Bootleg Stuff: Green Day Teenage Rampage CD

The year was... well, I can't remember, but my grandparents took me to some marketplace in some boring place and I found an interesting CD by Green Day titled Teenage Rampage. I parted with my five pounds (I think that is how much it cost) and bought it straight away, thinking it was pretty awesome. I never actually got around to listening to it, until yesterday. The CD is basically just a 23 track collection of recordings from some of Green Day's live performances during the early nineties. I hear online that this CD may be official while other sources disagree, and I am pretty sure it isn't official, as it was apparently released on 'Blue Moon Records', while even hardly-known Green Day live albums like Bowling Bowling Bowling Parking Parking and Foot In Mouth were still released on Green Day's label Reprise records. In fact, when I bought it, I though that it was one of these obscure official live albums, but it is actually just a bootleg. So what is a bootleg? Well bootlegging in general refers to something counterfeit and not official, for example most of the toys Ashens reviews. But in music terms, it is an audio recording of a performance that was not officially released by the artist, or under other legal authority. I remember when I was a big part of the blink-182 online community a while back (I used to own a now defunct website called easytarget182 which had a thriving bootleg section) a lot of people used to trade bootlegs they owned with other people over the interwebs adding particular ones to their collections. However, some people (bootleggers) are a little crafty and stroke their chins while thinking 'hmm, some person might want to hear these' and so they get a bunch of these live recordings and press them onto CDs (not many usually, Teenage Rampage was probably limited to 10,000 pressings at the most) and sell them for a profit (probably because Green Day get absolutely none of the money for the sales of these bootlegs), sometimes the bootleggers are nice, and even add a bit of sound engineering to the recordings to make us listeners enjoy them a little bit more, how kind of them. There are way too many bootleg CDs of Green Day shows and they usually have stupid names, like 'A Nice Green Day', 'Noize Boyz' and 'Eating My Bugers'. I think the one I own got let off nicely when it came to names. 

So are these live bootleg CDs bad? The answer is yes and no. Some of them were rather useful to get hold of back in the day before the internet allowed us to download anything we want, as they featured live versions of your favourite songs which functioned as a decent substitute if you couldn't afford to go to a show. However, as I mentioned before, the original artist gets no money from the sales of these CDs and some of the recordings can be pretty bad quality audio.

Teenage Rampage is one of those bad quality audio ones. Well, most of it anyway. Tracks 2 up to 19, and track 23 are all recordings from shows that were not featured on the TV or Radio and sound a lot like someone simply recording the band perform live while standing in the middle of a mosh pit or something. These ones have sucky quality and sound way too tinny to be enjoyed properly, have a listen to the video below to hear what I'm on about. However the 'legit' recordings are fine, as these were official recordings featured on live TV broadcasts of the David Letterman Show, the 1994 Woodstock Festival and the MTV Music Video Awards, so they have high quality by default.

The tracks featured on the album are just a handful of songs (some of them are doubles of the same song, just recorded from a different show) from the first three albums, 39/Smooth, Kerplunk and Dookie, as well as a cover (Operation Ivy's song Knowledge). The most interesting recording on the album is a song titled Locked Inside Myself, recorded in 1994 which is actually the song Armatage Shanks (one of my all-time favourites by Green Day), which was featured on the album Insomniac, released a year later. The bootleggers probably had no idea what the fuck the song was called as it technically hadn't been released when this bootleg was released, so they just called it whatever they could think of at the time. They were probably watching that movie about The Doors and liked that quote that Ray Manzarek said.

So in conclusion, bootleg CDs are kind of interesting. They have kind of evolved since the early days and I'd even go as far as to say that they have become a bit more 'illegal' over time. The live bootlegs used to be sort of a polite favour to the band as it made their fans happy who couldn't hear such recordings any other way other than going to a show, but nowadays with all the many unreleased songs leaking onto the internet, bootleggers release albums filled with songs that aren't live, but unfinished and unreleased studio recordings. This means your average gullible punter is paying for something they could have easily downloaded from the internet anyway (if they are naughty) or bought on iTunes in a much higher audio quality. In my honest opinion, these sort of bootlegs are nothing more than daylight robbery. Believe it or not, I have found these CDs for sale on Amazon and even in my local HMV. The other day I found a bootleg Nicki Minaj CD (titled 'Barbie's Back', featuring some pretty lazy artwork) as well as a bootleg Lil Wayne CD (this one looked much more professional, and was titled 'Official White Label') which are pictured below (not my pictures though). I wonder how the bootleggers managed to get these illegal CDs into these big music chains without the big labels finding out? It baffles me.

Alt:Mag © Kaizo Minds Collective 2023 | Layout designed by Rumah Dijual and Lewis Cox.