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In-Between Green Days

If there is a downside to the huge commercial comeback that American Idiot spawned for Green Day, it's the way that comeback only reinforced the notion that the band had somehow lost its bearings after Dookie sold, like, 40 billion copies — when, in fact, the records from the oft-neglected "middle years" between those towering commercial triumphs were as good as any Green Day album. The Green Day: Under Review 1995-2000: The Middle Years DVD (Sexy Intellectual/MVD) sets out to put those lesser-known releases — Insomniac, Nimrod, and Warning — in context as overlooked treasures that, in many ways, helped set the stage for American Idiot. The more insightful talking heads gathered here — including sympathetic critic Jaan Uhelszki; Larry Livermore of Lookout! Records fame; and Jesse Townley, who gave the band a place to develop its live show at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley — provide a candid, compelling account of Green Day's lost years. But the rest of the DVD is filled out with way too many clueless corporate DJs, one of whom inadvertently sums up just how overhyped Green Day's comeback was, proclaiming American Idiot the "greatest album in the history of recorded music. Screw the Beatles!" Sorry, dude, but it's not even Green Day's greatest album.
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Ed Masley

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