image from bandsintown.com
|Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Writer(s): Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, Tré Cool (see lyrics here)
First Charted: 10/16/2004
Peak: 2 US, 30 AC, 18 AAA, 114 AR, 116 MR, 5 UK, 5 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales *: 2.0 US, 0.2 UK, 7.0 world (includes US + UK)
Radio Airplay *: 0.9
Video Airplay *: 282.08
Streaming *: --
* in millions
After Green Day exploded in 1994 with Dookie, their major label debut, they spent the next decade failing to follow-up with anything which matched its success. With 2004’s American Idiot, they took the risk of recording a concept album – and it paid off. The title track served as a high-energy lead single. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” went for a softer sound – and one that gave the band the biggest hit of their career.
The song barely missed topping the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #2. It did, however, top multiple charts, including the Mainstream Rock, Alternative Rock, Adult Top 40, and Adult Album Alternative charts for a total of 49 weeks. The song set a then-record number of weeks on the UK top 100 chart. WK
As to “Dreams” place in the concept album, it followed the main character from the song “Jesus of Suburbia” as he leaves town, walking around and contemplating whether it is the right decision. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong explained he got the idea for the song from the title of a Gottfried Helnwein painting of James Dean walking alone in a trench coat. SF Armstrong had traveled to New York City while working on songs and tapped into the idea about feeling alone. WK
The video, which MTV gave its Video of the Year award, echoed the “walking” theme by following the band as they start walking down a desert road after their car breaks down. SF The song was voted Best Single of the ‘00s in the Rolling Stone decade-end readers’ poll, American Idiot was named best album, and Green Day were declared Top Artist of the Decade. SF It also won the Grammy for Record of the Year.
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