I stumbled upon an article about some new release, “The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo” or some shit, and it got me thinking nostalgic about this band.
Weezer's self-titled debut, commonly referred to as The Blue Album because of the blue background on the cover, was released May 10, 1994. The album was produced by former Cars frontman Ric Ocasek and recorded at Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios in the Village.
The record was fucking impeccable.
It was power-pop-rock at its best. The guitars were thick, the harmonies were lush and the recording was talented. The songs were unbelievably smart and irresistibly catchy and they kept coming. It defined, the retarded phrase, all killer, no filler. It was sublime and clever, like some good dark humour.
That first Weezer record was The Beach Boys, The Ramones, The Pixies and The Smoking Popes all in one and it was absolutely perfect.
And if that wasn't enough Spike Jonze directed those brilliant videos that had everyone in a tizzy. The band was a phenom destined for greatness. They'd managed to tap into every genre and everyone type of person. Everyone was drinking the Rivers Cuomo Kool-Aid.
And then, well, they shit the bed and it hasn't been the same since.
Somewhere along the way, someone told Rivers Cuomo that he needed to rein it in. To the world's dismay, he listened, and made three records of faceless, predictable approximations of what the public supposedly wanted his band to be. It was stagnant and dumb. It had suddenly become a cheap version of itself.
We've all heard the fable about after the complete failure of the angst and emotional extremes of Pinkerton in the music world, Rivers Cuomo felt as if his goal to be a rock star was completely obliterated. So he locked himself in his room for a year, with no outside contact, and when he came out, his work suddenly had no emotional content.
But, I mean, “Hash Pipe” ? C'mon now! What the fuck was that garbage!? It sounded like a B-side from The Offspring. They followed that smash hit with another timeless classic called “Dope Nose” and later, “Keep Fishin'” where they even had poor Marcos Siega try to recreate the success of that Spike Jonze/Happy Days video and had Weezer rocking out with The Muppets.
I think that was when they'd officially left the auditorium. “Beverly Hills” was the next single and it was huge but at that point they were preaching to an entirely different choir. In early 2006, it was announced that “Beverly Hills” was the second most popular song downloaded from iTunes for 2005, finishing just behind “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani.
1994 - self-titled "Blue Album"
1996 - Pinkerton
2001 - self-titled "Green Album"
2002 - Maladroit
2005 - Make Believe
2008 - Weezer's sixth studio album coming soon...
Anyway, so I guess what that article was trying to say was that this new “The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo” collection is more Weezer than Weezer circa now. It includes songs from Cuomo's original concept for Weezer's second album, the space-themed rock opera, Songs from the Black Hole, which was completely douched for Pinkerton.
I guess it's sort of like an alternate route; an alternate what if? reality; what might have been another road to space, a path not taken; the direction not chosen.
What if Weezer had released Songs from the Black Hole instead of Pinkerton in 1996. What if Spider-Man had joined the Fantastic Four? What if War Machine Had Not Destroyed the Living Laser?