Longview (song)

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"Longview"
Green Day - Longview cover.jpg
Artwork for commercial overseas releases
Single by Green Day
from the album Dookie
Released February 1, 1994
Format
Recorded September–October 1993
Genre
Length 4:00
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Green Day singles chronology
"Longview"
(1994)
"Welcome to Paradise"
(1994)
"Longview"
(1994)
"Welcome to Paradise"
(1994)
Audio sample
Music video
"Longview" on YouTube

"Longview" is the debut single by the American punk rock band Green Day on the band's third album, Dookie. 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,[3] and what remains on the album is what he and lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong could recall in the morning.[4] At most shows in the 21st Century Breakdown World Tour and Revolution Radio Tour, Billie Joe picked a random audience member to sing the song or play the song on electric guitar onstage.[5]

The song is named after the city of Longview, Washington, where it was first performed in 1992.[6] The band had already written the song prior to arriving in the city.[7]

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.[8] The song was ranked at number 3 on the list of the Best Singles of 1994 by Rolling Stone.[9]

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 and DVD.

Concept[edit]

"It's about boredom, and smoking dope." – Billie Joe Armstrong[10]

"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 were recorded on 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 were recorded on 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
  2. "Longview" (album version) - 3:59

Credits and Personnel[edit]

  • Songwriting: Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, Tré Cool
  • Production: Rob Cavallo, Green Day

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."[11]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1994–95) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[12] 33
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[13] 30
US Radio Songs (Billboard)[14] 36
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[15] 1
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[16] 13

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Top 10 Green Day Songs". Retrieved June 12, 2016. 
  2. ^ Chesler, Josh (August 31, 2015). "10 Best Pop-Punk Songs of All Time". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved June 12, 2016. 
  3. ^ Coryat, Karl (November 1994). "Green Day's Mike Dirnt". Bass Player magazine. p. 9. 
  4. ^ "Times Talk- Billie Joe Armstrong (Full Interview) Part 3". YouTube. 2007-02-27. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  5. ^ "Green Day – Longview, live at Sportpaleis, Antwerpen 17 october 2009". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  6. ^ Billie Joe Armstrong [@BJAofficial] (2011-02-09). "Our friend/roadie Kaz Hope ..." (Tweet). Retrieved 2012-03-04 – via Twitter. 
  7. ^ Paulu, Tom (2011-06-15). "Longview's Green Day connection". The Daily News. Longview, Washington. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  8. ^ "37th Grammy Awards – 1995". Rock On The Net. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  9. ^ "Rocklist.net Rolling Stone (USA) End Of Year Lists". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Archived from the original on July 23, 2010. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  10. ^ GDA | Song Meanings Archived October 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ AJ Ramirez. "Nice Guys Finish Last: The Top 15 Green Day Songs". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  12. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Green Day – Longview". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  13. ^ "Green Day: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  14. ^ "Green Day – Chart history" Billboard Radio Songs for Green Day.
  15. ^ "Green Day – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for Green Day.
  16. ^ "Green Day – Chart history" Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs for Green Day.
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