Rockers Green Day have blasted U.S. supermarket chain Wal-Mart after retail bosses refused to carry an uncensored version of their chart-topping new album.
The band's 21st Century Breakdown skyrocketed to the top of the U.S. album charts this week (begs18May09), after selling 215,000 copies in the three days following its Friday (15May09) release.
But bosses at the discount retail chain refused to stock the album until the group agreed to edit their tracks for language and content.
Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong says, "Wal-Mart's become the biggest retail outlet in the country, but they won't carry our record because they wanted us to censor it. There's nothing dirty about our record. They want artists to censor their records in order to be carried in there. We just said no. We've never done it before. You feel like you're in 1953 or something.
"I mean, what does that say to a young kid who's trying to speak his mind, making a record for the first time? It's like a game that you have to play."
Bassist Mike Dirnt adds: "As the biggest record store in the America, they should probably have an obligation to sell people the correct art."
But Wal-Mart executives are standing by their long-standing policy not to stock any album with a parental advisory sticker.
A spokesperson for the company says: "As with all music, it is up to the artist or label to decide if they want to market different variations of an album to sell, including a version that would remove a PA rating. The label and artist in this case have decided not to do so, so we unfortunately cannot offer the CD."