The Blue Album

I didn’t know my cousins from Cleveland all that well, so it was startling to see the two of them out in the street in front of my other cousins’ house, climbing up each other’s backs, shouting with loopy abandon, “If you want to destroy my sweater/ Hold this thread as I walk away!/ Watch me unravel, I’ll soon be naked!/ Lying on the floor, I’ve come undone!” It was summer 1994, around the time of my eleventh birthday. I hadn’t yet crossed the threshold from sheltered church kid to faithful MTV viewer, but that world held immeasurable allure for me. I was entranced by the idea of rock ’n’ roll without actually having experienced much of it yet. I don’t think I even knew who the recently deceased Kurt Cobain was at that point; that came the following school year when kids in my fifth-grade class started wearing T-shirts with Cobain’s face plastered across the front. I was the kind of child who stayed inside to invent my own X-Men while other kids were out playing basketball — so uncool that I could only imagine what cool might be. In other words, I had a lot in common with Rivers Cuomo.

Weezer’s first self-titled album — henceforth referred to rightly and properly as the Blue Album — hit stores 20 years ago tomorrow, and people are still climbing up each other’s backs singing along to this day. The album was a hit from the beginning, but a few years later, in that dark period after Pinkerton when it seemed like the band might never come back, it became a religion. Weezer worship runs especially deep among suburban kids like the members of Real Estate, who got their start playing the Blue Album straight through at high school parties. As a fellow suburban native, I know two separate groups of high school friends who have assembled well into their twenties to bash the album out in full. One of the two bands has made a regular thing out of it. The Blue Album just inspires that level of devotion — a sacred text that people feel compelled to revisit it in its entirety. They pump their fists and drunkenly howl “The workers are going home!” and pour their hearts into every subsequent lyric and air guitar break until all they can do during “Only In Dreams” is gently sway with arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders. For a vast cross-section of dorks, bros, basics, and aspiring manic pixie dream girls, it is their blue heaven.

In keeping with the geeky identity that has always defined them, Weezer was out of step with popular rock trends when they landed on MTV and modern rock radio. Grunge was peaking and punk was breaking, which meant the default posture involved a dour disposition or at least heavy doses of snark. In that environment, Weezer’s major keys and doe-eyed story-songs stood out. Nobody else was hearkening back to Happy Days. Throughout Blue, Cuomo still comes off as the starry-eyed Connecticut kid who moved to L.A. after high school in search of rock stardom. He would get around to fixating on heartbreak one album later on 1996′s Pinkerton, a harrowing breakup opus that did as much as Sunny Day Real Estate’s Diary (incidentally, released on the same day as the Blue Album) to shape the face of emo. But much of Blue’s appeal was its romantic outlook on life, so much so that when they released Pinkerton two years later many fans didn’t know what to make of it.

Most people prefer music that makes them feel good, which is why the Blue Album (and, unfortunately, latter-day dreck like “Beverly Hills”) struck a mainstream chord the way Pinkerton never could. Aside from the devastating “The World Has Turned And Left Me Here” and the stirring dysfunction junction “Say It Ain’t So,” the first Weezer album comprises not sob stories but optimistic fantasies. It is a dweeb’s idea of what cool sounds like — rocking out like Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, riding a surfboard to work, sweeping a lovely lady away to a strange and distant land, monopolizing that lady’s attention — imagined from the safety of the garage, the scariness of the outside world given only passing acknowledgement. More than any other figure in his generation, Cuomo helped popularize the concept of the cool geek, the idea that rock stars didn’t have to dabble in satanism and shag groupies like Jimmy Page but could obsess over Dungeons & Dragons and unattainable crushes instead. Even before he donned those iconic glasses (note their absence on the album cover), he was Clark Kent.

