Green Day has many outstanding songs in its catalog, but few are as transcendent as “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” Believe it or not, the acoustic ballad almost sounded way different.
In a retrospective piece from The Ringer, the string portion of the ballad took some time to figure out. The Ringer cited a quote from Billie Joe Armstrong in an interview with Kerrang! saying, “At first [we had] a whole orchestra in there, and they’d all come in like, ‘SHUNG!’ In the studio we played it as a big, Bon Jovi–style ballad. Now that was funny.”
Of course, the band eventually landed on a more minimalist approach utilizing a quartet for the string portion of “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” The song, itself, went on to be certified five-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA.)