By: Annie Scaramuzzino
When Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong entered rehab in September following a very public breakdown at the iHeart Radio Music Festival, many were glad to see him seeking treatment for his substance abuse problem.
And while Armstrong’s decision was definitely a good thing for his health and well-being, it seems as though it may have had a negative effect on Green Day’s album sales this year.
The group announced back in the spring that they would be releasing a very ambitious album trilogy entitled Uno! Dos! Tre! over a five month period as the follow-up project to 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown.
Uno! was released in September and saw the best numbers out of all three LPs, selling 139,000 copies in its first week and approximately 256,000 overall, according to Soundscan. But, as Billboard reports, those numbers are still a far cry from 21st Century Breakdown, which sold 215,000 copies in its first week alone.
Dos! saw about 69,000 units sold when it was released in the first week of November, and Tre!, whose release date was moved from January to December, made its debut at #13 on the Billboard Top 200 and sold only 58,000 in its first week.
For the powerhouse punk rock trio, it is rare that any of their records would sell less than 100,000 copies during its debut week. But, with the band having to cancel all of their promotional appearances and concert dates following Billie Joe’s rehab entrance, none of their 2012 albums really received the media coverage Warner Bros Records had planned for them.
Despite all of those factors, though, Billboard also attributes the overall failure of the trilogy to a more simple idea: three full length albums could have been a bit overwhelming for even the most diehard Green Day fans.
On a similar note, the music from Uno!, Dos!, Tre! greatly differed from the politically charged American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown; a style that today’s fans have grown used to from the band. While many have complained over the years about Green Day “selling out” from their raw days in the early 90s, their attempt to revert back to that doesn’t mesh as well with the group’s image now that they’ve entered their 40s.
Still, Green Day did have a few shining moments in 2012. Their debut single from Uno!, “Oh Love!”, hit #1 on Billboard’s Rock Songs chart, and several other of their singles, such as "Kill the DJ." and "Let Yourself Go," received significant air play.
Also, the group appeared on the soundtrack for the blockbuster “Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2”, with their Tre! ballad, “The Forgotten,” which was released as the album’s lead single.
So, Green Day may have fallen a little flat with their attempt at releasing more than 70 new songs in under a year’s time. Still, if there’s anything we know about Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool, it’s that reinvention is their specialty, and 2013 could be their comeback year.
For more on this story, head to Billboard.com.