Retro Roundup – Weezer Blue Album
Hey all! Welcome back to my second actual article here with Retro Roundup. This week I’m going back to May 10 of 1994. That’s quite a specific date, yeah? Well, it has to be because on this day one of my favorite albums of all time (and one of the top rock albums of the 90s) came out on this date.
Now, many people don’t see Weezer as a rock band … that is if they are even familiar with Weezer. Why? Well, they have more of a throwback sound to the 50s when rock ‘n roll was in its infant stages. Now, before I get into why I love this album, let me introduce you guys to the members that make up Weezer as well as a little backstory on Weezer.
And before I do that, let me warn you that by no means am I qualified to make any sort of musical judgment other than my own personal preference. So, I contacted a good friend of mine (his name is Toby) that has grown up around music and is a musician himself. Fun fact about Toby, he wrote, performed and produced my theme song that I use as a heel in my wrestling career.
Weezer started in 1992, merely two years before they got their big break with the Blue Album, which was released under the Geffen Record label. Check out their Wiki page (Geffen, because I want you to continue reading) to check out their extensive list of musical acts under their label. Quite impressive! Now, Weezer appearance is quite nerdy and their music is quirky but that’s their appeal. As I said earlier, these guys play a seemingly simplistic style but it’s loud, it’s rockin’ and it’s hands down some of the best rock music to come out of the 90s. They’re a group of guys that came together for their love of music and complimented eachother’s style incredibly well. Anyhow, here we go, a little something about each member:
First, we have the drummer of Weezer. He goes by the name Patrick Wilson. Patrick was a founding member with lead singer Rivers Cuomo and are the only two founding members remaining with the band to this day. Pat shares songwriting credits with Rivers on most songs. He has a very laid back drumming style that could be interpreted as simplistic, but the dude can play. The snare drum fill coming out of the bridge in “Say it Ain’t So” is incredibly precise and difficult. He is also responsible for most of the keyboard arrangements you hear on later Weezer albums (though that doesn’t pertain to Blue) and is proficient at guitar as well, as he played guitar for their 2009 tour so Rivers would be free to only sing.
Secondly, the front man of Weezer and the most recognizable to the public eye. Rivers Cuomo is the founder and lead singer for Weezer. Known for his boyish look and thick black glasses, Rivers has captivated audiences for two decades with his out there personality and musical talent. Not only does Rivers front a fantastic band and have a knack for musical genius, but he graduated Cum Laude from Harvard University in 2006.
Third up, Matt Sharp. Matt Sharp was only the bass player for two albums with Weezer, Blue Album and Pinkerton. He left after two years after Pinkerton was released, therefore I can’t really (nor could my friend) give much of a good introduction on him. There have been legal issues between Sharp and Weezer due to supposed royalties owed but I’m not too up to date on all that jazz, nor do I want to be. LEAVE MY MEMORIES ALONE, MONEY HUNGRY BASTARDS!! Though, he does have a band by the name of The Rentals who I’m told sound a lot like Weezer but I haven’t heard any of their stuff as well as some solo work. Maybe I’ll check into them some time.
And finally, Brian Bell joined up in 1993 during the recording of replacing Jason Cropper, who’s departure has never been discussed. Since then he has remained with Weezer. Brian does back-up vocals, lead guitar as well as rhythm guitar. Brian is a multi-talented instrumentalist and picks up the odd instruments for live performances (harmonica and keyboard namely). As I mentioned, the band members are quite quirky and nerdy … well, Brian is the least nerdy of the group, and is pretty renowned for his fashion sense. Weezer fans often refer to Brian as the Sass Master. Above that, his guitar is responsible for the super heavy distortion you hear throughout Blue that has become a recognizable trait of the band, Most predominantly on “In the Garage” and “Buddy Holly”.
Now that’s out of the way, onto the album…
|Entertainment Weekly||B 1994|
|Entertainment Weekly||A+ 2014|
|Rolling Stone||(positive) 1995|
This album holds near and dear to me because back when in my more youthful days, I vividly remember my oldest brother introducing me to Weezer via their first single “Undone – The Sweater Song” while I was playing WWF Smackdown! on Playstation. From then on, I was hooked. The internet was in its infant stages so YouTube wasn’t a thing and Napster was just starting to change the music landscape forever so all I had was the chorus of that song stuck in my head but I knew I wanted more of Weezer. As I bodyslammed, pedigreed and Stone Cold Stunnered the computer into oblivion, all I could hear in my head was “If you want to destroy my sweater, pull this thread as I walk away”. I had no idea what the meaning behind the lyrics were, nor did I care. It was just fun to sing, more like yell, non-stop until I got to hear it again.
As time went on and I got older, I always knew Weezer was good but I didn’t know how good until I got older and really started appreciating music. I had a poster of their Green Album cover (take the Blue Album cover, add a few years and a green background and bam, you’ve got it) in my room for the longest time, I had listened to more of their music and was head-over-heels for these quirky dudes and their jammin’ music.
The Blue Album had a number of highly recognizable hits and reached incredible heights topping out at #16 on the Billboard 200 for the year of 1994. As of August 2009, the album had sold over 3,300,000 copies in the United States. It’s certified triple-platinum in the US and double-platinum in Canada. And for a group of goofy looking dweebs, that’s pretty damn good! Rolling Stones Magazine ranked it number 297 on thei
r Greatest 500 Albums of All Time list. It’s not quite halfway but dammit, it’s close and well deserved.
The album consisted of 10 songs, a handful I’m sure you’ve heard. If not, they’re easily accessible on YouTube. However, whenever asked about what song I recommend to anyone that wants to get into Weezer, I simply just answer with two words “Blue Album”. Now to avoid any sort of potential legal issues, I’m not going to link the album or embed it but I’ll provide the track list and let you guys search the internet for yourselves and hopefully you enjoy these dudes and their music as much as I did!
Thanks for reading and I’ve already got the next two editions of Retro Roundup worked out but you’ll just have to wait for when I feel the time is right for them to be posted!
Until next time, get a bag of 3D Doritos and enjoy some rockin’ music!
|1.||“My Name Is Jonas”||3:24|
|2.||“No One Else”||3:04|
|3.||“The World Has Turned and Left Me Here”||4:19|
|5.||“Undone – The Sweater Song”||5:05|
|6.||“Surf Wax America”||3:06|
|7.||“Say It Ain’t So”||4:18|
|8.||“In the Garage”||3:55|
|10.||“Only in Dreams”|