Rolling Stone Readers ranked it No. 5 on the list of Best Singles of 1994.
The song was written by frontman Billie Joe Armstrong about his struggle with anxiety; before he was diagnosed with a panic disorder, he thought he was going crazy. Billie Joe once commented that "The only way I knew how to deal with it was to write a song about it."
The song is based on Pachelbel's Canon. The introductory verse features only Armstrong and his guitar. During the middle of the first chorus the rest of the band joins in, with Tré Cool adding fast tom fills and explosive transitions and Mike Dirnt adding a bass line that is reminiscent of the vocal melody.
"Basket Case" was released after successful singles, "Longview" and "Welcome to Paradise." "Basket Case" later became an even bigger hit, spending five weeks at the top of the Modern Rock Tracks chart; five times longer than "Longview".