Good Charlotte

  • Alternative punk rock band formed in 1995 from Waldorf Maryland. Bandmembers are Joel Madden (vocals, songwriting), Benji Madden (guitars, vocals, songwriting), Paul Thomas (bass guitar), and Billy Martin (guitars, keyboards). The original drummer was Aaron Escolopio, and the current drummer is Dean Butterworth.
  • The Maddens are twin brothers. They, along with Thomas and Escolopio, were high school classmates. After the Madden brothers saw a performance by The Beastie Boys, they started a band, calling themselves Good Charlotte, from the children’s book Good Charlotte: Girls of the Good Day Orphanage, by Carol Beach York. They were influenced by punk rock bands from the 80s, and their songs had a punk fury but with enough of a pop sound to appeal to mainstream rock fans. By the time they graduated from high school, they were playing small bars in the Washington D.C. area, as well as the annual rock festival hosted by radio station WHFS.
  • They self released 4 EPs between 1996 and 2000. One of the EPs had a song called Little Things that was getting airtime on the radio, and eventually they were signed to a recording deal in 2000.
  • Their debut album, the self titled Good Charlotte, was released in 2000. Little Things managed to chart on the Alternative Songs chart, but overall the album sales were disappointing. The album did make Rolling Stones’ list in 2017 of the 50 greatest pop-punk albums.
  • Their breakthrough came with their second album, The Young and the Hopeless, released in 2002. It included the hit single Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, which reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #6 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. The album was certified 3x platinum in sales. The video for Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous received the Viewers Choice Award at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2003. This album also made the Rolling Stone list of the greatest pop-punk albums, at #19.
  • Good Charlotte’s next album was The Chronicles of Life and Death, released in 2004. It was their highest charting album, peaking at #3 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The only single to chart was I Just Wanna Live, which peaked at #51 on the Hot 100 and at #18 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart.
  • Two more albums were released – Good Morning Revival and Cardiology – before the band went on hiatus in 2011. Songs that charted on the Hot 100 were The River and Dance Floor Anthem. In 2014, the Madden Brothers released an album as a side project from Good Charlotte. By 2015, Good Charlotte was back together, and the single Makeshift Love was released, followed by their most recent album, Youth Authority, released in 2016. They are close to releasing Generation Rx – it’s due for release in September 2018. Their first single from the album is a dark song called Actual Pain, inspired by the opioid addiction crisis.
  • Good Charlotte has a huge following in Australia. Five of their albums have landed in the top 10 there, with 2 of them topping the Australia album chart. They caught my ear when I learned of their origins in Maryland – I grew up 10 miles from their hometown of Waldorf. Here’s the video to Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous – pop-punk at its best! Punk with harmonies! Super fun video here!

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