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Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong is set to release his covers series No Fun Mondays into a 14-song collection via Reprise/Warner Records, on vinyl, CD, and digital. No Fun Mondays sees Armstrong putting his signature melodic-punk spin on the songs that have formed the soundtrack to his life, including classics by John Lennon, Billy Bragg, and Johnny Thunders.
The No Fun Mondays series launched in March on Green Day’s YouTube channel. Like many musicians, Armstrong expected to spend much of this year on the road, touring in support of Green Day’s chart-topping February album, Father of All… However, once the COVID-19 pandemic forced him to put those plans on pause, Armstrong got busy with a different kind of work. “While we’ve all been in quarantine I’ve been reflecting on the things that matter the most in my life: family, friends, and, of course, music,” he says. “I figure if we have to spend this time in isolation at least we can be alone together.”
Kicking things off with his perfectly on-trend cover of Tommy James and the Shondells’ golden oldie, “I Think We’re Alone Now,” Armstrong treated fans to a new home-recorded cover song each Monday, accompanied by a DIY video. Beyond paying respects to his punk-rock forefathers (The Avengers’ “Corpus Christi,” Dead Boy Stiv Bators’ “Not That Way Anymore”) and working-class heroes (John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth,” Billy Bragg’s “A New England”), Armstrong also indulged his love of sugary pop through reverent versions of The Bangles’ “Manic Monday” and the Beatlesque theme to Tom Hanks’ 1995 film That Thing You Do! The latter was performed in tribute to the song’s writer, Adam Schlesinger, who passed away from COVID-19 complications in April.
While the project’s inspiration was solemn at times, these songs are here to uplift. Home-recorded though it may be, No Fun Mondays is as revved-up as any of Green Day’s arena-ready anthems, a masterclass in punky power-pop from a true connoisseur of the form.
- I think we’re alone now
- War stories
- Manic Monday
- Corpus Christi
- That thing you do!
- You can’t put your arms round a memory
- Kids in America
- Not that way anymore
- That’s rock ‘n’ roll
- Gimme some truth
- Whole wide world
- Police on my back
- A new England