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Weezer

From Academic Kids

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MakeBelieve.jpg
The album cover of Make Believe

Weezer is an American rock and roll band. Their genre of music is related to alternative rock. Formed on February 14, 1992, they have released five full length albums, an EP, a DVD, and a two-disc set, deluxe remastered edition of their debut album with the addition of b-sides and imports. Their latest album, entitled Make Believe, was released on May 10, 2005.

Some consider Weezer to be one of, if not the most influential American rock bands in the past 10 years, due to both their ability to write great music and create infamous music videos.

Contents

History

The band formed on February 14, 1992 in Los Angeles, California with original members Rivers Cuomo (pronounced KWOH-mo), Patrick Wilson, Matt Sharp, and Jason Cropper. Five weeks later they had their first gig, opening for Dogstar (featuring Keanu Reeves) at Raji's Bar and Ribshack on Hollywood Boulevard. Weezer began playing clubs to small audiences around L.A. and recording home-demos. Soon the band began to receive attention from various A&R reps, and were signed on June 25, 1993 by Todd Sullivan, an A&R rep from Geffen Records. The band were signed onto the DGC label (which later became Interscope).

The Blue Album

The band began recording their debut album in late August 1993 at the Electric Lady Studios in New York City. Ric Ocasek, former singer/songwriter for The Cars, was chosen as producer. After the recording of the album, guitarist Jason Cropper was fired from the band by Cuomo. Cropper was replaced by guitarist Brian Bell, a former member of the band Carnival Art. Cropper's guitar parts were rerecorded by Cuomo, and Bell replaced Cropper's vocals. The recording of the album finished in early October 1993, and the band headed back to L.A.

On May 10, 1994, Weezer released their self-titled album, which became known as The Blue Album (see 1994 in music). The Blue Album included the hit singles "Buddy Holly," "Undone (The Sweater Song)," and "Say It Ain't So." The video of "Buddy Holly" was included on the CD-ROM of Windows 95.

In late December 1994, Weezer took a break from touring for the Christmas holidays. Rivers Cuomo traveled back east to his home state of Connecticut, and using an eight-track recorder, he began piecing together demo material for Weezer's next album. Cuomo's original concept for Weezer's sophmore effort was to be a space-themed rock opera, Songs from the Black Hole. The album would feature songs that flowed together seamlessly, and end with a special coda that briefly revisited the major musical elements of the piece. The band began demoing and working on Cuomo's concept through intermittent recording sessions in the spring and summer of 1995. Ultimately, the Songs from the Black Hole album concept was dropped, but many of the songs from the sessions were used on their second album.

Many consider this album to be Weezer's best album.

Pinkerton

Weezer's sophomore effort, Pinkerton, was released on September 24, 1996 The album received generally positive reviews by critics (see 1996 in music), but sales of the album were low compared to their debut. The title of the album was inspired by a character in the opera Madame Butterfly written by one of Cuomo's favorite operatic composers, Giacomo Puccini. Cuomo wrote songs like "The Good Life" and "El Scorcho", which feature personal reflections on the change from anonymous student to rock star, during his time at Harvard. From an industry perspective, the album was not originally seen as a critical or financial success. Over the years, the album grew in popularity and is now considered an alternative rock masterpiece by many critics. In 1996 Rolling Stone magazine gave the album only 2.5 stars and Pinkerton received the second most reader votes for the Worst Album of the Year. Rolling Stone updated its view in 2004 and inducted Pinkerton into its Album Hall of Fame, giving a brand new five-star review rating.

On Hiatus

Weezer completed their touring for Pinkerton in the summer of 1997. The members of the band took a break, with drummer Patrick Wilson returning to his home in Portland, Oregon to work on his side project, The Special Goodness, Matt Sharp left to complete the follow-up album for his group The Rentals, and Brian Bell went to work on his group, Space Twins.

Rivers Cuomo returned to Boston, but dropped out of Harvard to focus on songwriting. He formed a solo group, The Rivers Cuomo Band. Cuomo used the group to try out songs intended for the next Weezer album. The band played their first show at T.T. the Bear's on October 8, 1997. Future Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh was part of the solo band's line-up. The Boston songs were later abandoned and not used on the next Weezer album, but live recordings of the Boston shows are openly traded on the internet. In February of 1998, Rivers left Boston and Harvard academia behind and returned to Los Angeles.

Pat Wilson and Brian Bell joined Cuomo in L.A. to start work on the next album. Matt Sharp did not rejoin the band and officially left the group in April of 1998. The group decided on Mikey Welsh as Sharp's replacement. Weezer continued rehearsal and cut demos until the fall of 1998. Frustration and creative disagreements led to a decline in rehearsals, and in late fall of 1998, drummer Pat Wilson left for his home in Portland pending renewed productivity from Cuomo.

The band would not reunite until April of 2000, when the Fuji Fesitval in Japan offered Weezer a high-paying gig to play in August, 2000. The festival served as a catalyst for Weezer's productivity, and from April to May, 2000, the band rehearsed and demoed new songs in Los Angeles. The band returned to live shows in June, 2000, but without the Weezer name. Instead the shows featured the group's first use of the pseudonym Goat Punishment.