Epic closer “Only In Dreams,” with its hyper-specific imagery about toenails, makes the album’s headspace explicit, but there’s never any doubt we’re visiting a paralyzingly awkward introvert’s imaginary world. Even “The World Has Turned And Left Me Here,” a gorgeous stomach punch of relatable heartbreak, is Cuomo’s jerkoff fantasy about making love to his ex and hearing what a wonderful lover he is. Therein lies the Blue Album’s pathetic dark side: All the critiques lobbed at “Undone”/”Buddy Holly” video director Spike Jonze’s Her this past year — the ones about how gross it is that the average heterosexual male fantasizes about finding a woman/women who will afford him unquestioning praise and control — could just as easily be applied to this music. Occasionally, they have been; Sady Doyle expertly outlined Weezer’s arrested-development creeper component in her epic Awl essay “Rivers Cuomo Messes You Up Forever.” A relevant excerpt:

…at some point you realize that “In the Garage” actually prefigured every awful Apatovian man-child film you have ever hated the sauce out of, and at some point you remember that “No One Else” exists, and you listen to the lyrics to that one for the first time in over a decade, and oh my God it is AWFUL. It is worse than ANYTHING on “Pinkerton.” I want a girl who will laugh for no one else, when I’m away she puts her makeup on the shelf, when I’m away she never leaves the house: I mean, that’s not some deep hidden misogyny you uncovered because you’re so paranoid/clever. Those are just the words. It’s like a musical installment of Twilight. If a friend were dating a dude who talked like this, you’d start leaving checklists of Signs That You Are In An Abusive Relationship all over her apartment. Which is where you would have to be, because that would be the only way you could see her, because when he was away she would never! Leave! The house!!!

The crippling possessiveness of “No One Else” can be read as tongue-in-cheek, of course — Cuomo’s knowing commentary on his own neuroses — or it can be taken as a humanizing factor, or just one of those complex moral areas listeners have to figure out how to deal with. Whatever is going on in that song, people will always come back to it along with the rest of Blue because the whole thing is an absolute triumph of pop songcraft. Some critics pegged Weezer as a Pavement ripoff thanks to their mutual mastery of melody and shared fondness for laying the power chords on thick. That’s a reasonable comparison, particularly since “Undone — The Sweater Song,” the Blue Album’s apparently absurdist lead single, could pass for a surf-waxed Slanted And Enchanted outtake. (Just think what might have become of “Cut Your Hair” had Jonze gotten his hands on it!) But Cuomo became a much bigger star than Stephen Malkmus partially because he taking his cues from much bigger rock stars than Malkmus. Cars frontman Ric Ocasek famously produced the Blue Album, and his power pop expertise proved to be just what Weezer needed. The band practiced harmonizing by rehearsing barbershop quartet music, and the resulting pinpoint interplay between Cuomo and bassist Matt Sharp evoked Brian Wilson’s masterful suites even when they weren’t singing about surfing or exotic locales.

Most crucially, even if Cuomo hadn’t paid direct tribute to KISS on “In The Garage,” the riffs on this record would have done the job. Weezer hadn’t started playing flying-V’s yet, but they were already churning out Hall Of Fame guitar parts prodigiously. “Say It Ain’t So” is the one endorsed by the Guitar Hero franchise, its canny chord progression and righteous squall destined to be forever tapped out on fake plastic instruments by pimply Cuomo types worldwide. The concisely ripping solo on the “Buddy Holly” bridge was no joke, nor were the groovy arpeggios of “Surf Wax America.” From the acoustic finger-plucking that opens “My Name Is Jonas” to the “Free Bird” heroics of “Only In Dreams,” these guys wrote riffs that would keep middle schoolers hacking away in basements for all eternity.

Weezer has spent the ensuing 20 years trying to recreate this majesty. On Pinkerton, their failure to do so yielded something arguably even more thrilling. On every album after that, their failure mostly just felt like failure. (Maladroit had some jams, though.) We can argue that Sharp took the mojo with him when he departed to focus on the Rentals full-time, or that after the initial Pinkerton backlash Cuomo’s songwriting became too cloyingly self-aware, or that this sort of permanent adolescence doesn’t look so good on grown men, or that no aging rock stars can recapture the magic of when they actually were just a bunch of geeks in a garage. But why argue at all when we can shout along and play air guitar and climb up each other’s backs?

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Comments (83)
  1. It’s a brilliant album for the first nine tracks. And then Only in Dreams elevates it to an even higher level.

    For the record, I think Green and Maladroit are good albums.

  2. jey9  |   Posted on May 9th +13

    I believe Rivers has said “No One Else” is about himself, and purposefully disgusting/misogynistic because sometimes his insecurity led him to think that way. And “The World Has Turned” is the followup, with the same asshole complaining that he’s now alone.

    Anyways, one of the top 5 developmental albums for me. Thanks for this.

  3. I was 10 when this album came out. At the time I was a burgeoning “Agressive Inline” skater and spending a lot of time at the newly opened warehouse skatepark in town called (because of course it was) The Zone. I would take breaks and go outside and hang out with the older kids while they smoked cigarettes and took hauls off bottles of Boone’s Farm and played tapes on one of these…

    I remember distinctly when I first heard “Surf Wax America” and “In the Garage” thinking some version of “wow, these guys are just singing about stuff they’re doing, like normal stuff, but it sounds so AWESOME!” I finally got the album myself and the first time I heard “Only in Dreams” I decided it was my favorite song ever. “Only in Dreams” remains my favorite song ever. Those feedback lines are like dancing partners, one dips the other and they split and come back together and swerve and drop out to harmonize and then *BAP-BAPBAP-BAPBAP*… glory.

    Years later my then band would play a 4 night residency at our friend Adam’s house while his parents were away. The even was dubbed Tinklefest and there were theme nights the last couple. The final night was a costume part for which I came dressed as Hunter Thompson and my friend Dan rocked a sweet Margaret Thatcher getup complete with blue wig, we got some looks on the bike ride over…

    We had our instruments permanently set up in the living room, so we could basically just hop on and play a set whenever we felt like it. That final night we played a cover of “Say It Ain’t So” to a tiny living room packed with about 50-60 people. There was crowd surfing, there was spilling booze, mostly there was everybody singing along. Screaming along. That was both one of the best moments of my life and the moment I realized that “Say It Ain’t So” is the kind of song, (and this the kind of album) that comes along once in a generation. I’ll never forget it.

  4. Auto  |   Posted on May 9th -11

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  5. I remember trading this cassette for the Green Jelly (nee Green Jello) Cereal Killer sdtk. I still don’t know if I consider that a bad trade. The Green Jello album was actually really solid and still kinda holds up.

  6. ga  |   Posted on May 9th +5

    Good write up as usual. One thing I disagree with is some of the narrative of this time period, that Dookie, Blue Album, or Downward Spiral was some reaction against “grunge”. I was just as much into these albums as I was into the “grunge” stuff. always looked at it like they were all sort of coming from the same team — Lollapalooza Alternative Nation.

    • Agreed. You can put Smashing Pumpkins, Jane’s Addiction and a bunch of others on that team, as well. The best part being they all came from different parts of the country. “Grunge” never existed to begin with, and there was certainly not a nationwide reaction against it by a bunch of regional bands, many of whom had been making music for years on their own at the time those Seattle bands broke through to the mainstream.

  7. fave album of all time. i never need to think when the ‘which one album would you take with you to a deserted island? question is asked. blue album. next question.

    • Great choice! I think it might be my third, though. It would at least be second, because Aphex Twin’s ‘I Care Because You Do’ is definitely first.

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  9. Here’s to inventing your own X-men.

  10. What a great band. Pity they only released two albums.

    • There are a lot of great b-sides and rarities from those early years, though. It’s at least an album’s worth of excellent stuff.

    • marko  |   Posted on May 9th +14

      Yeah, they seemed to call it quits around the same time as The Simpsons ended. What a sad time that was.

    • Funny, but not even a little bit true. Green and Maladroit are great albums in their own right. Each only a SMALL step below Blue and Pinkerton. Every album after that, whether anybody wants to admit it or not, still contains a few worthy jams. They just aren’t great albums all the way through. And yes, a couple of them contain enough bad songs to make them stinkers. But Weezer has always been in there, trying to claw its way back to the surface. I’m holding out hope they can get there again.

      • I realized something a couple of years ago when I was seeing them live. It all works together at the show. There’s really not a whole lot of difference between Beverly Hills and Buddy Holly. Just some campy shit to shout along with that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the world is better off for it. Weezer is coming to my home town next month and I will be there with bells on. I hope they play ‘Fallin For You’. I also hope they play Pork and Beans.

