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tight wad

Insomniac (album)

Insomniac is the fourth studio album from the punk rock band Green Day. It was released on October 10, 1995, through the Reprise Records label. Though it reached number two in the United States and went double Platinum (According to the RIAA) by 1996, Insomniac did not have the sales endurance of its predecessor, Dookie, largely due to its slightly darker lyrical tone and more abrasive sound.

Background

In 1995, a new single for the Angus soundtrack was released, titled "J.A.R.". The single went straight to number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The song was followed by "Insomniac," which was released in the fall of 1995. Insomniac opened to a warm critical reception, earning four out of five stars from Rolling Stone, which said "In punk, the good stuff actually unfolds and gains meaning as you listen without sacrificing any of its electric, haywire immediacy. And Green Day are as good as this stuff gets.

Before the name 'Insomniac', the band considered the naming the album Tight Wad Hill (After the thirteenth track of the album) and Jesus Christ Supermarket (Billie Joe later said that his biggest regret was "That we didn't name Insomniac "Jesus Christ Supermarket"). After visiting collage artist Winston Smith for the album cover, Billie Joe Armstrong asked him how he managed to make such intricate pieces in such short times. Smith answered, "It's easy for me. I am an insomniac.

Cover art

The collage on the album cover was created by Winston Smith and is called God Told Me to Skin You Alive, a reference to a song by the Dead Kennedys. Interestingly enough, the cover art contains an image (the dentist) that was originally used in a collage featured in the inside cover art of Dead Kennedys' album Plastic Surgery Disasters. Smith knew Tré Cool from Green Day's time at Lookout! Records and told Tré that if he ever needed album artwork that he should call him. The cover art features several hidden images: a naked woman, 3 fairies, and several other ghostly faces in the flames. There are also three skulls on the entire album cover and back; one for each member of Green Day. One of the skulls requires you to view the piece at an angle. The hidden skull is taken from Hans Holbein's 1533 painting 'The Ambassadors'. Green Day's version, however, is slightly different then the original, with the woman holding Billie Joe's original blue Fernandez instead of an acoustic guitar.

Track listing

All tracks by Billie Joe Armstrong (lyrics) and Green Day (music), except where noted.

  1. "Armatage Shanks" – 2:17
  2. "Brat" – 1:43
  3. "Stuck with Me" – 2:16
  4. "Geek Stink Breath" – 2:15
  5. "No Pride" – 2:20
  6. "Bab's Uvula Who?" – 2:07
  7. "86" – 2:48
  8. "Panic Song" (Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt) – 3:35
  9. "Stuart and the Ave." – 2:04
  10. "Brain Stew" – 3:13
  11. "Jaded" – 1:30
  12. "Westbound Sign" – 2:13
  13. "Tight Wad Hill" – 2:01
  14. "Walking Contradiction" – 2:31

B-sides and outtakes

Song Length Release(s)
"I Want to Be on T.V" 1:17 A cover of the song by punk band Fang; B-side of "Geek Stink Breath"
"Don't Wanna Fall In Love" 1:38 B-side of "Geek Stink Breath"
"Do Da Da" 1:30 Originally named "Stuck with Me;" B-side of "Brain Stew/Jaded"
"Good Riddance" 2:01 Original demo of the later famous single; B-side of "Brain Stew/Jaded"
"J.A.R." 2:52 Featured on the soundtrack for the movie Angus; Released as its own single in 1994

Charts

Album

Year Chart Position
1995 The Billboard 200 2

Singles

Year Song Peak chart positions
US Airplay US Mod
US Main
UK
1995 "Geek Stink Breath" 27 3 9 16
1995 "Stuck with Me" 24
1996 "Brain Stew/Jaded" 35 3 8 70
1996 "Walking Contradiction" 70 21 25

In popular culture

  • The song "Westbound Sign" is used for the teaser trailer for the Disney/Pixar picture Cars.
  • The title, "Babs' Uvula Who?" comes from a 1976 SNL sketch with Gilda Radner and Chevy Chase.
  • The song "86" was featured in the MTV film Joe's Apartment. "86" plays in the montage when Joe is trying different jobs. 1996 Joe's Apartment.

Personnel

Production

References

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