On June 23, 2000, the band, now back under the Weezer name, joined the Warped Tour for eight planned dates. Weezer were well-received at the festival, leading them to book more tour dates for the summer.

SS2K - The Summer Sessions

In the summer of 2000, Weezer (Rivers Cuomo, Mikey Welsh, Pat Wilson, and Brian Bell) was back on the road after a hiatus starting in 1998. Weezer had played many new songs (14 total). Sadly, 13 of them that appeared on the setlists were scrapped for what became The Green Album instead.

The fans collectively labeled these songs the Summer Songs of 2000 (or the more popularly abbreviated, SS2k). They are all fan-favorites and two of the songs 'Hash Pipe' and 'Slob' were recorded properly for studio albums, (with Hash Pipe appearing on the 'Green Album' and Slob appearing on 'Maladroit')

A collection of these is located on the referenced site below available for free downloads.

The Comeback

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BeverlyHillsSingle.jpg
Beverly Hills Single
Eventually, the band went back into the studio to produce a third album. Weezer (2001) was self-titled again to signify a sort of rebirth for Weezer. This album quickly became known as The Green Album. Shortly after the release of The Green Album, Weezer went on another American tour, attracting many new fans along the way. A fourth album, Maladroit, was released in 2002 (see 2002 in music) with Scott Shriner replacing Mikey Welsh on the bass, and served as a harder-edged version of their trademark catchy pop-influenced music. Although critics and fans generally liked the album overall, its sales were not as strong as those for The Green Album. As soon as Maladroit had wrapped up, the band immediately began work on their fifth album, recording numerous demos between tours for Maladroit (often recording as much as 24 songs in a day). These songs were eventually scrapped and Weezer took a well-earned break after their one-two punch of The Green Album and Maladroit.

Make Believe

From December 2003 to the summer and early fall of 2004, the members of Weezer recorded a large amount of material intended for a new album to be released in the spring of 2005 with producer Rick Rubin. That album, entitled Make Believe, was released on May 10, 2005 to strong reviews and sales.

The album saw a change of writing style from Weezer's previous albums. Rivers Cuomo — having previously written many songs about his failures in life due to his shyness — decided to avoid that kind of song in the new album, conceding that only the second track "Perfect Situation" fits into the old Weezer writing style. The album has attracted many new fans to the band with the single "Beverly Hills".

General Info

Weezer have also played several shows under the pseudonym Goat Punishment. Their first shows under the pseudonym featured the new Weezer lineup (now featuring Mikey Welsh) playing covers of songs by Nirvana and Oasis. Later the name Goat Punishment was used while the members of Weezer recorded a show for the HBO concert series, Reverb.

Weezer are also renowned for their music videos. While "Undone (The Sweater Song)" was big on MTV, it was the Spike Jonze-directed "Buddy Holly" video, which used footage from various episodes of Happy Days, that made them pop icons. The video is akin to other defining videos of the 90s such as Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight, Tonight," because all three of these videos helped the artists reach an audience not often reached by alternative rock bands. However, Weezer's Pinkerton videos didn't obtain as much airtime compared to the videos on their major label debut album. The music video for "Hash Pipe" (from the The Green Album) featured sumo wrestlers. They then recorded two videos for "Island in the Sun," the first focusing on a Mexican wedding, and the second involving Weezer with animals in a wildlife reserve. Their video for "Photograph" had heavy rotation on Much Music USA (now Fuse). Maladroit's "Dope Nose" featured people riding motorcyles, and was put into regular rotation. The following music video for "Keep Fishin'" combined Weezer with The Muppets, and had heavy rotation on MTV.

In March of 2004, Weezer released their first DVD. Entitled "Video Capture Device", the DVD contains all of their current music videos, live concerts, and homemade movies. The DVD hit hard on the DVD compilation charts and was declared "Gold" on November 8, 2004.

As of July 2002, Weezer had sold more than 5,000,000 copies of their albums.

Members

The band currently consists of the following members:

Former members:

Discography

Albums

EPs

Singles

Other Songs

  • Jamie appears on the compilation album DGC Rarities, Vol. 1.
  • Susanne is a song by Weezer for the Mallrats movie soundtrack.
  • You Gave Your Love to Me Softly is a song by Weezer for the Angus (1995 film) soundtrack.
  • An extensive library of rare Weezer recordings can be found at WeezerNation.com (http://weezernation.com) in the Media section.
  • There is also another Weezer music library located at Weezer Sweden (http://weezer.se/_mp3)

Related Bands

External links

Fan Sites

References

John D. Luerseen: Rivers' Edge: The Weezer Story (2004), ISBN 1550226193 An unofficial history of all things Weezer up to the year 2004.

Weezer Summer Songs of 2000 - http://www.weezerss2k.com/index.htmlde:Weezer es:Weezer fr:Weezer it:Weezer nl:Weezer no:Weezer pt:Weezer fi:Weezer sv:Weezer

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