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Spanning nearly 20 years, the geek rock outfit Weezer formed in 1992 are well known for their wacky videos and their fun songs, however they initially got together to play songs from their favourite artists such as The Pixies, Nirvana and Cheap Trick. The band was formed by Rivers Cuomo (lead singer, guitar), Patrick Wilson (drums), Matt Sharpe (bass, backing vocals) and Jason Cropper (guitar, backing vocals).
The band initially played in bars and clubs across L.A. with covers of their favourite artists mixed in with some of their own music. Through these performances, Interscope signed the band in 1992 before releasing their first record in 1994. Before recording their first album, Jason Cropper left the band for personal reasons and was replaced by Brian Bell.
Weezer’s self titled album, later to be called 'The Blue Album', included their first single ‘Undone- The Sweater Song’. The song was not due for release until clubs around California enjoyed the song immensely popularity of the band grew. Spike Jonze directed the video for Weezer’s first two singles. Where ‘Undone- The Sweater Song’ saw success, it was not as innovative as the second video for the second single ‘Buddy Holly’. The video featured Weezer playing a gig in the Happy Days café. The video saw Weezer win four MTV video awards including best break-through act, best video and two billboard music video awards. Other songs released from the three time platinum album include ‘Say It Ain’t So’ and ‘My Name Is Jonas’.
The second album entitled ‘Pinkerton’ was commercially a flop. Upon its release in 1996, their fans were expecting the same fun style of music as they got from 'The Blue Album', instead the album featured a darker feel. That year saw many regarding the album as the worst album of the year. Today however, many fans regard the record being Weezers best and Rolling Stone magazine have changed their initial one star rating to five stars which meant the album being placed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The band took a break after their tour in 1997 to pursue personal conquests. They all returned a year later to work on their new album apart from Matt Sharpe who was replaced by Mikey Walsh. Before the release of their next album, they toured across America which featured 14 new songs. These songs were not to be released to the disappointment to the fans. Weezer released the record ‘The Green Album’ in 2001 which attracted a new generation of fans with a mix of heavy, fun and soft rock sounds. Mikey Walsh was inducted to a psychiatric hospital and was replaced by Scott Shriner.
‘Maladroit’ was Weezers fifth album and featured a harder pop influence to its predecessors with a 80s guitar sound. The record included two singles ‘Dope Nose’ and ‘Keep Fishin’. The music video for ‘Keep Fishin’ featured the Muppets. ‘Maladroit’ remains the bands least successful album. In 2005, Weezer released their next album ‘Make Believe’ which featured the hit single ‘Beverly Hills’. The video for the song was filmed in the playboy mansion that helped the song secure the bands first US number one. The song was nominated for a grammy for best rock song and the video was nominated for best video at the MTV Video Music Awards. Their second US number one came from the single ‘Perfect Situation’. Weezer toured with Foo Fighters that year which was awarded Most Creative Tour Package at the Concert Industry Awards.
2008 saw Weezer release their sixth album in the shape of ‘The Red Album’. The debut single from the album, ‘Pork and Beans’ included the most popular downloaded stars from YouTube star in the video. The song reached number one the American rock chart and the band received a Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video. Other singles where ‘Troublemaker’ and ‘The Greatest Man That Ever Lived’.
The seventh album ‘Ratitude’ saw the likes of Lil’ Wayne collaborate with the band. With the help of Lil Wayne and the producer Jacknife Lee, ‘Ratitude’ had a more electro and hip hop sound with the remaining feel of a Weezer record. In December of 2009, Rivers Cuomo broke five ribbed while travelling to a gig in New York. This forced the band to move their tour for the beginning of 2010.
Weezer are still going strong with their cult following that crave new and exciting music which they seem to deliver each time.
Source: Dean Woodhouse
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