Weezer is an Alternative Rock/Power Pop/Emo band formed in Los Angeles in 1992, with its current lineup consisting of Rivers Cuomo (lead vocals, guitar), Brian Bell (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Scott Shriner (bass), and Patrick Wilson (drums, occasional guitar). Its past members were Jason Cropper (guitar, 1992-1994), Matt Sharp (bass, backing vocals, 1992-1998) and Mikey Welsh (bass, backing vocals, 1998-2001)Discography:
This one features entirely new recordings of rare or unreleased songs and not those songs' original versions, ergo its much less of a "compilation" and more of an actual studio album.
Interestingly, despite several airplay hits such as "Buddy Holly" and "Island in the Sun", their only Billboard hit is "Beverly Hills" at no. 10.They suffer from a really badly Broken Base. While all of their fans can agree that The Blue Album and Pinkerton are really good, some fans will argue that Make Believe and The Red Album were their best works while '90s purists consider them either average or horrible. The Green Album and Maladroit tend to be spared from these debates and instead disappear into obscurity. The point where many people agree on is that their "mainstream" albums are Love It or Hate It, but B-sides tend to be interesting.
Audience Participation Song: "El Scorcho" ("why you wanna go and do me like that/come down to the street and DANCE with me!") "The Greatest Man that Ever Lived" (during the sections directly after each tempo change).
Buffy Speak: One of Rivers' trademarks is occasionally breaking into this during his lyrics. It's especially evident on their first two albums - the later ones somewhat hid that aspect beneath Word Salad Lyrics.
Creator Backlash: Due to the initial poor reception, the band all but threw Pinkerton into Canon Discontinuity for years, until it seemed that Rivers Cuomo was the only person left who disliked the album. He mellowed out lately, even playing Pinkerton in its entirety.
Credits Gag: Pinkerton includes the credit "Karl Koch - Karl Koch" (a friend of the band who runs their website, among other things). The EPs The Lion And The Witch and Winter Weezerland both credit Rupert Peasley as a producer: "Rupert Peasley" was the Fan Nickname for the man depicted on the cover of Maladroit.
Darker and Edgier: Pinkerton was much darker thematically and rougher musically than its predecessor: the self-titled debut. The initial backlash was so great that the following Green Album marked a decided turn towards Lighter and Softer the band hasn't really returned from.
Easter Egg: The Green Album booklet folds out to a poster of the band onstage - hidden among the crowd are the silhouettes of Mike Nelson, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot. The same album also has the word "No" hidden under the tray, which has caused speculation among fans about what it's supposed to mean - theories range from a reply to the text hidden under OK Computer's tray (which ends with the question "would you like to come home with me") to a message to fans that the album would not be another Pinkerton. The band have not confirmed any of these theories, and the only comment came from webmaster Karl Koch, who simply said "No means no".
Executive Meddling: "Beverly Hills" started as a fairly straight and optimistic song about how the singer genuinely wishes he could join that society but got mutated into something much more bitter and sarcastic-sounding.
The band wanted to produce Blue themselves, but Geffen pushed them to get an outside producer, so they settled for Ric Ocasek. When Green came around the label also said no since their self-produced Pinkerton had tanked commercially and critically, so they once again brought in Ocasek.
The band initially wanted to use a collage of sampled dialogue for "Undone - The Sweater Song" playing on the theme of contrasting extremely optimistic and extremely depressed dialogue. Geffen nixed the idea at the last minute since they weren't eager to go through a long sample clearance process, and as a replacement Matt and the band's friends Karl Koch and Mykel Allan recorded the now-famous spoken-word dialogue. Geffen's rejection came after the sessions for the album were finished, so the dialogue was recorded in Los Angeles and had to be flown to New York to be added in during mixing.
Flanderization: The chief criticism directed at Weezer's albums after Pinkerton (especially Green, Maladroit and Make Believe) is that Rivers Cuomo "dumbed down" his songwriting to a Strictly Formula process after the more ambitious Pinkerton completely tanked. This three-partessay elaborates on that theory.
Guest Star Party Member: The band's archivist Karl Koch has several appareances on albums, such as being responsible for the piano destruction at the end of "Undone - The Sweater Song" and playing percussion on "Butterfly". According to Koch, the latter's because "Butterfly" was the last song recorded in a crunch at around 3 AM, when the only people left in the studio were Rivers, him, and engineer Dave Fridmann.
I Am the Band: Rivers has always had a dictatorial streak as a frontman (Matt Sharp left the band due to this), but it reached an apex around 2001-2002 when he took complete control of the band. Rivers himself admitted he turned into a Small Name, Big Ego around this point thanks to his obsession with "conquering the world" with his music. It seems he's let up a bit lately, considering the other members' contributions to The Red Album and the co-writes on Raditude and Hurley.
Long Runner Line Up: The band hasn't changed since 2001 (though only Rivers and Patrick Wilson are founding members)
Mondegreen: One of the more widespread ones came from "Hash Pipe"'s chorus, where the lines "I've got my eyes wide" and "You got your Big G's" were misheard as "I've got my ass wipe" and "You got your big cheese".
