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Good Charlotte – Good Charlotte

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from chorus.fm for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Flash back to the year 2000, and a group of awkward young 20-ish-year-olds were looking for their own voice in a crowded punk field. What made Good Charlotte so charming was their ability to speak to the misfit youth of America by connecting directly to the underdogs of the world. They made this clear on their first radio single, “Little Things” with the spoken introduction of, “This song is dedicated / To every kid who ever got picked last in gym class / To every kid who never had a date to no school dance.” The band made it clear that they were making this type of music for the outcasts of the world, and they had the musical chops to back up what they wanted to accomplish. It never came across as a “gimmick” or an act, and their authenticity is what led to a lot of their future success.

    Being a Marylander myself, hearing about this new pop-punk band called Good Charlotte was nearly unavoidable. From the success the band found early on from our local radio stations such as HFS and DC101, to their grassroots approach of winning over new fans one by one through key tours with similar bands such as New Found Glory and MxPx, Good Charlotte seemed poised for finding success at some point in their career. As great as their debut record is, it didn’t garner as much attention as their label (Epic Records) had initially expected or had hoped for, and the band came extremely close to being released from their recording contract. Can you imagine not allowing this band to record their most successful record to date in The Young and The Hopeless? It would have been a pop-punk tragedy of the grandest proportions, as their sophomore record would go on to sell over 5 million records worldwide. Their self-titled record left the blueprint of where they would take their sound next.

    Much like the material found on the album opener, Good Charlotte were comfortable singing about what was near and dear to them. The second track, “Waldorfworldwide” is one of many love letters of sorts, that they wrote about their hometown in a small city of Southern Maryland. The band always had lofty expectations for themselves in their music and possible foresight as they sung on the bridge, “We’ll be self-made millionaires / These lives we’ll lead without a care, oh yeah / And we’ll see what we’ll be.” By being care-free and writing honest songs about their upbringing and lives, it was fairly easy for others to connect with what they were singing about. This continues on other songs such as “East Coast Anthem” and “Festival Song” that were directly written about their experiences growing up on the east coast. On the latter track, they recorded the music video for that song at the HFStival (sponsored by the DC-based HFS radio station) and the band was really gaining momentum by taking their own unique brand of pop-punk to bigger and bigger crowds.

    The second single released from this record, “Motivation Proclamation” started to make minor waves of video airplay on MTV2 and allowed for the band to get paired up MxPx as an opening act on their tour. While on tour with the punk veterans, their self-titled record began to sell steadily in more markets, and allowed for Epic Records to reconsider their position on retaining Good Charlotte. Other songs on the first half of the record included the biographical track about Benji and Joel Madden’s dad called, “Complicated.” It was here that the Madden brothers began to dive more into their own story about what made them who they are today.

    One of my favorite tracks from the record is an underrated song called, “Seasons.” Joel Madden begins the song by cautiously singing about what the changing of seasons triggers in his own head, and the song feels different than most of the other material found on their debut. The pace picks up dramatically on the one-two punch of the bouncy “Don’t Wanna Stop,” and another ode to the days of growing up while blocking out the outside noise in “I Heard You.” Listening back to these songs as well as “Walk By” really brought up vivid memories of the first time I saw Good Charlotte live. I went to an album release party at a Tower Records in Rockville, Maryland with my younger brother, and the band played passionately to the packed crowd as Joel Madden swayed from the magazine racks in the periodical section of the store. It made for a really cool moment to hear these songs come to life with the Maryland crowd backing their every word.

    Other songs on the latter half of the LP included some slow-burners such as “Screamer” and their bonus track “Thank You Mom,” made for a tender moment to close out their debut album. When someone looks to a quintessential Good Charlotte record, most fans will name their most successful record, The Young and the Hopeless as their trademark record. However, their self-titled will be the album I most closely associate with this band since it brings back so many great memories, and still contains the same hopeful charm that it delivered to me 20 years ago. 2000 was a great year for pop-punk records, and this debut from Good Charlotte still belongs strongly in that conversation.

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    summertimejesus likes this.
  2. pbueddi

    Trusted

    Thanks for doing this write up. There isn't necessarily a huge GC community on this site, so it's nice to see some content related to them. Not my favorite album of theirs, but a good first album nonetheless.
     
    Jason Tate and paythetab like this.
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  4. thisisacting__

    Newbie

    Good Charlotte always seemed like the ultimate gimmick band to me. I'd put them in the same basket as Simple Plan. Felt so try-hard, if that makes sense. I never really gave them a chance for that reason. I guess it's never too late?
     
    palebluedot and Pepetito like this.
  5. tyler_pifer

    Newbie

    Simple Plan is much easier to listen to. Never liked Good Charlotte.
     
  6. gfunk

    Newbie

    Absolutely not having this from the previous two posters. Good Charlotte absolutely had their time and place and this album is hook after hook. Say what you want now but on their debut they were one of the more earnest out there...
     
