Saturday, 6 December 2008

Of My Favourite Weezer Songs

Yup as promised my Top 10 Weezer as chosen by me with little input from other people (apart from possibly one song).

10. My Name is Jonas Weezer (Blue Album)
“My Name is Jonas” is the first song on the first Weezer album. In terms of current fans it also might just be the first song they heard. Not many people except the die hard Weezer fans went out to buy the Red Album and whilst Make Believe sold astonishingly well considering its mediocrity, I don’t think it would have got Weezer any more fans. Then “My Name is Jonas” was on Guitar Hero III. For many this is one of the few Weezer songs that they have heard. Yet I don’t think its strong enough to get new fans, I’ve heard many a person comment on how they really like the song but it just isn’t a song that says ‘this song is so awesome I need to hear more.’ It is an incredible song but mainly gets on because a) I don’t think I can give Pinkerton another space on the list and b) I’d probably be anally raped by friends if I didn’t give this song a place.

9. Pink Triangle Pinkerton
The first song off Pinkerton, to be honest I could have chosen any song from Pinkerton to be on this list, “Falling for You”, “Tired of Sex”, “El Scorcho”, “Why Bother?”. However I chose “Pink Triangle” because it’s an amazing song. Okay yes and the fact that it is about lesbians doesn't hurt. This song is about a guy who falls in love with a lesbian (which is obviously a bad thing). A lot of songs on Pinkerton are about love, or the lack of it but I decided to use this one as the overall example. Really every song on Pinkerton should be on this list because it is just an incredible album but I’ve had to limit myself to only three choices. However if you want a quintessential Weezer experience it’s this album (not necessarily this song though, my number 1 choice is still Weezer at its finest even if it isn’t a Pinkerton song).

8. Lover in the Snow Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo
What’s that? Strictly speaking this isn’t a Weezer song? Well fuck you; I’m counting it as such. Alone, is an album filled with a ton of Weezer demos, and many of them are really, really good however “Lover in the Snow” is the best song on the album and I don’t know for the life of me why. All I know is that I love this song. There’s something about Rivers singing the song entirely on his own (backing vocals as well). The song is just immensely upbeat and the guitar that plays heavily throughout is just awesome (if repetitive). However it is the way the song builds up throughout whilst not quite the crescendo that other Weezer songs have it is a great piece of work and a shame that it never ended up on an official Weezer album.

7. The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived Weezer (Red Album)
Here we go the second newest song on this list (yes another Red Album has made it, and no it’s not “Pork and Beans”). Whilst most people think that “Pork and Beans” is the best song on the Red Album, I’m going to say its “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived”. This song is so amazingly cool, think of it as a modern day “Bohemian Rhapsody” in that the style of music changes drastically throughout. Every 30 seconds the song changes style and yet the song continues to be a fun listen. There’s no denying that Rivers Cuomo should never rap however in the style of the song it’s actually fairly decent (think “White and Nerdy” without the self parody). “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived” is the most eclectic song on the entirety of the Red Album (and that’s saying something) and may just be the most eclectic song ever (released commercially that is) and on a good day I might say it’s better than “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

6. King Weezer (Red Album)
I know I said that “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived” is the best song on the Red Album and it is. However “King” strictly speaking isn’t on the normal Red Album, instead it is on the Deluxe Addition and so it’s the best song on that version of the Red Album. It is also one of only two songs on this list where the lead singer isn’t Rivers Cuomo. Instead this song is sung by Scott Shriner and in fact it was Scott Shriner that got the song onto the album. Originally the song wasn’t going to make but Scott thought it was such a good song that he demanded Rivers to put it on the album, so Rivers said ‘if you like it so much then you sing it’ so he did. And I’m thankful for it. It doesn’t sound at all like the other stuff on the Red Album but it’s an awesome song and Scott makes it with the vocals (although “Cold Dark World” doesn’t hold candle to this one.)

