On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Green Day – Time of Your Life (Good Riddance) (1997)
” Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” (or ” Time of Your Life (Good Riddance)”) is a song by American rock band Green Day, released in October 1997 as the second single from their fifth studio album, (1997). Although different from the band’s usual sound, it is one of the band’s most popular songs.
We’re leaving the UK behind today, dear reader, and making our way back to the US once again. We found ourselves in East Bay in California and we’re once again enjoying a spot of rock. Formed in 1987 by Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt, Green Day have had their highs and lows but produced critically acclaimed albums too. We join them in 1997 with the release of their fifth album, Nimrod, and from there 1001 Songs have picked the track – Time of Your Life (Good Riddance).
Time of Your Life (Good Riddance) was written by Billie Joe Armstrong in 1993 when the group were working on the album, Dookie, which would be released in 1994. The song wasn’t considered a good fit for the record but would appear two albums later on Nimrod. Armstrong wrote the song in anger. His girlfriend at the time had decided to move to Ecuador and with her departure the relationship was over. Armstrong made the song sound more pleasant than he felt, an outpouring of grief at precious moments now been and gone, and with it the hope that it led to the “time of your life” of the song’s title.
One of the closing tracks on Nimrod, Time of Your Life (Good Riddance) is also one of Green Day’s best songs. A ballad was an unusual approach for the group who were well known for fast-paced and heavy guitar tracks. The song has appeared in numerous TV shows over the years. I remember it used most poignantly in 1998 when England lost a penalty shoot-out to Argentina at the World Cup in France. A montage of our highs and lows played to Green Day was meant to lift my spirits. It didn’t. Love the song though.
Favourite songs so far: