In today's world, we need this cover more than ever.
I had completely forgotten about this song until the other day, when it randomly came on the radio and I had to stop what I was doing to just listen to it. Then I decided that Green Day's cover of John Lennon's 'Working Class Hero' had to be my next Awesome Covers track.
Green Day's 'Working Class Hero' first appeared on Instant Karma, an album to raise funds for Amnesty International to help in the Darfur Crisis that was happening in Sudan at the time. The whole record was John Lennon songs that were covered by a variety of different artists, but the only cover that really gained a lot of fanfare and still has meaning today has to be 'Working Class Hero'.
John Lennon's original was just him on an acoustic guitar while singing, Green Day took it a step further, while still retaining the initial ideals and message, but this time for a new generation.
Green Day's version starts with just Billie Joe, clearly in honour of John, before Mike and Tré join in, upping the timing and adding the band's own touch of flair to the song, which makes it a little more Rocky. Green Day didn't change a single lyric, and how could you? When you have a John Lennon classic, you don't fuck around with it. But Billie does those words total justice with the emotion that he adds, I still get a shiver down my spine as he sings.
But the best touch the Punk Rockers added in my opinion, was to include the end of the original track, just as the song winds down, it transitions over to John and his guitar from 1970, and it's just wonderful.
Sometimes a cover doesn't need to be wildly different to succeed, just look at 'Working Class Hero', Green Day left their mark by making it a group effort as opposed to just a solo one, everything else was untouched and they came out with a massive winner.
Green Day's 'Working Class Hero' will live on as one of the greatest covers of all time.