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  28. ^ "Green Day Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  29. ^ "Green Day Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  30. ^ "Green Day Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  31. ^ "Green Day Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  32. ^ "Green Day Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  33. ^ "Japan Hot 100 – Year-End 2009". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  34. ^ "Éves összesített listák - MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 (súlyozott)". Mahasz. Mahasz.
  35. ^ "American single certifications – Green Day – Know Your Enemy". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]