Green Day are one of the biggest rock bands in the world. They have their own musical on Broadway, their own version of “Rock Band” and scores of albums sold and awards on their shelves. But one of the most remarkable aspects about Green Day’s long career is that they have had two comebacks. It’s usually unthinkable for a band to have one over the course of 20-plus years, but the men of Green Day have done it twice. The second (and most recent) time came when they released their watershed album American Idiot in 2004 (which came out after the hugely disappointing Warning). But their first comeback came on this day in 1997 when they recovered from the critically and commercially weak Insomniac and dropped Nimrod.
After the darkness that permeated Insomniac, Nimrod represented both a return to form and a new series of ideas for Green Day. The old school fans gravitated to the three-chord zingers like “Nice Guys Finish Last” and “Platypus (I Hate You),” while the band scored new fans with a groovy surf rock instrumental (“Last Ride In”), power pop blasts (“Walking Alone”) and an acoustic ballad that scored thousands of high school graduations at the end of the millennium (“Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”). Nimrod also features some of frontman Billie Joe Armstrong’s deepest, most personal confessions, including stories about his family life and his struggles with alcohol.