  11. This was my jam in high school. My musical tastes have definitely evolved and expanded since then, but this album has stood the test of time. It’s still one of my absolute favorites.

    Though, sometimes I think I like Pinkerton better. Weezer is maybe the only band with two albums on my top 10 of all time list.

    • I can’t imagine having to choose between this and Pinkerton. My preference for one or the other vacillates so wildly. Both such perfect records.

  12. I think what sold me on the Blue Album was that Happy Days video for Buddy Holly. All those Spike Jonze videos blew my mind when I was a kid.

    You just never know what albums are gonna last. I have a dog-eared copy of the Spin Alternative Record Guide, which came out in 1995, and is probably the book that shaped my musical taste more than any other. It’s interesting to see how what’s considered cool and edgy has changed after 19 years, and to note what has always remained hip. There’s a couple of disparaging Weezer references in that book, and it seems like the Blue Album wasn’t considered all that cool until the cult the band attracted wouldn’t shut up about it, and made them cool through sheer determination. Like this article notes, Weezer cover versions by local bands were very common in the 90s, maybe moreso than any other band.

    Anyway, great album all around.

    • Interesting, I’d like to check out that issue of Spin. It’s so true how what’s cool at the time and what stands the test of time can vary so much. I try to remember that every time the music press go collectively doe-eyed for a hip new band.

      I remember getting in an argument on some message board in 2001 with a Depeche Mode fan (I was a big DM fan as well) who was pissed that the Green Album charted higher than the new Depeche album. I kept trying to explain to him how Weezer’s cult of die hard fans had been steadily growing in the years since Pinkerton, but he kept insisting that it was all because of dumb tweens who saw the “Hash Pipe” video on mtv. In his mind a quirky, weird little band like Weezer could never be considered an important band.

  13. I’ll preface this story saying that I had no cable TV growing up.

    did anyone else discover this band via the Buddy Holly video on the Windows 95 CD-ROM? cuz I did. Until I looked them up online on my 28K dial-up internet, I actually BELIEVED the video. I had watched several episodes of Happy Days on afternoon syndication and thought it was an episode I hadn’t seen! I asked my dad about it and thought no because of how modern the guitar tones sounded. It wasn’t until they performed ‘Hash Pipe’ and ‘Island in the Sun’ on SNL that I saw them for the first time (albeit without Sharp). I immediately asked my parents for new glasses, Rivers-style black rimmed. I’ll take credit for being the first person in middle school for having them, lol The Blue Album turned me from a guitarist into a songwriter, still one of my favorite albums of all time.

  14. I’ve been waiting so much for this writeup.
    This is easily the album that changed my life when I was 14 and first heard it in the computer lab of my school. that was about 13 years after it first came out, but boy, did that shit hold up.
    The Blue Album is always my first choice when people ask me to recommend them some music, my first choice to play at parties even though no one there has heard of Weezer, my first choice when I’m feeling the need to rock out or cheer up.
    Even though the Weez didn’t really keep their shit together in recent years, the first 4 albums (possibly with the exception of Green) are some of my favorites of all time, but Blue is always easily on top.
    Just reading this article while listening to the album brought tears to my eye and made me shout at the top of my lungs at least half a dozen times so far.

    What a fucking great piece of art.

    • I should also mention that my favorite t-shirt is a Blue Album t-shirt that I wore the fuck out of, and that I have thought about getting a =w= tattoo at least once a month for the past 6 years, but always decide against it due to fear of what terrible music they could release next.

  15. I was 16 in 94. Yes, sixteen, when Kurt Cobain died, when NIN released The Downward Spiral, when the Britpop exploded, when Frank Black was still a hero when Weezer was on all the radios… You can say there were worst (musical) years to be 16 in the 90′s…
    So, almost every (great) album that turns 20 in 2014 feels extremely personal. And when I read these comments, I see that I’m not the only one.

  16. so if I turn twenty nine months from today, does that make me a Weezer baby?

