Bright dawn for Green Day

Times Staff Writer

Green Day’s latest album entered the national sales chart at No. 1 on Wednesday after selling so many copies during its first week in stores that it’s tempting to think some shoppers misread the title and thought the CD was for something in the “American Idol” series.

The group’s “American Idiot” is a nearly 60-minute punk-rock opera of sorts that recalls such landmark rock concept albums as the Who’s “Tommy” and Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.”

The CD sold 267,000 copies in its first week, giving the veteran punk-rock outfit its first No. 1 album. Green Day reached the No. 2 position with both “Dookie” in 1994 and “Insomniac” in 1995, Nielsen SoundScan reported.

The album’s strong opening week showing was fueled by extensive rock radio exposure for the title track and generally glowing reviews. “Against all odds, Green Day have found a way to hit their 30s without either betraying their original spirit or falling on their faces,” Rolling Stone wrote.


Two other artists also debuted in the Top 10 with new releases: country singer Keith Urban (No. 3 after selling 148,000 copies) and rockers Chevelle (No. 8 with sales of 89,000).

Rapper Nelly, whose “Suit” and “Sweat” releases entered the chart last week at 1 and 2, respectively, fell to No. 2 and No. 4 this week with sales of 160,000 for “Suit” and 128,000 for “Sweat.”