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21st Century Breakdown is the eighth studio album by the American punk rock band Green Day. It was released on May 15, 2009 through Reprise Records.

Background

After extensively touring for American Idiot in 2005, Green Day began to write new material for their next album in January 2006. No details about the writing and recording process were revealed by the band until October 2007, when Armstrong told Rolling Stone in an interview they had written about forty-five songs. Very little was revealed about the theme and musical style of the album, but Armstrong said that he wanted to dig into who he was and how he was feeling at that moment, which was middle-aged. He also mentioned that most of the forty-five songs were written on piano rather than guitar like their previous albums.

The band worked with producer, Butch Vig and began recording for the the album in January 2008. 21st Century Breakdown was recorded throughout 2008 and into early 2009 at Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood, Studio 880 in Oakland, Jel Studios in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa Studios in Costa Mesa. Throughout the recording process, the band bought and listened to many vinyls, including albums by The Beat, The Plimsouls, The Kinks, The Pretty Things, The Doors and Meat Loaf for inspiration. Armstrong's writing was influenced by Eddie Cochran and The Creation.

Green Day made final touches on the album in April 2009. On February 9, 2009, Green Day announced the album title and said that the album would be split into three acts: "Heroes and Cons", "Charlatans and Saints" and "Horseshoes and Handgrenades". A teaser trailer of the album was posted on the band's website on March 17 and the release date was announced on March 25. The first single of 21st Century Breakdown titled Know Your Enemy, was released on April 16, 2009. 21 Guns was released on May 25 and East Jesus Nowhere on October 19 the same year. The complete album was released internationally on May 15, 2009. It reached number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States and sold 215,000 copies in its first week. In the United Kingdom the album reached number one and sold 79,770 copies in the first week.

Tracks

Standard Edition
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Song of the Century" Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 0:57
2. "21st Century Breakdown" Billie Joe Armstrong · Mike Dirnt · Tré Cool Butch Vig · Green Day 5:09
3. "Know Your Enemy" Billie Joe Armstrong · Mike Dirnt · Tré Cool Butch Vig · Green Day 3:11
4. "¡Viva la Gloria!" Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 3:31
5. "Before the Lobotomy" Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 4:37
6. "Christian's Inferno" Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 3:07
7. "Last Night on Earth" Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 3:57
8. "East Jesus Nowhere" Billie Joe Armstrong · Mike Dirnt · Tré Cool Butch Vig · Green Day 4:35
9. "Peacemaker" Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 3:24
10. "Last of the American Girls" Billie Joe Armstrong · Mike Dirnt · Tré Cool Butch Vig · Green Day 3:51
11. "Murder City" Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 2:54
12. "¿Viva la Gloria? (Little Girl)" Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 3:48
13. "Restless Heart Syndrome" Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 4:21
14. "Horseshoes and Handgrenades" Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 3:14
15. "The Static Age" Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 4:17
16. "21 Guns" Billie Joe Armstrong · Mike Dirnt · Tré Cool · John Phillips Butch Vig · Green Day 5:21
17. "American Eulogy" (A. "Mass Hysteria" / B. "Modern World") Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 4:26
18. "See the Light" Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 4:36
Total length: 69:16
Amazon.com MP3 version bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
19. "Burnout" (live) Billie Joe Armstrong Rob Cavallo 2:21
Total length: 71:37
iTunes deluxe edition bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
19. "A Quick One, While He's Away" (originally performed by The Who) Pete Townshend Butch Vig · Green Day 7:59
20. "Another State of Mind" (originally performed by Social Distortion) Mike Ness Butch Vig · Green Day 2:46
Total length: 80:01
iTunes pre-order edition bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
21. "That's All Right" (originally performed by Elvis Presley) Arthur Crudup Butch Vig · Green Day 2:01
22. "Like a Rolling Stone" (originally performed by Bob Dylan) Bob Dylan Butch Vig · Green Day 6:10
Total length: 77:27
Japanese edition bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
19. "Lights Out" Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 2:16
Total length: 71:32
Rhapsody version bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
19. "Know Your Enemy" (live) Billie Joe Armstrong · Mike Dirnt · Tré Cool Butch Vig · Green Day 4:47
20. "The Static Age" (live) Billie Joe Armstrong Butch Vig · Green Day 4:30
Total length: 78:33
Target version bonus CD (Live in Japan)
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "American Idiot" (live) Billie Joe Armstrong Rob Cavallo 4:18
2. "Jesus of Suburbia" (live) Billie Joe Armstrong Rob Cavallo 9:22
3. "Holiday" (live) Billie Joe Armstrong Rob Cavallo 4:34
4. "Are We the Waiting" (live) Billie Joe Armstrong Rob Cavallo 2:49
5. "St. Jimmy" (live) Billie Joe Armstrong Rob Cavallo 2:58
6. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (live) Billie Joe Armstrong Rob Cavallo 4:41
Total length: 97:58

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