I suppose it's strange for some people who were first introduced to Green Day with 'Dookie' and thereafter to come back in time to listen to this album. Not only that, but I am willing to bet that many of those people are not accustomed to listening to underground bands. This is what most bands sound like when they are not on major labels, folks... and if you're not used to that, then you probably aren't even aware of most of the best that punk music has to offer. And if that's the case, then you have no basis for comparison and shouldn't be reviewing this album, because you have zero credibility. I hope that helps to explain some of the bad reviews this album has received... because as a fan of Green Day since around 1990 when I first saw them live, I've watched them progress. I introduced them to most of my friends before the radio did. And I've seen them open shows for many many bands that never made it as big as them, or anywhere for that matter. So take it from me, this is their best work. THe album is similar to others they've made in terms of the songwriting, etc. Some are good, some are just OK, some are out-of-this-world fantastic. This album has the largest concentration of the latter category. "At The Library" is a total classic. The lyrics are simple and innocent, but that is the case for many classic songs. The music behind it all is the catchiest I've heard... and it has a certain something about it that makes me reminisce. Reminds me a little of the Cure. "Don't Leave Me" is one of the better songs, and is extremely typical of their early style of music. "Disappearing Boy" used to be a crowd favorite. Now of course it's "Longview" or something else, whatever that graduation song is. "Going to Pasalacqua" is probably one of the best punk-pop songs ever written. Back in the day, this song was pure gold... nobody in all of punk sang like Billie Joe, or wrote melodies like this one. It was songs like this that really built their fan-base. "16" is another great song that is typical of their style, and is reflected in some of the later songs on later albums. This is a song you can groove to. There are a ton of other good songs on here, such as "Dry Ice," "1000 Hours" and more... but I don't have the time or patience to explain them all. Just realize that although the production quality isn't as good as their latest stuff, many of their best songs are found here. Maybe I'm biased, since these were the songs that drew me to the band... but not many of their later songs approach the raw brilliance found in these songs.
I'm not going to review this album again, considering I already did a couple of months back. Instead, I'll just answer the big question: is the new remastered, enhanced version really worth the purchase? I think so. Here are a few reasons why: 1. The enhanced CD features are really neat. You can look at old, previously unseen pictures of the band when they were young, listen to acoustic versions of "Paper Lanterns" and others that were previously only on the radio, etc. 2. New artwork. It's not much, but it's pretty cool to have. 3. The remastering. Honestly, when I first put it in my CD player, I said, "That's it?! It doesn't sound any different to me!" But then I put it in my discman... I was wrong. There's a difference. Now everything sounds louder and clearer, and like another reviewer said, it breathes new life into old songs. Also, there is a version out there that has a free large Green Day t-shirt and sticker pack for the same price. That's the one I got, so look for it, although I don't know if it's limited edition or not. Overall, if you don't have the original copy of 1,039/Smooth, and you want to buy it, make it this one. It's got all the extra features listed above, it sounds better, and oh yeah, it's cheaper. If you have the original, it's also worth checking out. Snoogins.
In 1990, if you had told then 18-year-old Billie Joe Armstrong of Rodeo, CA that his band Green Day would go on to become one of the biggest and most influential bands of the '90s, he would probably have smiled, patted you on your head, and sent you on your way. But you would've been right. (Obviously.) Well, this is their first album. This is Green Day's roots, and it makes for a less polished, and more raw record. However, it also contains Green Day's signature catchy hooks and lyrics about teenage life in general (but not in the annoying, trite way that most punk-pop bands write them!). This becomes quite evident when "At The Library" starts. Short, sweet, and about falling in love with a stranger, this is a good example of not only what the rest of the album has to offer, but the direction that Billie Joe and company would go on to take on the way to multi-platinum success. After all, what else would you expect from Green Day? All in all, like I said, this album is not quite as "produced" as their major-label albums, but it's just as good (if not better), and if you have come to fall in love with Green Day's three-chord, simple, catchy, fun alternative/punk/pop sound, then I definitely recommend buying this and "Kerplunk!". I also hear they're re-releasing this album remastered with a new song, if you're interested.