Green Day: Billy Joe (guitar, vocals); Mike (bass); Tre Cool (drums).
Additional personnel: Al Sobrante (drums).
Recorded at Art Of Ears Studio, San Francisco, California in May and September 1991.
All lyrics written by Billie Joe except "Dominated Love Slave" (Tre) and "My Generation" (The Who).
In many ways Green Day's first "proper" album--the debut 1039/SMOOTHED OUT SLAPPY HOURS was stitched together from multiple sessions and didn't feature the definitive lineup with drummer Tre Cool--KERPLUNK is an early-1990s milestone. One listen to this album makes it clear why Green Day, rather than any of their Bay Area peers, were the band that won the major-label lottery; they were simply better than the vast majority of their contemporaries. This record's version of "Welcome to Paradise," while rougher than the eventual hit single from 1994's DOOKIE, is only one of several clearly brilliant pop songs delivered with an approach that's part Buzzcocks, part Go-Go's, mixing sharply drawn neuroses and sweet pop hooks. "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?" and the downright sweet "2000 Light Years Away," an unabashed love song to the woman who singer Billie Joe Armstrong would soon marry, are just as good. This edition also adds the four-song SWEET CHILDREN EP, which includes a brash cover of the Who's "My Generation."
Rolling Stone (p.81) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Things came together on KERPLUNK: Drummer Tre Cool joined the band, the tunes got very catchy, and major-label stardom followed..."
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.68) - "[T]his was a group that had found its groove in a most commanding manner."