Music · My Favourite Band

My Favourite Band: Weezer

Weezer in 2014 (image: vanyaland.com)
Weezer in 2014 (image: vanyaland.com)

I honestly can’t remember when I first listened to Weezer. I don’t have that lightbulb moment stored away when I realised I loved them. They are just there.

It must have been in my mid to late teens, which is when I actually started to really care about music and find some bands I loved. I knew who they were, and my sister might have had ‘The Blue Album’ or something. Anyway, for maybe nine years they have been one of my favourite bands, and for a lot of the time I didn’t even realise it. I used to think Muse were my favourite band because they were one of the earliest bands I really loved, but then I realised that not only did I buy every single one of Weezer’s albums, I always found something I liked, even if the album itself was so-so (hello ‘Raditude’). It was also a big deal that my liking of them has stayed pretty constant over time – unlike Muse, where my opinion of them changes with every album (at the moment they are not in my good books).

Weezer wouldn’t be Weezer without Rivers Cuomo, and I’m happy to say I fulfil the cliche of idolising the lead singer. He used to have a reputation as being extremely demanding (like insisting on his own tour bus), and their old bassist allegedly left the band because of Rivers’ behaviouor. Now he’s much more mellow, and has a wife and children, and there are several references in more recent work to his realising his past behaviour might have been a bit off-putting. He’s a troubled genius, alright?! I never cared about any of that though because he makes the band’s music so great. If you really love Weezer it’s worth checking out Rivers’ demo albums, which are called ‘Alone’ volumes 1, 2 and 3. They contain early versions of songs that became Weezer hits, such as ‘Buddy Holly’, and a lot of random other stuff he recorded alone. Not all of it is great, but if you’re a fan there’s a lot of gold in there too.

Weezer have been one of the very few bands (maybe the only band?) that I have liked consistently for so long, and though they’ve done some not-great stuff, there’s always something to like and I’ve never ‘gone off’ them. For instance, their two most recent singles, ‘Thank God for Girls’ and ‘Do You Wanna Get High’ aren’t quite up to the quality of their last album ‘Everything Will Be Alright in the End’ (which is AMAZING), but that doesn’t mean I’ll give up on them. At their core they are just awkward and nerdy and passionate and weird and clever and brilliant.

Also, sidebar, I’ve never seen them live as they don’t tour that often, and come to the UK even less. I honestly don’t know what I’d do with myself if I ever got to see them live. I might die.

My recommendations:

Their first album, one of several self-titled albums that are named after the colour on the cover, this is referred to as ‘The Blue Album’. It’s the best place to start and has some of their best classic songs. ‘The Green Album’ is probably the most pop-y and accessible. Latest album ‘Everything Will Be Alright in the End’ is the best thing they’ve done in years and I think ties with ‘Blue’ and ‘Maladroit’ for my favourite Weezer album.

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2 thoughts on “My Favourite Band: Weezer

  1. Yes! I absolutely love Weezer, and I have so many thoughts on this that I might have to do it across several different comments 😀

    I’m actually a relatively recent convert to Weezer. In the grand scheme of their 21-year career (isn’t that insane?!) I’m extremely recent. I started listening to them in the summer and I’ve been basically obsessed ever since. Which is funny, because I for-no-reason hated them when I was a teenager (I’m now 31).

    I’ve concocted the best mixed-tape of my entire life with my own Weezer’s Greatest Hits album (I’ll post it if you’re curious). I listen to it on loop almost every day. It’s great. They’re great. You’re great! I’m so excited to read about how awesome Weezer is without shitting on them.

    Because for some reason it’s become kind of “uncool” to like Weezer (see here: https://twitter.com/RiversCuomo/status/681573227970203648). And even when people do like Weezer, they shit on 80% of what Rivers has wrote over the past 15 years. They’re possibly the most fickle fan-base I know. Until Everything Will Be Alright In The End came out, I thought they’d never be satisfied ever again (makes sense though, that album is outstanding).

    Rivers has such a great mix of rock and pop influences and instincts. Few bands blend it together as expertly as he does. He’s also one of the most interesting people in the industry. You mentioned some issues with him in the past, but it really does seem like he’s more misunderstood than a true grump. Especially since 2003, when he went hardcore into meditation and hasn’t looked back. I don’t know if you listen to the WTF Podcast with Marc Maron, but he did a really great interview with him. It’s almost 2 hours, and it’s all on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwJAuguJ7eo

    As for my favorite Weezer album? Somewhat unconventionally (I think?), it’s the Red Album. In terms of straight up pop(rock) songs, Troublemaker is probably my favourite of theirs. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived is probably my favourite song they’ve ever written. Heart Songs has such a cool sentiment (although people seem to hate it). Angel and the One is FANTASTIC. And even Ms. Sweeney, a b-side, is so, so, so good.

    Anyway, I’ll stop. I could talk about Weezer all day. Thanks for writing about them. That’s all I needed to say 🙂

    Like

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