    Raku, Jfletch, fredwordsmith and 6 others like this.
  7. AMC

    Regular

    I loved 2 or 3 of their albums. Including this one. Just great hooks all around.
     
    paythetab likes this.
  8. brandon

    brandonmarshall.net Prestigious

    Love this album, it holds up so well, I was just listening to it in full on a car trip last week. Motivation Proclamation is a banger
     
  9. AshlandATeam

    Trusted

    I have absolutely no interest in revisiting GC for any reason. But when I was 16 and filled with angst and confusion about the world and life and high school? This record spoke to me and resonated with me on a deep, emotional level.

    Not every band has to be part of your life forever. It’s okay for music to speak to you for a time and a place and that be all.
     
    SuNDaYSTaR likes this.
  10. pbueddi

    Trusted

    The young and the hopeless is one of the best pop punk albums of all time imo.
     
    AMC likes this.
  11. theredline

    Regular Supporter

    Exactly. It’s ok to grow and move on.
     
  12. Punkrocker

    Newbie

    This album was a staple for me back in the day and I still really enjoy it. I think this band is underrated imo. Cardiology is insanely catchy and Youth Authority was pretty good too.
     
    AMC and pbueddi like this.
  13. pbueddi

    Trusted

    Totally agree. However, for whatever reason, I have always stuck with them. My music tastes have changed a tad over the years, but I still enjoy all those bands I discovered in middle/high school a lot.
     
    AMC likes this.
  14. theredline

    Regular Supporter

    Oh I do too. There’s a bunch of stuff that has stuck with me. But not GC and many other bands from back then!
     
  15. fredwordsmith

    Regular Supporter

    This, along with Young and the Hopeless, are both cornerstone records for the pop punk scene and fantastic records in their own right. Whatever you think of the band, these guys were HUGE. Near FOB-level huge. Cover of Rolling Stone and platinum record sales huge. Bigger than NFG, Yellowcard or most of the other bands on this scene that still get appropriate worship.

    They were the gateway for a lot of younger users on this site to find punk sounds, and that can't be discounted.
     
    pbueddi, AshlandATeam and paythetab like this.
  16. paythetab

    Chorus.FM Album Reviewer (Adam Grundy) Supporter

    Good points! Young and the Hopeless sold over 3.5 million copies in the US alone. Very few bands in the pop-punk scene came even close to that type of success.
     
    pbueddi likes this.
  17. AMC

    Regular

    Very interesting. I'd like to see the top 10 selling pop punk albums of that era. FOB, Blink, Green Day and GC gotta be up there..
     
    paythetab likes this.
  18. paythetab

    Chorus.FM Album Reviewer (Adam Grundy) Supporter

    Yeah, I can probably pull that data up from Wikipedia and other sources. Wikipedia tends to have their gold/platinum observances updated fairly regularly. If I can construe some good insight and solid numbers, it may be worthy of a blog post for this site. Now to find that trusty pop-punk calculator... B-)
     
    AMC likes this.
  19. fredwordsmith

    Regular Supporter

    Gotta be these from the last 15-20 years who have *maybe* gone platinum:

    Green Day: American Idiot/21CB
    FOB: FUCT/Infinity on High
    GC: Young and Hopeless
    Blink: Untitled, MAYBE Neighborhoods, California
    PATD - Fever
    All American Rejects - Move Along
    Paramore - Riot!
    Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue
    NFG - Sticks and Stones
    MCR - Black Parade
    JEW - Bleed American
    Simple Plan - Still Not Getting Any (I believe this is almost 10x platinum in Canada)
    Sum 41 - All Killer, No Filler (may also get the Canada bump)

    Other than those and other artists who get thrown into "pop punk" terms who are more pop (Avril Lavigne, etc.), this has to be the list.
     
    paythetab likes this.
  20. AMC

    Regular

    I don't think platinum in Canada is the same as platinum in the US. I'm srill sure that simple plan album did well overall though..
     
  21. Longnights

    Newbie

    They were super successful but it was corny then and still is now...
     
  22. AMC

    Regular

    I partly agree with some of their releases. Not all though.
     
  23. paythetab

    Chorus.FM Album Reviewer (Adam Grundy) Supporter

    Wow, after some major research and number crunching there was actually 91 albums in our scene (emo/punk/etc.) that were released from the 90's, 00's and 10's that achieved Gold Status (500,000 US copies sold) or more. 50 of those 91 albums went platinum (1,000,000 US copies sold) or more. This should make for a pretty interesting article once I pull it all together. Stay tuned...
     
    AMC likes this.
  24. pbueddi

    Trusted

    Catalyst by New Found Glory went gold too.
     
  25. paythetab

    Chorus.FM Album Reviewer (Adam Grundy) Supporter

    pbueddi likes this.