In the summer of 2003, the album Cigarettes and Valentines was nearly finished when the master recordings of 20 tracks were stolen from the studio.
Green Day is an American pop punk rock band formed in 1987. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt, drummer Tre Cool and guitarist and backing vocalist Jason White, who became a full member after playing in the band as a session and touring guitarist for 13 years.
Did you know Cigarettes and Valentines was an unreleased studio album from punk rock band Green Day that would have been the proper follow-up to 2000’s Warning?
In the summer of 2003, the album was nearly finished when the master recordings of 20 tracks were stolen from the studio.
Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong said the album’s material was “good stuff”. Musically, the material on Cigarettes and Valentines was hard, “quick-tempoed punk” songs in the vein of Green Day’s Kerplunk and Insomniac.
This sound would have contrasted the group’s previous two studio albums, Nimrod and Warning, which displayed more rock and folk punk genres respectively. Bassist Mike Dirnt described the band’s decision of returning to the sound found on their older albums, stating, “We’ve had a nice break from making hard and fast music and it’s made us want to do it again.”
Instead of re-recording the album, the band decided to start from scratch, leading to the creation of American Idiot.
Green Day would later call the theft a “blessing in disguise”, believing Cigarettes and Valentines wasn’t “maximum Green Day”.
Mike Dirnt admitted that backups of the tapes were made but claims that “it just wasn’t the same as the originals”. The album was never even roughly mixed, according to various interviews with the band, hence no “legitimate” versions of songs, track lists, and artwork exist.
American Idiot is the seventh studio album by the American punk rock band Green Day and was released by Reprise Records on September 20, 2004.
The album achieved success worldwide, charting in 27 countries and peaking at number one in 19 of them, including the US and the UK.
Since its release, American Idiot has sold over 15 million copies worldwide, over 6 million copies of which were in the United States alone, including 267,000 in its opening week making it the band’s second-best selling album after Dookie.
Green Day decided to produce a rock opera, inspired by the work of The Who and several musicals. The album follows the life of Jesus of Suburbia, a character with an “antihero” image created by Billie Joe Armstrong.
The album spawned five successful singles, including the international hits “American Idiot“, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams“, “Holiday“, “Wake Me Up When September Ends” and “Jesus of Suburbia“; all of which received Platinum certification by the RIAA.
In 2005, American Idiot won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album and was nominated in four other categories including Album of the Year.
The album helped Green Day win seven of the eight awards it was nominated for at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards; the “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” video won six of those awards. A year later, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.