ARTIST: Green Day
TITLE: 1039 / Smoothed Out Slappy Hours
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Two releases here are EPs
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Only if you were into that scene, or are a Green Day completist.
LINEUP: Billy Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, John Kiffmeyer.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Compilation of the first album and two Eps from Green Day, released before their breakthrough (so it isn’t a cash in, really).
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: From the start of their recording career, Green Day had their vision in mind. A power-pop punk sound that combined some of the speed (but not a breakneck speed) and simple structures of punk, but with melodies that allow for singing instead of shouting. The structures also were deceptively simple with some interesting changes in some tracks. The difference is the execution, as these records are from the time when the band was finding its footing.
This release combines their first two EPs (1,000 Hours and Slappy) and their full length released in 1990 (39/Smooth). At first, they sounded tentative, but as things rolled along their sound fleshed out (Dirnt’s bass becomes a bit louder in the mix, and Kiffmeyer’s drums are more expressive). The songs, as usual penned lyrically by Billy Joe Armstrong, are a bit more intelligent than some of their punk brethren at the time.
This collection shows the growth of the band, but they weren’t quite at their peak yet. It would take the next release to coalesce and set the stage for their dominance of the punk matketplace in the 90’s. It’s worthy to see where they were before the big stage of a major label, and why some fans glommed onto them early on.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Drummer John Kiffmeyer was billed as Al Sobrante at times. He started to study at Humboldt State, and the band picked up drummer Tre Cool to take his place. The rest is history (though the split was seeming amicable).
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: The last release omits a track that was used on a soundtrack.
GRADE B: I have a soft spot for power punk pop, and while they would get better and more expansive there’s something charming about these tracks.