Why do they gotta front?
What did we ever do to these guys
That made them so violent?
(Woo-hoo) But you know I'm yours
(Woo-hoo) And I know you're mine
(Woo-hoo) And that's for all time
Weezer (retrospectively known as The Blue Album to separate it from the band's other self-titled releases) is the debut studio album by Weezer, released in 1994 through DGC Records in North America and Geffen Records internationally.
It generated massive critical acclaim upon release thanks to its softer, more radio-friendly sound in the midst of the Alternative Rock and Grunge movements of The '90s, and would prove to be an inspiration for countless softer Emo and Pop Punk bands in the years to come. With over 15 million copies sold worldwide by 2009, including at least 3.3 million sales in the United States, it still stands as Weezer's highest-selling album.
Produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars, The Blue Album captured a sense of irony characteristic of younger bands, while the band's nerdy persona garnered a cult following from audiences outside the core Post-Punk movement. The album's Power Pop and Arena Rock melodies helped elevate Rivers Cuomo's charming but angst-filled lyrics, which made the subject matter accessible to a mainstream audience.
The album's singles — "Buddy Holly", "Undone (The Sweater Song)", and "Say It Ain't So" — were very well-received on the radio; the music videos for the former two songs were directed by Spike Jonze, whose creativity contributed to extensive airplay on MTV. Weezer's clean-cut image spurred their success, though it eventually proved to be a thorn in the band's side as their lyrical concerns began to mature and their style began to progress.
Rivers Cuomo would later dismiss the videos as "gimmicky", and his disillusionment with the rock lifestyle resulted in the band's original plans for their second album, a Rock Opera titled Songs from the Black Hole, to be scrapped and eventually replaced by their Darker and Edgier 1996 follow-up Pinkerton.
- "My Name Is Jonas" (3:23)
- "No One Else" (3:14)
- "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here" (4:26)
- "Buddy Holly" (2:40)
- "Undone – The Sweater Song" (5:05)
- "Surf Wax America" (3:04)
- "Say It Ain't So" (4:18)
- "In the Garage" (3:56)
- "Holiday" (3:26)
- "Only in Dreams" (8:03)
The deluxe version of the album featured, apart from live versions and remixes, the following tracks:
- "Mykel and Carli" (2:53)
- "Susanne" (2:47)
- "My Evaline" (0:44)
- "Jamie" (4:19)
- "Paperface" (3:01)
- "Lullaby for Wayne" (3:36)
- "I Swear It's True" (2:57)
- Rivers Cuomo – lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica
- Brian Bell – guitar, backing vocals
- Matt Sharp – bass, backing vocals
- Patrick Wilson – drums, percussion, backing vocals
My love is a trope taker:
- Alcoholic Parent: The premise of "Say It Ain't So" is a subversion of this. Rivers thought his parents split up because his dad was an alcoholic, though this wasn't actually the case.
- The Alleged Car: The car in "My Name is Jonas":Tell me what to do
Now the tank is dry
Now this wheel is flat
And you know what else
- Ascended Fangirl: "Mikel and Carli" describe two young girls who started the Weezer fan club during the band's earliest days.
- Asian Buck Teeth: Not quite buck teeth, but the Asian girl whom Rivers defends in "Buddy Holly" is described as having racial characteristics.Your tongue is twisted, your eyes are slit
You need a guardian
- Big Rock Ending: The vocal for "Only in Dreams" ends at the 4:16 mark, and the rest of the song features a dramatic, slow-burning buildup to a loud climax, before ending cold with the Epic Bass Riff finally resolving itself.
- Break-Up Song: "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here". It alludes to the fact that the boy in the song was not very nice to his ex, though he's an Unreliable Narrator.
- Clothing Damage: "Undone", obviously.If you want to destroy my sweater
Pull this thread as I walk away
- Concept Video: "Buddy Holly" is done In the Style of a Happy Days episode, complete with a commercial break halfway through and Al Molinaro reprising his role as Al Delvecchio.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: The narrator of "No One Else" doesn't want his girl hanging out with any other guy but him. Even though it sounds rather sexist and harsh, it represents the beginning of Cuomo's maturation as a songwriter, as he would later expand upon this in Pinkerton.
- Forbidden Friendship: "Buddy Holly" was inspired by Rivers's high school friendship with an Asian girl, which they were both bullied over.
- Garage Band: "In the Garage", obviously, though it's more about how the band wants to stay true to its roots and fans despite their fame.
- Geek Reference Pool: The motor mouthed lyrics during the bridge of "Buddy Holly", "What's a matter you" specifically, is an obscure reference to The Rocky And Bullwinkle Show, which featured the fake university "Wossamotta U" in the show.
- Hulk Speak: "Undone – The Sweater Song" (arguably a Played for Drama example)Oh no
- In the Style of: "Say it Ain't So" takes obvious musical inspiration from "Under the Bridge".
- Last Note Nightmare: "Undone (The Sweater Song)" has a particularly menacing one, sounding almost like something out of a horror movie.
- Location Song: "Surf Wax America" and "Undone" generally reference the beach party culture of SoCal.
- Longest Song Goes Last: The album closes with "Only In Dreams" (8:03).
- Lyrical Cold Open: "Buddy Holly" jumps right in:What's with these homies dissin' my girl?
Why do they gotta front?
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Surf Wax America" is an energetic surf rock song about a guy who blows off work to go surfing, only to get pulled into an undertow and drown.
- Minimalistic Cover Art: The band's picture on the cover reflects this. It has become so iconic that the band reprised it for Green, Red, and also White, to an extent.
- Mood Dissonance: "Say It Ain't So" is about alcoholism – and the lyrics reflect this, along with a sad guitar riff – but it's so catchy that the song got famous for its charming attitude toward depression. The music video, thus, features the band simply hanging out at their old house.
- Nocturnal Emission: Done through music at the end of "Only in Dreams". The elevated crescendo is supposed to represent an orgasm, though most listeners don't know this.
- One-Woman Song: "My Evaline" and "Jamie" are both about girls whom Rivers dated, but the former seems to be done In the Style of an old rock hit.
- Record Producer: They asked to self-produce the album, but naturally DGC wouldn't allow this for a debut album. Then they contacted Ric Ocasek, who they admired not only for his work in The Cars, but also his production for bands like Bad Brains. Ocasek loved the demos they sent him and readily agreed to produce.
- Sequel Song: According to Hari Kondabolu, a comedian and huge Weezer fan, the song "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here", describes the same character as its previous song, "No One Else", atoning for his jealousness. The character in "No One Else" as mentioned above is a jealous guy; in the next, his girlfriend has broken up with him for being so possessive.
- Shout-Out: Buddy Holly and Mary Tyler Moore, obviously, in the fourth track. Also the string of Dungeons & Dragons, comic book and KISS references in "In the Garage", and the "on the road with Kerouac" part in "Holiday".
- The Something Song: "Undone (The Sweater Song)" is named for two words in the chorus, which appear separately.
- Spoken Word in Music:
- The conversations in "Undone", both with an unnamed protagonist who feels bored about catching up with his friends.
- Different versions of the song use different spoken parts in those sections. One early demo just had Rivers and Matt muttering various Non Sequitur quotes. The final demo version had them filled with sound bite snippets from various sources, like "You are part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor" and "This is what you call a failure face". The conversations on the album version were a backup plan after DGC refused to pay the money to license those samples.
- Step Up to the Mic:
- Matt Sharp, who had never sung a verse before joining Weezer, learned to sing an octave higher than Rivers in songs like "Buddy Holly" and "Undone".
- Sharp is also the "Hey brah! How we doin'?" guy in the "Undone" intro, with band friends Karl Koch as the depressed guy, and Mykel Allan as the girl asking for a ride to the party after the show.
- Subdued Section: "Surf Wax America" and "Holiday" both have quieter, slower bridges, with elaborate, counterpoint-heavy vocal harmonies, before loudly reverting back to the main theme.
- Surf Rock: "Surf Wax America" is a tip of the hat to this genre.
- Three Chords and the Truth: "Paperface" was recorded in the band's kitchen, which explains its rather primitive sound. It was an early session that later got included as a B-Side.
- Unusual Euphemism:
I just make love to your sweet memory
- In "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here":
One thousand times a night
- "Wrestle with Jimmy" in "Say It Ain't So" is sometimes taken this way as well, but Rivers says it really is a reference to roughhousing with his brother Jimmy (aka Leaves). The same song has a non-sexual example in an American band using the very British term "telly" to refer to a television set.
- Working-Class Hero: The titular character in "My Name Is Jonas", who convinces the workers to strike to oppose unfair regulations.