  17. Good grief, 20 years ago? I was about 11 or 12 the first time I heard this album the whole way through. Now, up to that point the only life-defining moment I’d experienced is when I got to hold a real-life “glowing piece of the awesome rock” (the Aggro Crag—not mine, a kid I knew), but upon hearing this album, there was a significant click in my head. “What was /this/?” Things changed after that.

    Also: I don’t think I could choose between Blue Album and Pinkerton…they’re two very different, very distinct albums. But I will say that Pinkerton is absolutely a must-have album on vinyl. There’s something so special about hearing that fuzzy feedback crackling in the intro to “Tired of Sex” that makes you want to sit down and listen, uninterrupted. The entire album, which is sonically gorgeous to begin with, sounds so, so, so good on vinyl. Hot damn I can’t wait to get home and put down the needle on this record now.

  18. Mm. Enjoyed this write-up, CDV. I also have memories of being introduced to this album via cousins. However, being a youngling, I slept on it until I started to sprout my musical pubes (if you will). Around 2001, I somehow stumbled upon Pinkerton, which lead to a reintroduction to the Blue Album and then the release of Green. But Blue will always have the closest place in ma’heart. One of the interesting things that has been proposed regarding the variable output post-pinkerton is that the main culprit behind a lot of the turdiness is the lyrics.

    Returning to Blue, some of the lyrics are a bit cringeworthy, however with something like my name is jonas, it has this abstract quality to it that I think Rivers hasn’t been able to/interested in repeating (other than Where’s My Sex, which is…just… I can’t). I have a hard time giving an artist credit for just doing whatever they like, which is clearly what Rivers does. Obviously he has every right to (free country), but I wonder if the result is what we’ve seen with weezer in more recent years. James Murphy talks about the need for parameters when recording, and I think that’s really applicable in music and beyond. Maladroit benefited from that perspective, with the harder edge to the songs, though it’s not my favourite. However I think the best forgotten example of this was Songs from the Black Hole. The tracks from that are, in my opinion, some of their best other than Blue and could stem from this use of parameters in which to structure the songs.

    And what happens when we lose those parameters? We end up with a YYY’s track with Dr. Octopus. #neverforget

  19. By the time I was in high school and seriously getting into music, this album was already well on its way to a tenth anniversary. Even then it still had a kind of mythical status among some of my older friends. The Green Album was new and “Dope Nose” was a hit, but it was of paramount importance to them to make sure that young’ns like me appreciated the Weezer of days past. During my freshman year of high school I admitted that I only knew “Buddy Holly” to one of the seniors who I knew through debate team (I was a geek) and she insisted that we go to her car and listen to “The Sweater Song” and “My Name is Jonas” and a bunch of others. It was one of the few moments in high school where I felt cool. A really disproportionate number of the good memories that I have from high school involve Weezer.

    Also, Weezer is always a good bet at karaoke, even for the singing-challenged. Low-difficulty but high-payoff.

  20. Two years ago, as a senior in college, my roommates and I had the hilarious idea of donating blood plasma at a donation center in Middletown, OH in order to pay for a spring break cruise from New Orleans to the Bahamas.
    In order to unnecessarily draw us in, they paid a total of $200 upon completion of yr first four donations. After that, they paid $15 for yr first donation of the week, and $30 for the second–a lucrative business. We went twice a week for a few months.
    Anyway, it was maybe the first or second trip to Middletown where we popped in the Blue Album as we pulled away from our place. These particular roommates and I didn’t share a ton of musical tastes, but we agreed on Weezer, and air-guitared and sang our brains out for the duration of our ride to the donation center. We played the album straight through, and it just so happened that the final chords of “Only in Dreams” played as we pulled up and parked. We were blown away. From that moment on, playing the Blue Album became a tradition on our route to capitalize on our “Plasma for spring break money and sweet sweet saline” plan.
    We also played Pinkerton on our return trip, but it would always end before hitting campus. Thanks for soundtracking the bloodletting sponsorship of my spring break to the Bahamas, Weezer! Ever feel absolutely certain that you’ve just said something that no one else has ever said before?

  21. “Slave” is where it’s at. And the “Keep Fishin’” video is still so so fun.

