Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Good Charlotte : The Pop-Punk Band


The East Coast post-grunge/pop-punk quartet Good Charlotte is just barely distinctive from the likes of corporate alternative rockers blink-182 and Third Eye Blind, but the fresh faces comprising this quintet from Waldorf, MD, first started off in 1996, practically shy of strumming a chord. Vocalist Joel Madden and his identical twin brother, guitarist Benji, who never sang or played an instrument in their lives, were instantly inspired to form a band after seeing the Beastie Boys on their 1995 Ill Communication tour. They soon formed Good Charlotte with high school chums Paul Thomas (bass) and Aaron Escolopio (drums); Billy Martin (guitar) was added later. They all had a passion for the energetic elements spawned from '70s punk rock, but they were also sentimental enough for the killer ballads found in mainstream corporate rock.
Quickly, Good Charlotte made a name for itself in and around the D.C. area, playing the WHFS annual rock show HFSFestival in 1998 and 1999. A year later, the band issued its spunky self-titled debut on Epic, and the song "Little Things" made minor waves. The Madden brothers scored a gig as MTV VJs and soon were all over the network's late-night rock show All Things Rock. This promotion helped the band's profile greatly, and they spent time behind the scenes writing songs for their sophomore album. Escolopio left the group to join Wakefield prior to recording, so Josh Freese filled in behind the drum kit; Chris Wilson would later replace him permanently. By the fall of 2002, Good Charlotte was ready to release The Young and the Hopeless and their fans were ready. Singles "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" and "Anthem" catapulted the band into the mainstream in 2003 and eventually drove the album into triple-platinum sales; shared dates with New Found Glory for the third annual Honda Civic Tour were equally successful.
In 2004, Good Charlotte returned with The Chronicles of Life and Death, which hit number three on the Billboard charts, but failed to sell as well as the band's previous album. Wilson exited the band in mid-2005, citing health reasons, and later went on to join the Summer Obsession. Dean Butterworth (who had previously drummed for Morrissey, among others) joined up in time for sessions for the crew's fourth album, which were held in Vancouver and away from the Madden-loving paparazzi (especially Joel and his then-girlfriend Hilary Duff). The much more varied Good Morning Revival appeared in late March 2007, spearheaded by the single "The River," which featured M. Shadows and Synyster Gates of Avenged Sevenfold. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, All Music Guide
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