Release Date: Nov 27, 2020
Record label: Reprise
Like the rest of the world, Billie Joe Armstrong needed to find some way to busy himself during the global pandemic of 2020. He opted for a series of covers he dubbed "No Fun Mondays," its name nodding at the glum realities of quarantine as well as the day he debuted his versions on the Internet. The project got off to a slow start. A version of Tommy James & the Shondells' "I Think We're Alone Now" went up in April and a cover of Prince's "Manic Monday" featuring a cameo from Susanna Hoffs was unveiled in May, but it wasn't until he posted Adam Schlesinger's "That Thing You Do!" in late August that the series gained momentum.
There's an age-old - if largely unfounded - argument that punk was a response to the sheer, unrelenting boredom of the mid 70s. In rejecting the moribund status quo, it seems, a generation decided to Do It Themselves, working from the very basics of rock 'n' roll to construct something new. Now, that probably doesn't work as a sociological treatise, but it acts as a neat sketch for Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong's motivations behind this new covers record.
It's been really amusing to see what different artists have done to record music to pass the time during the COVID pandemic with limited resources, mostly to relieve their own boredom. Laura Jane Grace put out an album of solo material with just a guitar, while Milo Aukerman recorded an EP using a ukelele for some reason. Billie Joe Armstrong, famous Green Day frontman, recorded a series of solo cover songs that he released as digital singles, only to eventually put the series of singles into an album called No Fun Mondays.