Twenty-five years ago today, Weezer released its debut album, a 10-song self-titled release that would come to be known as The Blue Album and would be exalted by some fans as the best record the band would ever release. In honor of this quarter-century anniversary, Rolling Stone put together a list of 10 facts about the making of the record that even the most devoted Weezer fans may not have known. One of the more surprising tidbits has to do with the fact that “Buddy Holly,” the band’s iconic breakout hit, almost had a different name and, more importantly, almost didn’t make it on the album at all.
“I remember at one point he was hesitant to do ‘Buddy Holly’ and I was like, ‘Rivers, we can talk about it. Do it anyway, and if you don’t like it when it’s done, we won’t use it,’” reveals Cars frontman Ric Ocasek, who produced The Blue Album. Apparently, Rivers Cuomo thought the song was a bit cheesy, verging on a novelty. The song’s lyrics went through numerous rewrites as Cuomo struggled to find the right cultural reference to fit his slightly goofy melody. Rolling Stone notes that an early version of the chorus went “Ooo-wee-ooo you look just like Ginger Rogers. Oh-oh I move just like Fred Astaire.” The lyrics then went through a few more drafts and Ocasek was able to convince Cuomo to put the track on the album.
These stories about the band’s wavering confidence, the effect Cuomo’s musical influences had on his songwriting (which resulted in the guitar riff from “Undone—The Sweater Song” sounding exactly like Metallica’s “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)”), and the tales of all-night parties in the band’s Los Angeles rehearsal space are reminders that, once upon a time, Weezer was just a group of college-age kids trying their hand at being a rock band. With 25 years of experience now under their collective belt, they’ve essentially become the elder statesmen of indie rock, playing covers of Toto’s “Africa” to packed stadiums. While that might not be everybody’s cup of tea, we’d like to see anyone try and not sing along to the chorus of “Say It Ain’t So.”
Check out the rest of Rolling Stones’ Blue Album fun facts here.