  22. My intro was the inside of the sleeve with all their equipment layed out. I thought this must be a really cool album. Love that photo.

  23. Real talk — what’s the average age of the Stereogum reader/commentor? Someone gimme some demographics numbers. It’s kind of interesting seeing a few SG regulars wax nostalgically about an album that came out when I was two. Am I the baby here?

    • 30. was in 6th grade when it came out. got it on tape for my birthday. haven’t stopped listening to it yet.

    • I’m 42 and I’ve always felt that I was on the upper/outer edge of the regular reader age brackets. But as a voracious music listener/buyer I enjoy that Stereogum still often hits my happy place with new music (without the snark of some other sites), and also quite often discusses the artists/music I’ve loved over the last 30 years (the time I’ve been buying mine own music).

    • 23 here. Grew up listening to Buddy Holly and The Sweater Song on my boombox in my room until I scrounged together the pennies necessary to buy a discman when I was 11. I distinctly remember confusing Weezer and Eve 6 (I’m so sorry) before I actually held a physical copy of the Blue Album in my hand…which I did at the ripe old age of 12, after spotting it in a wal mart. Anyways, this record became my soundtrack to puberty, eight/nine years after it was released. Just like Kevin Broydrick (helluva comment up ther/thx bro), I too, played in a high school cover band dedicated to this record. The hours spent toiling away in my basement goofing off and hoping one of our guitarists could get his effects pedals to match the epicness of the Buddy Holly bridge solo are so near and dear to my heart. I’ll be spinning this one until I die.

    • 28.

      I liked the hits off this when it came out, or maybe it was a year or 2 later, but didn’t really become a Weezer fan until I was probably 20 or so and shocked to find that my indie-rock college friends listened to them. In high school, I was pretty much on my own in terms of the music I liked and just had no idea that Weezer was a respected/good band.

    • 20. Looks like I’m a bit of a young ‘un round these parts

    • 24, 25 in a month. I didn’t start listening to this album until about 10th grade though. I would put this, a Jimi Hendrix best of, and a third CD who’s identity I can’t recall (but was possible Maroon by Bare Naked Ladies which…yeesh) in my gigantic stereo and listen for hours while playing the original Mercenaries and talking on the phone with my “girlfriend” who I’d only actually met twice in person at forensics tournaments. Good times.

  24. I remember catching the premiere of Undone on MTVs 120 Minutes. What really stuck out to me about this band is how it was cool to be nerdy. Considering that I was 12 and socially awkward, their songs and all along attitude resonated with me. Back then I classified their style as The Beach Boys with crunchy guitars and I still stand by that assessment. Blue is a timeless album and the reason I started to embrace my eccentric persona that thrives today.

  25. My big brother gave me this album as gift in 94. I was a freshman in high school and was creating my own musical identity. Loved it. You might have to go back to the Beatles or Beach Boys to find a rock masterpiece this accessible. You could give this album to a four year old and they would love. Will certainly be revisiting this one this weekend

    • jdg46  |   Posted on May 9th +2

      My little sister was born in 1994 and I used the Blue Album to introduce her to rock music. ‘Surf Wax America’ is still her favorite song of all time. I’m 8 1/2 years older than her and this album closed that age gap quite quickly.

      • Weezer is the best way there is to get your kids to listen to “better” music. Trust me, I’ve got two kids to prove it and another one getting there soon. Yeah, I’m old, I was 23 when Blue was released, do the math.

  26. Brilliant from beginning to end, as are the b-sides from that era. And I refute that this album is all that “happy”. I’ve always felt the lyrical content of the Blue Album is just as deep and melancholy as Pinkerton, its just the quirky arrangements and less easy on the ears production that makes the latter seem so different. Even if you don’t feel that way, there’s no denying that River’s is working through some pretty heavy angst and possible neurosis on the Blue Album. Its a wonder that it ever became as popular as it did, something that would likely have never happened if not for the Buddy Holly video (I remember hearing The Sweater Song played and then disappear on Live 105, our local alternative station at the time, long before that video ever took over TRL).

