Welcome to our first re:DISCOVERED post!
Although this post is a trial, to see the reactions it gets, these posts will hopefully be a monthly occurrence, appearing on the first Sunday of every month (the Sunday after our monthly playlist).
This month, we have #reDISCOVERED: Good Charlotte
Good Charlotte originated from Waldorf, Maryland, USA and formed in 1995. Since 1998, the band has consisted of four constant members; twins Joel and Benji Madden, Paul Thomas and Billy Martin; then, since 2005, they have had drummer Dean Butterworth on board.
The band’s frontmen, the Madden twins, had a relatively rough childhood; on Christmas Eve 1995, the pair’s father upped and left, leaving the rest of the family to be evicted from their house. They then went on to work a whole host of jobs to help keep their family in their new home, as their mother had the autoimmune disease, lupus, meaning that she regularly stayed in hospitals. It was in 1996 their band began to take shape and record demos, launching them into their career, slowly but surely. This band and its members are ones I feel truly deserve to be where they are; they’ve worked their way up from nothing, to their global successes and achievements – a true marvel!
In September 2000, Good Charlotte released their debut album, Good Charlotte, with their first single, Little Things, being featured in the film, Dude, Where’s My Car?
The band went on to release a couple of other singles from the album, but the next track I want to feature is WaldorfWorldwide which is an album track also taken from their debut album. This song has a very ska-punk feel to it and caught my attention due to it’s interesting vibe.
The Young and the Hopeless
It was in 2002 (USA) and 2003 (Worldwide), when GC released their second album, The Young and the Hopeless, that they fully captured the world’s attention with their first single off the album, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. This track was iconic dude to its intense pop-punk sound and lyrical content about celebrities and their lack of appreciation for how privileged they are.
Next I’ve chosen single, The Anthem, which literally is an anthem for the band! The video featured cameo appearances from other American pop-punk bands, MEST and Home Grown; New Found Glory were also present at the filming, but weren’t featured in the final video. This particular song has gone on to be featured in a whole host of films, soundtracks and television programmes.
The third single from the album, Girls & Boys, has to be mentioned due to it’s popularity; up to this point this was their highest charting single in the UK, reaching number 6. The song is themed around girls basically being gold-diggers and the video featured elderly people playing video games and ends with Benji Madden, waking up to find an elderly lady in his t-shirt!
The final from this album was Hold On and this song particularly struck a chord with me due to its video. The song was written by the band, in response to letters they received from fans who said they were considering suicide. The video then featured several people talking about their experiences of either surviving suicide attempts or talking about loved ones they’d lost to suicide. This song feels personal and like it speaks out to fans – it’s a song to bring people, going through similar things, together.
The Chronicles of Life and Death
The first single from this 2004 album was Predictable and saw an angrier side to GC. I particularly liked this song at the time, due to its angry, almost-spoken, sections – it really was every emo-kids wet dream to chant along to…and sort of still is! The video was interesting too, taking place in an almost Edward Scissorhands-like town, which was actually drawn by band member, Billy Martin.
Next, I’ve chosen the title track from the album, The Chronicles of Life and Death – this song has quite a plodding feel to its verses before bursting into an anthemic chorus about life and death, as is the song’s theme. It’s quite a simple, yet effective track.
The final song I’ve chosen from this album is the song We Believe; as well as being the final single from the album, this song captured me from the very first listen of the album. I adore the build-up from the mellow verses to the more beautifully chaotic choruses – even the instrumental breakdown feels passionate. It’s a real chanter and makes you feel like you’re part of something special when you sing along. This is possibly one of my favourite GC songs!
Good Morning Revival
Released in 2007, this album saw GC move from pop-punk to dance-punk with its more synth-infused sound. I have chosen the first single off this album, The River, as it is one of my other, favourite GC tracks, featuring M. Shadows and Synyster Gates from the band, Avenged Sevenfold. The song features several Bible references but has a very catchy chorus.
The next song I’d like to mention is Misery, which although was released as the fourth single taken from the album, did not ever have a music video. This song really encapsulates their dance-punk sound from this album; the bridge from the verse to the chorus has an interesting, fast-sung quality to it and works well with the synths underlying the song.
The final song I’ve chosen from this album, was the album track, Broken Hearts Parade, as it’s got a very ska-punk quality to it, similar to their track WaldorfWorldwide from their earlier days.
This album also saw the band support Justin Timberlake on some dates of his FutureSex/LoveSounds Tour.
In 2010, GC released their fifth album. This particular album saw the band return to their more pop-punk sound, with Benji Madden stating that the album would “sound a lot like Blink-182.”
I’ve chosen album track Counting The Days as my first featured song from this album; I love the gang vocals towards the end of the song as it would make a real crowd-pleaser at a live show!
The penultimate track was the second single released from GC’s fifth album, Sex On The Radio. The song’s all-consuming chorus makes you sing along and whilst it’s sort of cheesy, it’s got quite a 1970s/1980s rock feel to it, making it quite a stand-out track.
The last song I’ve chosen is GC’s final single release (to date!), 1979. This sound has a very summery feel to it with its predominantly acoustic-driven sound. It also paved the way for The Madden Brothers‘ debut album, Greetings From California, which has a similar vibe, even though it wouldn’t come for another four years after this album. You can read more about The Madden Brothers on our recent #FeelGoodFriday post.
So here it is, the full list of Good Charlotte, re:DISCOVERED. Please feel free to watch the playlist on YouTube or listen to it on Spotify, both of which are found below:
- Little Things
- Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
- The Anthem
- Girls & Boys
- Hold On
- The Chronicles of Life and Death
- We Believe
- The River featuring M. Shadows and Synyster Gates
- Broken Hearts Parade
- Let The Music Play
- Sex On The Radio
As for the future of Good Charlotte, no one is certain. The band are rumoured to be working on a sixth album, but nothing is set in stone, as of yet. We’ll keep you updated though.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our first re:DISCOVERED post about a band who mean a great deal to me. Are you a Good Charlotte fan? What are your favourite songs by the band? Please share this with your friends on your social media accounts and spread the GC love.
Matt – Muzik Speaks