Scott Shriner apparently had one for "Surf Wax America" when he was still a new addition to the band: The version from the live EPThe Lion And The Witch has him singing the bridge backing vocals as "We will write a postcard to our friends and family and freebase" (instead of "...in free verse"), and ends with Rivers correcting him.
One of Us: The guys of Weezer are geeks. Rivers Cuomo is actually a Sailor Moon fan, as evidenced by two of his guitars.
Rivers is also a big soccer fan and wrote "Represent" as an unofficial anthem for the U.S. national team for the 2010 World Cup. He also wrote "My Day Is Coming" (released on Alone II) for the 2006 World Cup, initially intending it to be a triumphant song but some bad results caused the song to become downbeat instead.
The Pete Best: Jason Cropper, who left/was kicked out of the band (depends on who you ask) during the Blue Album sessions because his girlfriend became pregnant, forcing Rivers to record all the guitars. He only earned one writing credit, for creating the acoustic intro of "My Name Is Jonas".
Plagiarism: Rivers admitted that the verse melody of "Undone - The Sweater Song" accidentally ripped off Metallica's "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)".
Precision F-Strike: "Can't Stop Partying", said by Lil Wayne. Rivers himself uses "goddamn" in "Undone - The Sweater Song" (I am/goddamn), "Across the Sea" (Goddamn, this business is really lame), "El Scorcho" (Goddamn you half-Japanese girls/Do it to me every time) and "Falling for You" (Holy sweet goddamn, you left your cello in the basement), the latter also including "hell". The effect is similar since Rivers himself pointed out that he usually avoids swearing:
Weezer came up at a time when Jane's Addiction released Nothing's Shocking — everyone was trying to be controversial. We looked back to rock & roll's pre-drug days — to the clean images of the The Beach Boys — that felt, ironically, rebellious.
Pretty Fly For A White Guy: Rivers Cuomo, at least occasionally. Weirdly, he seems to have been incredibly conscious of this trope and refused to make any of Weezer's songs 'funky' because he thought he'd be accused of it, white people attempting to be "funky" with bad results being a Running Gag between him and Matt Sharp. He apparently didn't realize that his lyrics sometimes went into this territory, but he did relent on three occasions: for the song "Hot Tub", the Reggae riff that underpins the verses of "Say It Ain't So", and covering Ice Cube's "The Bomb" (a home demo that was released on the first Alone compilation).
Rockers Smash Guitars: The inner booklet of The Blue Album shows a photo of the band's garage, and the headstock of a guitar Rivers had previously smashed to pieces.
And of course Hurley for Lost, the cover of the album being a picture of actor Jorge Garcia.
"Devotion" has the line "I'm no six foot hot look all American man", a shout out to the somewhat obscure Kiss song "All American Man" (in which Paul Stanley says he is "a six foot hot look all American man").
Slayer is also mentioned at the beginning of "(If You're Wondering if I Want You To) I Want You To", albeit just as a shirt logo.
The Blue Album B-side "Susanne" originally included a shout-out to Kurt Cobain*
Rivers is a big Nirvana fan, to the point that during Weezer's hiatus, the band played a secret show of Nirvana covers in 1998 under the name "Goat Punishment"; Nevermind also gets referenced in "Heart Songs", and the band would open the encore of the Troublemaker tour by playing a cover of "Sliver" as a trio
, and his rival Axl Rose. The lyrics were revised after his suicide to replace Cobain's name with Rose's bandmates Izzy and Slash, but whenever the band plays "Susanne" live they use the original lyric instead.
The photo of the band's garage in the booklet of The Blue Album shows a poster of British Steel on the wall.
Studio Chatter: If you listen to the multitracks for "El Scorcho," you can hear the rest of the band cracking up in the background. Also, the famous "el scorcho... rrrrocknroll!" at the beginning of the song seems to have been part of a conversation the band was having about Taco Bell sauce that just got left in the mix.
There is also the dialogue in-between verses of "Undone (The Sweater Song)".
Vocal Tag Team: During the Blue and Pinkerton era, it was Rivers on lead and Brian and Matt doing backing vocals (Matt's were usually falsetto), and some song parts spotlight them more than Rivers (the breakdowns of "Surf Wax America" and "Holiday").
What Could Have Been: Pinkerton was very nearly a concept album called Songs from the Black Hole, which was a space rock opera about a horny captain's exploits on board a ship bound to save a distant, dying planet. While Pinkerton is hailed as a classic now, it's hard not to at least wonder what Songs would have been like. Fans have compiled demos to something resembling a complete album and some of those demos appear on Rivers Coumo's two official Alone demo compilations. They're floating about the internet if you care to look.
Word Salad Lyrics: Weezer lyrics are generally pretty straightforward, but then there's "Dope Nose", which Rivers Cuomo admits has "no meaning whatsoever".
Most of The Green Album and Maladroit qualify as this - they're occasionally criticised for stubbornly refusing to make any sense.
Some of Maladroit's outtakes, which the band posted on their official site while still working on the album, got particularly strange lyrically - For instance, from "Big Chip" (also known as "Don't Pick On Me"): "'cause I don't believe in a burn like that \ I pick up my donuts for free".