  27. Man, 2014 is turning out to be one huge trip to nostalgia.

  28. Twenty years, huh? Means its about 10 years since I discovered it.

    Fell in love with the album when I was 16 – the album still makes me feel as hopeful, sad, cool and geeky as I felt when I was 16. I loved it then, and I love it still. One of my favourites of all time :)

  29. cast  |   Posted on May 10th +2

    Wow, I turn 22 today and this turns 20. I obviously wasn’t around to experience all these classic 1994 albums when they were released but they still have an incredible impact all these years later. From Definitely Maybe, to Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, to the Blue album, all of these are easily some of my favorite albums of all time. With the first 2 being in the top 10. What a great time for music.

  30. Respeck to Kim Deal: the opening riff in “Only in Dreams” was adapted from the opening bassline in the Pixies’ “I Bleed”.

  31. “You can’t resist her she’s in your bones
    She is your marrow and your ride home
    You can’t avoid her she’s in the air (in the air)
    In between molecules of oxygen and carbon dioxide”

    :)

  32. The first time I heard The Blue Album I was 11 years old (23 now). When I heard “Say It Ain’t So” for the first time, I remember getting chills. I started rocking back and forth, furiously nodding my head, using the kitchen counter as balance support. I had a huge smile on my face. This is my earliest memory of having an involuntary reaction to music. It was so good I literally couldn’t contain myself.

    The memory I associate the most with The Blue Album isn’t an altogether happy one but I think I turned out better because of it. In high school I was making out with my on-again-off-again girlfriend in my bedroom. I had prepped the ultimate make out playlist on a CD and was playing it over my speakers. Finally we got to the big moment, I had dropped “Only in Dreams” at the very end of the mix, hoping to get an emotional reaction (at the time I was really into Garden State and was all about trying to ingrain overly sentimental music cues into everyday life). The song comes on, I try and time all of my motions with the build up to the explosive climax. It sort of works, the making out gets more intense just as Rivers starts screaming “ONLY IN DREAMS” over and over again. “I always wanted to make out to that song” I say, “Eh, I wasn’t really a fan of that one” she said. In that single instant, I realized that not only did I not love this girl, I could never love her. Typing it out like this makes it sound kind of shallow (I would never break up with a girl solely over differences in musical taste, especially now that people like Lil Durk and Yung Lean populate my top listens on iTunes) but at the time it was just the ultimate representation/culmination of why we weren’t right for each other.

    I’ve probably had more emotional/stupid memories tied to the heavy and messy emotions behind Pinkerton but I’ll always love The Blue Album best. It’s perfect in almost every way and it pretty much was the start of my life as someone who appreciates music. It changed me, for the better I think. I still hope to find a girl who wants to make out in perfect rhythm to “Only in Dreams” as much as I do, if I ever find her it’s guaranteed that I will propose to her on the spot.

  33. Avesome!

  34. Amazing album. I was 20 when this came out, and in 1994, this (together with Pavement) was one of the few reasons to pay any attention to american music that was not hip-hop.

  35. ews  |   Posted on May 12th 0

    I was a year old when this album came out but I’ve still had some really meaningful experiences with it. Some friends and I played a show covering it last summer, which was maybe the most fun I’ve had playing in a band. So many people came out that I didn’t know, but they all knew the music. A few months later, a touring band came to my small town and we figured out that we all knew the songs; after their set I ended up covering most of the Blue Album with them at a friend’s house. It’s hard to think of many recent albums that unite people like this – the Blue Album definitely does, and I would argue that Is This It does too, but it’s hard to think of recent albums other than those that are so mutually agreed upon.

  36. I discovered weezer when I was 11. I just moved from the city (cleveland) to a small suburb in central new york in early july. I had no friends since I was shy and there was no school to meet people, so I spent the summer biking, walking, and exploring all the woods that surround my town. Since then the blue album, along with the first pavement album, have always been my definitive summer albums. Now I’m a highschool senior heading into my last summer in this town before going off to college far away, and I’ve been listening to the blue album a lot lately. it’s been a bittersweet nostalgic experience and i like how this album bookended my arrival and my departure in this suburban town. thanks weezer.

    p.s. surf wax america is a fucking jam.

  37. In the garage is my favorite on the Album

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