5. Butterfly Pinkerton
Many would call this the last good song by Weezer. Now I think that is a bit harsh. Yes Green Album, Maladroit, Make Believe and the Red Album are hardly the greatest albums of all time nor are they Weezer’s best efforts (Blue Album and Pinkerton will forever be those), but all the albums have at least one good song (except for Maladroit which is their worst effort by far). Butterfly is one of Weezer’s most beautiful songs. For 3 minutes all it is Rivers Cuomo and a guitar, singing a little song about lost love. This song is also the clearest song when it comes to the homage to Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly (yes because the song is called “Butterfly”). “Butterfly” may not be Weezer’s strongest album closer (see further down the list to find out what is) but it finished off Pinkerton in an amazing way, and makes you want to listen again.

4. Perfect Situation Make Believe
Yes I know Make Believe sucks. However I need to put “Perfect Situation” on the list. “Perfect Situation” is the best song on Make Believe, period. It was also the first song that I ever heard by Weezer, so for that it gains this lofty place on my favourite songs by Weezer. Whilst many would say that there are far better songs (which if you take the entirety of Pinkerton, I’d agree with you), but Perfect Situation has that special place in my heart. It’s the song that made me download every single other Weezer song I could lay my hands (currently standing at 137). Whilst they did manage to fuck the song up in later pressings, the original still stands out. It begins with on of the best introductions to a song I’ve ever heard (as well as an awesome guitar solo to rival “Only in Dreams”). The song just comes together amazingly and is a beacon of hope during the seemingly mediocre era of Weezer.

3. Across the Sea Pinkerton
The song that created Pinkerton. The song that created the greatest album by Weezer. The song that created the greatest album of all time. If you haven’t been able to tell by now, I love Pinkerton. Whilst to many it started the emo movement in the late 90s, I don’t give a fuck. If all emo music were as amazing as this song and this album I’d be happy to call myself an emo. Before this song was written, Rivers Cuomo was having writers block and didn’t know what he was going to do with “Songs from the Black Hole”. Then a Japanese fan sent him a letter after hearing him on the radio in Japan. He instantly fell in love and it gave him the inspiration to throw “Songs from the Black Hole” in the bin and write this song. Yes the song is fucked up in many ways (he dreams about this girl he’s never met masturbating herself) but it makes it that much better. Rivers opens himself up so much on this album (the album is more or less a biography of the events after their debut album) and nowhere is it more apparent than this song.

2. I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams The Good Life – EP
“I Just Threw out the Love of My Dreams” is one of the songs that was supposed to make it onto the scrapped “Songs from the Black Hole” Album (which thankfully became Pinkerton). Many of the songs on this album such as “Blast Off!”, “Superfriend”, “Longtime Sunshine” and “You Won’t Get with Me Tonight” are all great songs, but “I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams” is the best one. Thankfully this song didn’t have to wait till 2007/08 when Rivers Cuomo was looking through is back catalogue of songs and was instead released on an EP with the single “The Good Life” (a Pinkerton song). “I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams” is the only song that Weezer has ever done that is sung by a woman. In fact the woman is Rachel Haden the person that Rivers intended to play the part of the good woman on “Songs from the Black Hole” making it the closest song to what the album would have sounded like. Whilst the majority of songs from “Songs from the Black Hole” have been released by now, “I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams” stands head and shoulders above the rest and a lot of Weezer’s other songs.

1. Only in Dreams Weezer (Blue Album)
“Only in Dreams” is the perfect Weezer song. In fact it might just be my favourite song of all time. This song is just incredible. It stands at 8 minutes long making it Weezer’s longest song to date, it is also the song that brought the Blue Album to a crescendo. It starts out just like many a Weezer song except it’s a fair bit softer than most Weezer songs. However after 4 minutes the words stop and we’re left with the bass line. Then the guitar comes on and builds up for 3 minutes before reaching one of the greatest climaxes that any song has ever had. I find myself regularly listening to songs now which try to build up to a climax but always come away disappointed because of this song (“Bixby Canyon Bridge” by Death Cab for Cutie is probably the one song that comes to mind). If there’s one song I need to hear performed live it is this one (especially because it also plays as a climax to many a Weezer performance.)

Finally I would like to say I will have Season reviews of Dexter Season 3, Veronica Mars Season 1 and Supernatural Season 1 up within the week!! (I hope)

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