"Basket Case" is a song by Green Day from its third album Dookie. After the single was released, the song ended up being a huge hit, spending five weeks at the top of the Modern Rock Tracks chart. The song was written by frontman Billie Joe Armstrong about his struggle with anxiety; before he was diagnosed with a panic disorder, he thought he was going crazy. The music video, featuring the band members in a mental institution, received heavy airplay on MTV. This song and its music video helped propel Dookie to become a major success among most mainstream rock listeners.
Dookie went on to become a multi-platinum album featuring this song as well as hit singles "Longview", "When I Come Around", "Welcome to Paradise" and "She".
In 1995, Green Day was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for "Basket Case".
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.
The song can also be found on their 2001 greatest hits compilation International Superhits!. The music video can be found on their International Supervideos! DVD. A live version is also found on Bullet in a Bible, a live album of Green Day performing at the Milton Keynes National Bowl in 2005.
- "Basket Case" - 3:01
- "On The Wagon" (Non-LP Track) - 2:48
- "Tired Of Waiting For You" (Non-LP Track) - 2:30
- "409 In Your Coffeemaker" (Unmixed) - 2:49
- "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)
This was the third music video
by Green Day, and it was directed by Mark Kohr. The video was shot in an actual mental institution, at the request of the band members. The mental institution had since been abandoned, but most of the structure remained in a broken-down state. The band members found deep scratches in the walls and dental molds scattered around. The music video was actually shot in black and white and the color was added in later, contributing to the surreal effect of the video. The video was nominated for multiple MTV Video Music Awards
in 1995: Video of the Year, Best Group Video, Best Hard Rock Video, Best Alternative Video, Breakthrough Video, Best Direction, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, and Viewer's Choice Award. The music video also had a mash-up
on MTV with Nelly
's Country Grammar
called "Country Basket".
Covers and other references
- The song was covered by rafeekee, The Moog Cookbook, Avril Lavigne (for her Try To Shut Me Up Tour), Dilana, Elysium, Freefaller, Fall Out Boy, Brand New, Rex Goudie (for his "Look Closer Tour") and the Japanese punk rock band Nicotine. The Offspring also covered the first 39 seconds of the song, seemingly for fun. Another cover was by the Stanford Harmonics collegiate a capella group, who played the song entirely on pitch pipes- the only instrument used in a capella. Another a capella group to cover the song were the Other Guys, a male octet from University of Illinois-Champaign. Puffy AmiYumi also covered the song as a bonus track on the Japanese edition of their new album Splurge. Nana Kitade has also covered the song on her album, I scream
- Later on, "Weird Al" Yankovic used "Basket Case" as the closing song in the polka medley "The Alternative Polka", from Bad Hair Day.
- Dale Oliver from Total Nonstop Action Wrestling made a ripoff of this song for Phi Delta Slam.
- A symphonic version of the song is popular in marching and pep bands across the United States. This version is entirely instrumental.
- British folk/pop artist Pete du Pon has released in the U.K. an exquisite acoustic cover of Green Day's classic.
- Fall Out Boy performed a live cover of Green Day's Basket Case, while they were on their 2007 world tour. Before they performed it they made a tribute to Green Day, saying if it weren't for them paving the way for alternative music in popular culture, they wouldn't be on stage performing for people all over the world.
- NOFX played the intro of the song in their performance of The Longest Line, for their newest live album They've Actually Gotten Worse Live!.
In popular culture
- At the "Edit Gametypes" menu on the multiplayer of Halo: Combat Evolved, there is a line from "Basket Case".
- The music video has been "reviewed" on Beavis and Butthead.
- The line "am I just paranoid/ or am I just stoned?" is edited to remove "stoned" in the radio version of the song.
- The song is a de facto tune played by the University of Alabama "Million Dollar Band" during football and basketball season to get students and fans fired up during the contests. It is often played at the end of the 3rd quarter of Crimson Tide football games and has become a staple in the Million Dollar Band music line up.
|| Modern Rock Tracks (US)
|| No. 1 |
|| Mainstream Rock Tracks (US)
|| No. 9 |
|| Billboard Hot 100 Airplay
|| No. 26 |
|| Top 40 Mainstream (US)
|| No. 16 |
|| Official Norwegian Singles Chart
|| No. 2 |
|| Official Sweden Singles Chart
|| No. 3 |
|| Official UK Singles Chart
|| No. 6 |
|| Official Irish Singles Chart
|| No. 11 |
|| Official German Singles Chart
|| No. 18 |
It should be noted that, while the song was extremely popular in the United States, even managing to hit number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay, the lack of a commercial single single-handedly prevented the song from charting on the Billboard Hot 100.