Basket Case (song)
One of artworks used for commercial overseas releases
|Single by Green Day|
|from the album Dookie|
|Released||November 29, 1994|
|Green Day singles chronology|
"Basket Case" is a song by the American punk rock band Green Day. It is the seventh track and third single from their third studio album, Dookie (1994). The song spent five weeks at the top of the Modern Rock Tracks chart.
Origin and recording
Green Day vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong said "Basket Case" is about his struggle with anxiety; before he was diagnosed with a panic disorder years afterward, he thought he was going crazy. Armstrong commented that at the time, "The only way I could know what the hell was going on was to write a song about it."
"Basket Case" was one of the songs producer Rob Cavallo heard when he received Green Day's demo tape. He ended up signing the band to Reprise Records in mid-1993. Green Day and Cavallo recorded the version of "Basket Case" released on the trio's major label debut Dookie between September and October 1993 at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California.
"Basket Case", like the other songs on Dookie, was performed on instruments tuned down to the pitch of E-flat. The introductory verse features only Armstrong and his guitar. During the middle of the first chorus the rest of the band joins in, with Tré Cool adding fast tom fills and explosive transitions and Mike Dirnt adding a bass line that is reminiscent of the vocal melody. In the third verse, "Basket Case" references soliciting a male prostitute; Armstrong noted that "I wanted to challenge myself and whoever the listener might be. It's also looking at the world and saying, 'It's not as black and white as you think. This isn't your grandfather's prostitute – or maybe it was.'"
Release and reception
"Basket Case" was the third single released from Dookie, following "Longview" and "Welcome to Paradise". "Basket Case" peaked at number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, a position it maintained for five weeks. In 1995, "Basket Case" garnered a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group category.
In 2006, on Mike Davies and Zane Lowe's Lock Up Special on BBC Radio 1, the listeners voted "Basket Case" the Greatest Punk Song of All Time. In 2009, it was named the 33rd best hard rock song of all time by VH1.
The "Basket Case" video was directed by Mark Kohr. The video was filmed in an actual mental institution called Agnews Developmental Center in Santa Clara County, California, at the request of the band members. The mental institution had been abandoned, but most of the structure remained in a broken-down state. The band members found old patient files, deep scratches in the walls and dental molds scattered around. The video frequently references the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The music video was originally filmed in black and white and the color was added in later by Mike Dirnt (Tré Cool confessed it on a Green Day video special at Dailymotion presented by himself), contributing to the surreal effect of the video.
The video was nominated for nine MTV Video Music Awards in 1995: Video of the Year, Best Group Video, Best Metal/Hard Rock Video, Best Alternative Video, Breakthrough Video, Best Direction, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, and Viewer's Choice Award. The video did not win in any of the categories it was nominated for.
- "Basket Case" – 3:01
- "On the Wagon" – 2:48
- "Tired of Waiting for You" – 2:30
- "409 in Your Coffeemaker" [Unmixed] – 2:49
Alternate pressing/Limited edition pressing
- "Basket Case" – 3:01
- "Longview" (live) – 3:30
- "Burnout" (live) – 2:11
- "2,000 Light Years Away" (live) – 2:49
- (Live tracks recorded March 11, 1994 at Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg, Florida)
These tracks are also available on the live EP Live Tracks
- "Basket Case" – 3:01
- "She" – 2:14
- "Emenius Sleepus" – 1:43
7" vinyl singles box set
- "Basket Case" – 3:01
- "When I Come Around" – 2:58
- "Having a Blast" – 2:44
- "When I Come Around" (Live from Stockholm, Sweden)
Charts and certifications
"Einstein on the Beach (For an Eggman)" by Counting Crows
|Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
20 August 1994 – 17 September 1994 (5 weeks)
| Succeeded by|
"What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" by R.E.M.
|1995||Mino Reitano||Translation in Italian as Mino Dove Vai? ("Mino Where Are You Going?")|
|1996||The Moog Cookbook||The Moog Cookbook (album)|
|2003||Avril Lavigne||My World||Live|
|2006||The Business||Under the Influence|
|2007||Fall Out Boy||Live|
|2008||Elvis Costello||MTV:With Billie Joe Armstrong|
|2010||John Craigie||Leave the Fire Behind|
|2012||Alanis Morissette||Live at Jimmy Kimmel Live!|
|2013||Bruno Mars||Saturday Night Live||Parody|
|2014||The Swellers||Kerrang! Does Green Day's American Idiot|
|2015||All Time Low||Live|
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- "Italian single certifications – Green Day – Basket Case" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved January 9, 2015. Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Green Day in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically
- "British single certifications – Green Day – Basket Case". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 9, 2015. Enter Basket Case in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search