Longview (song)

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The cover depicts three dogs smoking what could be marijuana. One of them is seen throwing something. The Green Day logo with the plane and smoke, can be seen above.
Artwork for commercial overseas releases
Single by Green Day
from the album Dookie
ReleasedFebruary 1, 1994
RecordedSeptember–October 1993
Green Day singles chronology
" Basket Case"
Audio sample
Music video
"Longview" on YouTube

"Longview" is the debut single and fourth song from American rock band Green Day's third album, Dookie and their first single as a band. 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 video was directed by the Bay Area music video director Mark Kohr who collaborated with the band on many music videos.

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,[4] and what remains on the album is what he and lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong could recall in the morning.[5] 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.[6]

The song is named after the city of Longview, Washington, where it was first performed in 1992.[7] The band had already written the song prior to arriving in the city.[8]

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.[9] The song was ranked at number 3 on the list of the Best Singles of 1994 by Rolling Stone.[10]

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


"It's about boredom, and smoking dope." – Billie Joe Armstrong[11]

"I was just in a creative rut. I was in-between houses sleeping on people's couches. It's a song about trying not to feel pathetic and lonely. I didn't think that masturbation was really seen from the point of view that I was looking at it. In songs like 'Turning Japanese' it always seemed more about people pulling a pud or something. I was coming from a lonely guy's perspective: No girlfriend, no life, complete loser." – Armstrong[12]

"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.

Music video[edit]

"Longview" has a music video, which is the first one created by Green Day. The music video was directed by Mark Kohr, the cinematography was by Adam Beckman, and the editing was by Bob Sarles. The music video received frequent airplay on MTV upon release.

The music video takes place in a dimly-lit basement of a broken-down house in Oakland, California, where the band used to live in. The band members say that the look was intentionally grungy. In the video, Billie sits on a couch and watches television. At the end of the music video, he goes insane and tears up the couch, with feathers flying everywhere.

The music video was nominated for three MTV Video Music Awards in 1994: Best Group Video, Best Alternative Video, and Best New Artist. The video is also included on the DVD International Supervideos!.

Track listing[edit]

Initial pressing[edit]

  1. "Longview" – 3:59
  2. "Welcome to Paradise" (live) — 4:05
  3. "One of My Lies" (live) — 2:25

Total length: 10:29

  • 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

Total length: 14:44

Card sleeve[edit]

  1. "Longview" – 3:59
  2. "On the Wagon" – 2:48
  3. "F.O.D." (live) – 2:44

Total length: 9:31

  • Live tracks were recorded on March 11, 1994 at Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg, Florida.

7" vinyl box set[edit]

  1. "Longview" — 3:59
  2. "Welcome to Paradise" — 3:45
  3. "Coming Clean" — 1:35
  4. "Chump" (live from Stockholm, Sweden; Same version on Live Tracks) — 02:39

Total length: 11:58

CD Promo[edit]

  1. "Longview" (radio edit) – 3:55
  2. "Longview" (album version) - 3:59

Total length: 7:54

CD Promo #2[edit]

  1. "Longview" (Very Clean Version) - 3:55
  2. "Longview" (Clean Version) - 3:55

Total length: 7:50


  • Lead vocals and guitar: Billie Joe Armstrong
  • Backing vocals and bass: Mike Dirnt
  • Drums: Tré Cool
  • Songwriting: Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, Tré Cool
  • Production: Rob Cavallo, Green Day


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."[13]


Chart (1994–1995) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[14] 33
Scotland (OCC)[15] 32
UK Singles (OCC)[16] 30
UK Rock and Metal (OCC)[17] 3
US Radio Songs (Billboard)[18] 36
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[19] 1
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[20] 13


  1. ^ "100 Best Alternative Rock Songs of 1994". Spin. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  2. ^ Pearn, Frank (March 18, 1994). "PUNK BAND GREEN DAY TAKING A 'BOOKISH' TURN". The Morning Call. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ Chesler, Josh (August 31, 2015). "10 Best Pop-Punk Songs of All Time". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
  4. ^ Coryat, Karl (November 1994). "Green Day's Mike Dirnt". Bass Player magazine. p. 9.
  5. ^ "Times Talk- Billie Joe Armstrong (Full Interview) Part 3". YouTube. February 27, 2007. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  6. ^ "Green Day – Longview, live at Sportpaleis, Antwerpen 17 october 2009". YouTube. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  7. ^ Billie Joe Armstrong [@BJAofficial] (February 9, 2011). "Our friend/roadie Kaz Hope ..." (Tweet). Retrieved March 4, 2012 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ Paulu, Tom (June 15, 2011). "Longview's Green Day connection". The Daily News. Longview, Washington. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  9. ^ "37th Grammy Awards – 1995". Rock On The Net. Retrieved October 15, 2009.
  10. ^ "Rocklist.net Rolling Stone (USA) End Of Year Lists". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Archived from the original on July 23, 2010. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  11. ^ GDA | Song Meanings Archived October 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Longview by Green Day". Songfacts. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  13. ^ AJ Ramirez. "Nice Guys Finish Last: The Top 15 Green Day Songs". PopMatters. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  14. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Green Day – Longview". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  15. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  16. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  17. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  18. ^ "Green Day Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Green Day Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard.
  20. ^ "Green Day Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard.