Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time
More than a quarter century after it was released in 1994, Weezer’s first eponymous album…also known as “The Blue Album” thanks to the stark cover image…remains one of the defining releases of that decade. Its songs still sound fresh due to a seemingly endless supply of hooks and Ric Ocasek’s clean production. I previously wrote about it in the second Great Out Of The Gate post, which you can read below. In addition to the seven songs I highlighted, the other three are also keepers, with special mention going to epic 8-minute album closer “Only In Dreams.”
For more information on this series, please read the opening paragraph of the first post, which featured the debut album from Led Zeppelin.
From GREAT OUT OF THE GATE Part 2:
I didn’t immediately respond to Weezer’s music when “Undone – The Sweater Song” became their first hit. I wasn’t really into “alternative” music at the time so I probably didn’t pay much attention to them. It was the second single, “Buddy Holly,” with its Happy Days-inspired video, which first caught my eyes & ears. It was likely the combination of great melodies and their sense of humor that won me over. I bought Weezer (aka “The Blue Album) and absolutely loved it. “My Name Is Jonas,” “Say It Ain’t So” and “Surf Wax America” are catchy songs with crunchy guitars, and the melancholy undertones within “The World Has Turned And Left Me Here” and “In The Garage” pack a much-needed emotional punch. They became massively successful so quickly that there continues to be backlash against their later albums, although many of them are very good (with follow-up Pinkerton belatedly receiving much-deserved praise), but a debut this strong was always going to be hard to beat. Rivers Cuomo wrote all of these memorable songs that have stood the test of time, and Cars frontman Ric Ocasek did a great job producing them to a high gloss shine.
This was a massively successful album, selling several million copies in the US alone, so most of you are probably familiar with it, or at least the well-known singles it spawned. How has the record held up for you after all these years? I’ve never grown tired of it and would still consider it in my Top 2 Weezer releases (along with its follow-up). If somehow this is your first exposure to them, please let me know your thoughts on the songs I featured above. Thanks.