"Longview" is the debut single and fourth song from American rock band Green Day's third album, Dookie and their first single as a band. The song was the band's first single to top the Modern Rock chart in the U.S. The music video for this song received heavy airplay on MTV and is largely credited for breaking Green Day into mainstream popularity. The video was directed by the Bay Area music video director Mark Kohr who collaborated with the band on many music videos.
Artwork for commercial overseas releases
|Single by Green Day|
|from the album Dookie|
|Released||February 1, 1994|
|Green Day singles chronology|
The song describes intense boredom. Lyrically, the song is about a day spent sitting around the house, doing absolutely nothing of importance, masturbating, and smoking marijuana until the days are no longer fun. The song captured the attention of many youth at the time with its overt allusions to masturbation. Bassist Mike Dirnt has stated that the famous bass line intro to this song was written one night while he was high on LSD, and what remains on the album is what he and lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong could recall in the morning. At most shows in the 21st Century Breakdown World Tour and Revolution Radio Tour, Billie Joe picked a random audience member to sing the song or play the song on electric guitar onstage.
In 1995, Green Day received four Grammy Award nominations, including Best Hard Rock Performance for "Longview". The band won Best Alternative Music Performance for Dookie. The song was ranked at number 3 on the list of the Best Singles of 1994 by Rolling Stone.
"I was just in a creative rut. I was in-between houses sleeping on people's couches. It's a song about trying not to feel pathetic and lonely. I didn't think that masturbation was really seen from the point of view that I was looking at it. In songs like 'Turning Japanese' it always seemed more about people pulling a pud or something. I was coming from a lonely guy's perspective: No girlfriend, no life, complete loser." – Armstrong
"I guess it was just living in the suburbs in a sort of shit town where you can't even pull in a good radio station. I was living in Rodeo, California, about 20 minutes outside of Oakland. There was nothing to do there, and it was a real boring place." – Billie Joe Armstrong in an interview in Guitar Legends magazine, May 2005.
"When Billie gave me a shuffle beat for Longview, I was frying on acid so hard. I was laying up against the wall with my bass lying on my lap. It just came to me. I said, 'Billie, check this out. Isn't this the wackiest thing you've ever heard?' Later, it took me a long time to be able to play it, but it made sense when I was on drugs." – Mike Dirnt in Rolling Stone magazine, 1995.
"Longview" has a music video, which is the first one created by Green Day. The music video was directed by Mark Kohr, the cinematography was by Adam Beckman, and the editing was by Bob Sarles. The music video received frequent airplay on MTV upon release.
The music video takes place in a dimly-lit basement of a broken-down house in Oakland, California, where the band used to live in. The band members say that the look was intentionally grungy. In the video, Billie sits on a couch and watches television. At the end of the music video, he goes insane and tears up the couch, with feathers flying everywhere.
The music video was nominated for three MTV Video Music Awards in 1994: Best Group Video, Best Alternative Video, and Best New Artist. The video is also included on the DVD International Supervideos!.
- "Longview" – 3:59
- "Welcome to Paradise" (live) — 4:05
- "One of My Lies" (live) — 2:25
Total length: 10:29
- Live tracks were recorded on March 11, 1994 at Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg, Florida. These live songs are also available on the live album Live Tracks.
- "Longview" – 3:59
- "Going to Pasalacqua" (live) – 4:12
- "F.O.D." (live) – 2:44
- "Christie Road" (live) – 3:49
Total length: 14:44
- "Longview" – 3:59
- "On the Wagon" – 2:48
- "F.O.D." (live) – 2:44
Total length: 9:31
- Live tracks were recorded on March 11, 1994 at Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg, Florida.
7" vinyl box setEdit
- "Longview" — 3:59
- "Welcome to Paradise" — 3:45
- "Coming Clean" — 1:35
- "Chump" (live from Stockholm, Sweden; Same version on Live Tracks) — 02:39
Total length: 11:58
- "Longview" (radio edit) – 3:55
- "Longview" (album version) - 3:59
Total length: 7:54
CD Promo #2Edit
- "Longview" (Very Clean Version) - 3:55
- "Longview" (Clean Version) - 3:55
Total length: 7:50
- Bass: Mike Dirnt
- Drums: Tré Cool
- Vocals and Guitar: Billie Joe Armstrong
- Songwriting: Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, Tré Cool
- Production: Rob Cavallo, Green Day
PopMatters listed "Longview" as the seventh best Green Day song, citing "This song didn’t become an instant classic of its genre merely because Armstrong said the word "masturbation" on the radio—it's all in the delivery."
|Scotland (Official Charts Company)||32|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||30|
|UK Rock and Metal (Official Charts Company)||3|
|US Radio Songs (Billboard)||36|
|US Alternative Songs (Billboard)||1|
|US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)||13|
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