Category: the blue album

On this day in music history: May 10, 1994 – &…

On this day in music history: May 10, 1994 – “Weezer” (aka “The Blue Album”), the debut album by Weezer is released. Produced by Ric Ocasek, it is recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City from August – September 1993. Formed in 1992 by lead guitarist and vocalist Rivers Cuomo, drummer Patrick Wilson, bassist Matt Sharp and rhythm guitarist Jason Cropper, Weezer are playing live gigs only months afterward. Continuing to rehearse and write songs, within a year, the band begin drawing major label attention and are signed to Geffen subsidiary DGC Records in 1993. The band are paired with Cars co-founder and lead singer Ric Ocasek who signs on to produce their debut album. During the recording, Jason Cropper quits the band and he is replaced by Brian Bell. Weezer’s unique musical sensibility which combines punk and metal attitude with strong power pop guitar riffs and hooks, are counterbalanced by the band’s own shy and nerdy demeanor. The first single “Undone – The Sweater Song”, is supported with a quirky and innovative low budget video directed by Spike Jonze (“Being John Malkovich”, “Adaptation”), that becomes an immediate hit on MTV. Jonze also directs the video for the follow up single “Buddy Holly” (#2 Modern Rock, #18 Hot 100 Airplay), in which the band are digitally morphed into clips from the classic sitcom “Happy Days”, playing on stage in Arnold’s Drive-In. Using the same green screen techniques employed by Industrial Light & Magic on the film “Forrest Gump”, Weezer’s performance footage is seamlessly blended in with the film clips from the series. Also featuring a cameo appearance by actor Al Molinaro, the video is another huge MTV favorite, winning four MTV VMA awards in 1995 including Best Alternative Video and Breakthrough Video. The album spins off a third and final single with “Say It Ain’t So” (#7 Modern Rock, #51 Hot 100 Airplay). In time, Weezer’s debut album will come to be regarded as one of the best albums of the 90’s. In 2004, it is remastered and reissued as a two disc Deluxe Edition. The first disc features the original ten track album, with disc two containing fourteen tracks, including B-sides, unreleased track, live acoustic recordings and alternate mixes. Originally released on vinyl in very limited quantities in 1994, it is reissued briefly in 2002 by Geffen Records. In 2012, it is released as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, pressed on blue marbled vinyl, and by Back To Black (UK & Europe on standard black vinyl). A hybrid SACD is also issued by the label in 2014. Another vinyl reissue released by Geffen/UMe with Direct Metal Mastering, and includes a poster is released in 2016. “Weezer” peaks at number sixteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: July 11, 1995 – …

On this day in music history: July 11, 1995 – “311” (aka “The Blue Album”), the fifth album by 311 is released. Produced by Ron Saint Germain, it is recorded at NRG Studios in North Hollywood, CA from Early – Mid 1995. Formed in 1988 in their native Omaha, NE, 311 (Three Eleven) originally consists of band members Nick Hexum (vocals, guitar), Jim Watson (lead guitar) (replaced by Tim Mahoney in 1991), Chad Sexton (drums) and Aaron “P-Nut” Willis (bass). The band record an EP and two albums independently, over three years. In 1992, the band are signed to Capricorn Records, the legendary label co-formed by Phil Walden, the former manager of R&B icon Otis Redding. 311 are part of the relaunch of the Capricorn in the early 90’s, reinventing itself as a center for the 90’s alt-rock movement. Prior to this, they add second vocalist and DJ SA Martinez (born Douglas Vincent Martinez), cementing their line up. Relocating to L.A., they record “Music” and “Grassroots” in 1993 and 1994. Previously produced by Eddy Offord (Yes), they hire Ron Saint Germain for their next album, best known for his work as a mix engineer, and for producing the Bad Brains, Sonic Youth, and Living Colour. He proves to be an ally and asset to 311, offering his expertise both technically and giving moral support. Unlike previous releases which had been painstakingly tracked and overdubbed, the band record their new album almost entirely live. Having worked out the material in advance, they cut more than twenty five songs in six weeks, paring them down to the final fourteen that make the finished album. Following in the tradition of bands that the members grew up admiring like Led Zeppelin, the Ramones and The Stooges, they decide to self-title their album. Also known by fans as “The Blue Album” due to its blue background, emblazoned with the 311 band logo. Initially released through independent distributor RED (Relativity Entertainment Distribution), it gets off to a slow start. Mercury Records president Danny Goldberg then picks up Capricorn Records for national distribution. With the marketing and promotional muscle of Polygram Group Distribution behind it, “311” takes flight. With the release of “Down” (#1 Modern Rock, #14 Mainstream Rock) and the album’s seamless blend of rock, rap, reggae and funk metal, it becomes 311′s breakthrough. The music video for “Down” and its follow up “All Mixed Up” (#4 Modern Rock, #34 Mainstream Rock), both become mainstays on MTV, and “The Blue Album” becomes their most successful. Originally issued on a limited basis as a vinyl LP in 1995, the album is remastered and reissued as a numbered double 180 gram vinyl set for Record Store Day in April of 2014. A second non-numbered edition is released shortly after, and currently remains in print. “311” (aka “The Blue Album”) peaks at number twelve on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: May 10, 1994 – &…

On this day in music history: May 10, 1994 – “Weezer” (aka “The Blue Album”), the debut album by Weezer is released. Produced by Ric Ocasek, it is recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City from August – September 1993. Formed in 1992 by lead guitarist and vocalist Rivers Cuomo, drummer Patrick Wilson, bassist Matt Sharp and rhythm guitarist Jason Cropper, Weezer are playing live gigs only months afterward. Continuing to rehearse and write songs, within a year, the band begin drawing major label attention and are signed to Geffen subsidiary DGC Records in 1993. The band are paired with Cars co-founder and lead singer Ric Ocasek who signs on to produce their debut album. During the recording, Jason Cropper quits the band and he is replaced by Brian Bell. Weezer’s unique musical sensibility which combines punk and metal attitude with strong power pop guitar riffs and hooks, are counterbalanced by the band’s own shy and nerdy demeanor. The first single “Undone – The Sweater Song”, is supported with a quirky and innovative low budget video directed by Spike Jonze (“Being John Malkovich”, “Adaptation”), that becomes an immediate hit on MTV. Jonze also directs the video for the follow up single “Buddy Holly” (#2 Modern Rock, #18 Hot 100 Airplay), in which the band are digitally morphed into clips from the classic sitcom “Happy Days”, playing on stage in Arnold’s Drive-In. Using the same green screen techniques employed by Industrial Light & Magic on the film “Forrest Gump”, Weezer’s performance footage is seamlessly blended in with the film clips from the series. Also featuring a cameo appearance by actor Al Molinaro, the video is another huge MTV favorite, winning four MTV VMA awards in 1995 including Best Alternative Video and Breakthrough Video. The album spins off a third and final single with “Say It Ain’t So” (#7 Modern Rock, #51 Hot 100 Airplay). In time, Weezer’s debut album will come to be regarded as one of the best albums of the 90’s. In 2004, it is remastered and reissued as a two disc Deluxe Edition. The first disc features the original ten track album, with disc two containing fourteen tracks, including B-sides, unreleased track, live acoustic recordings and alternate mixes. Originally released on vinyl in very limited quantities in 1994, it is reissued briefly in 2002 by Geffen Records. In 2012, it is released as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, pressed on blue marbled vinyl, and by Back To Black (UK & Europe on standard black vinyl). A hybrid SACD is also issued by the label in 2014. Another vinyl reissue released by Geffen/UMe with Direct Metal Mastering, and includes a poster is released in 2016. “Weezer” peaks at number sixteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.