Mrs Villain, along with one of her best friends, recently attended an outdoor gig in a park not too far from Villain Towers. It was headlined by Green Day, with support coming from Fall Out Boy and Weezer. It’s fair to say that she really enjoyed herself, to the extent that she came home with three souvenir t-shirts, one for each band. (She has since worn the Green Day t-shirt to another outdoor gig – Rufus Wainwright at the Kelvingrove Bandstand; it’s fair to say that my wife has an eclectic taste when it comes to music.)
Unless there’s any guest postings, you’re unlikely to see anything on TVV from the headliners or Fall Out Boy, but I have enjoyed quite bit of Weezer’s output over the years.
I was, nevertheless, very surprised to discover that this was the debut single:-
mp3: Weezer – Undone-The Sweater Song
It’s a highly polished effort and was also accompanied by a Spike Jonze video (reputed to have cost $60,000 all told), which is why I thought it might have been preceded by something a bit more low-key, perhaps on some sort of minor, largely unknown indie label.
But, as history shows, Weezer came into being in February 1992, albeit vocalist and chief songwriter Rivers Cuomo had been playing in bands since his high school days in the mid-late 80s. He had experienced a few false starts along the way and Weezer was more or less his last throw of the dice – he told his bandmates he was prepared to give up music and take up the opportunity to study at the University of California, Berkeley.
A demo tape was recorded in November 1992, where it was quickly picked up by the A&R folk at Geffen Records, with the band signing a deal in June 1993. The debut album was recorded in August/September 1993, with Ric Ocasek of The Cars brought in as producer, but it wasn’t put on sale until May 1994, and rather unusually, no singles were issued in advance.
The critical response to the album was favourable, which allowed all concerned at Geffen to proceed with phase 2 of the marketing campaign, with the release of the catchiest songs accompanied by memorable and innovative videos.
Undone-The Sweater Song did reach #35 in the UK. Anyone who was smart enough to buy the 7″ version of the single on blue vinyl could now expect to get in the region of £30 if they wanted to put it up for grabs on the second-hand market.