Cigarettes and Valentines was supposed to be the studio album from Green Day following 2002's Shenanigans. The album was nearly finished when the master tracks were stolen from the studio. Instead of re-recording the album, the band decided to start from scratch, leading to the creation of American Idiot.
Billie Joe Armstrong said the album's material was "good stuff" that sounded like a mix between Nimrod and Warning. However, he called the theft a "blessing in disguise" believing the album wasn't "maximum Green Day". The band's producer, Rob Cavallo, told the band he thought the album was mediocre at best. A lot of fans say Rob Covallo stole them so they wouldn't fail.
Bass player Mike Dirnt admitted that backups of the tapes were made but claims that "it just wasn't the same as the originals." In the same interview, he stated that he is certain that the masters will eventually be leaked by whoever stole them, and that his only hope was that "they give it a decent front cover."
The album was rumored to have been secretly released as Money Money 2020 by The Network, a band that is Green Day's side project in disguise. Billie Joe has gone on record saying that Money Money 2020 is not Cigarettes and Valentines, and denied any relation to the band.
All the fans that heard about it being stolen thought they would never hear it, but on August 28th 2010, while they were playing, Billie Joe said, "Hey, I just wanna tell you something right now, were recording a live fucking album right now." "We're gonna play a brand new song! It ain't that brand new - this song is called Cigarettes and Valentines... Let's go!" They then proceded to play Cigarettes and Valentines to the crowd, and Olivia. Cigarettes and Valentines will be on Green Day's upcoming live album, Awesome As F**k which releases on March 22nd, 2011. The version of Cigarettes and Valentines is from the show that Green Day performed in Pheonix, Arizona and Green Day has subsequently released to videos showcasing the song on their youtube channel, greenday. One video has the audio from the Pheonix show, but random pictures from their show in the Saitama Super Arena in Jpan, which is the show on the DVD to Awesome As F**k. The second video is a live performance of when they first played the song. . It is still unconfirmed if Cigarettes and Valentines will have a recorded version of the song.