21st Century Breakdown (album)

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This article is about the 2009 album that follows after American Idiot. For information about the second track of this album, see "21st Century Breakdown (song)". For other uses, see 21st Century Breakdown.
21st Century Breakdown.jpg
21st Century Breakdown
Release date: May 15, 2009
Length: 69:16
Record label: Reprise Records
Producer: Butch Vig
Mixer: Chris Lord-Alge
Singles: 1. "Know Your Enemy"
2. "21 Guns"
3. "East Jesus Nowhere"
4. "21st Century Breakdown"
5. "Last of the American Girls"

21st Century Breakdown is the eighth studio album by Green Day, released on May 15, 2009. It serves as a follow-up to American Idiot.

Like American Idiot, the album is broken into three acts, all of which are centered around the young couple of Christian and Gloria dealing with the challenges in The United States after the presidency of George W. Bush.

Promotion[edit | edit source]

The album was first announced by the band on the live broadcast of the 2009 Grammy Awards.

On February 9, 2009, Green Day announced that the album would be split into three acts: "Heroes and Cons", "Charlatans and Saints", and "Horseshoes and Handgrenades".

On March 17, a teaser trailer for the album was posted on the band's website.

On March 25, the international release date of May 15 was announced.

In early April 2009, Green Day premiered "Know Your Enemy" on TV. A portion of the single was used as an introduction piece to the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Championship game.

The band first preformed the album in full at a string of Californian clubs in April 2009. At each show, spectators were given programs containing the lyrics.

The first single was released on April 16, and the premiere of the music video was on April 24 on the MTV UK website.

Release[edit | edit source]

21st Century Breakdown was released internationally on May 15, 2009, through Reprise Records. A special edition vinyl version was limited to 3,000 copies and consisted of three 10" records for the acts, a CD copy of the album, a 60-page art booklet, and a code for the digital download of the full album.

The record reached number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States, where it sold 215,000 copies in the first week, was was shortened by three days. The album remained at number one on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart for three weeks. In Canada, the album debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 30,000 copies in the first week. The album debuted at the top of sales charts in twenty-four countries, including a peak at number one on the European Top 100 Albums.

21st Century Breakdown was released with a "Parental Advisory" sticker due to its coarse language. However, Wal-Mart, who refuses to sell such albums, requested that Green Day release a censored edition, which the band refused. Billie Joe Armstrong commented, "There's nothing dirty about our record. They want artists to censor their records in order to be carried in there. We just said no. We've never done it before. You feel like you're in 1953 or something."

The second single, "21 Guns", was released to radio stations on May 25.

The band set off on a world tour in July 2009, with the North American leg lasting through September, and the European leg lasting through November.

"East Jesus Nowhere" was released as the album's third single on October 19, 2009.

Track list[edit | edit source]

The track list is divided into three acts, starting with the second track, 21st Century Breakdown. All tracks were written by Billie Joe Armstrong unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Song of the Century"
  2. "21st Century Breakdown" (single)
  3. "Know Your Enemy" (single)
  4. "¡Viva La Gloria!"
  5. "Before the Lobotomy" (promo-single)
  6. "Christian's Inferno"
  7. "Last Night on Earth"
  8. "East Jesus Nowhere" (single)
  9. "Peacemaker" (promo-single)
  10. "Last of the American Girls" (single)
  11. "Murder City"
  12. "¿Viva La Gloria? (Little Girl)"
  13. "Restless Heart Syndrome" (promo-single)
  14. "Horseshoes and Handgrenades"
  15. "The Static Age"
  16. "21 Guns" (single)
  17. "American Eulogy"
  18. "See the Light"

Bonus tracks[edit | edit source]

iTunes Deluxe Edition:

iTunes Pre-order:

Awards[edit | edit source]

Main article: Awards
  • Best Rock Album (Grammy Awards, 2009) - WON
  • Music Album Group (Teen Choice Awards, 2009) - NOM
  • Best International Album (TMF Awards, 2009) - NOM
  • Best Album (Kerrang! Awards, 2009) - NOM
  • Album of the Year (MTV Video Music Awards Japan, 2010) - NOM
  • Best Album (NME Awards, 2010) - NOM
  • Worst Album (NME Awards, 2010) - NOM

Personnel[edit | edit source]

Green Day[edit | edit source]

Additional musicians[edit | edit source]

Production[edit | edit source]