Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Weezer

By some definitions, Wheezer could be considered a one-hit wonder, despite their lengthy and immensely successful career.  As someone who has sat and watched through several hours worth of track-by-track album reviews, I am more familiar than most people are with the Wheezer discography.  On the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the only top 40 hit the band has had (and they are not likely to have another one) was the top 10 “Beverly Hills,” one of their lesser singles.  On the airplay chart they had another top 20 hit with “Buddy Holly,” but when it comes to mainstream success, that is the peak of their success.  Yet they are without question worthy of induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for their importance as reasonably popular nerds who broadened the view of what constituted viable alternative music, and despite some stumbles after the first fifteen years of their career, they remain an important act in rock & roll a quarter of a century after their beginning.  For that alone the band is well worth being inducted, as without question they have influenced a wide variety of other acts.  Let us look at the career of Weezer and see how worthy they are of being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

The Influence Of Weezer

A gentleman online spent several hours giving a detailed breakdown of his feeling of every single Weezer album ever released.  Any time that someone who is a competent and passionate student of rock music can spend that much time on the body of work of an artist, that itself is the sign that it should be well-regarded, especially because Weezer has been far better known as an album band than as a mainstream pop rock band.  A few notable bands, like DNCE and Charlie XCX, have listed Weezer as an influence on their own music, largely because they made it at least somewhat cool to be a nerd [1].  This is not something to disregard.  In the case of Weezer we have an interesting mix of a band that has achieved some solid mainstream success in album sales but a great deal of passionate love among those who find in their honest and up-front personality an encouragement for people to be themselves even if it comes off as being a bit square or a bit eccentric.  Of course, since some of us are fairly square and eccentric, it is good to have others to make it less off-putting and less awkward for us to be so.

Why Weezer Belongs In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Let’s begin with the most obvious case–their Spike Jonze-directed music videos like “Buddy Holly,” “Undone (The Sweater Song)” were mainstays of the mid 1990’s MTV world.  Their debut album sold over 3 million copies, and three of their other albums have gone platinum, as well as at least a couple of albums that have gone gold [2].  That sustained success over their first six albums, along with a return to form in their ninth album, show a band that has a lot to offer the jukeboxes in Cleveland.  If one wants to look at their influential singles on the rock charts, look no further than those two songs, “Say It Ain’t So,” “El Scorcho,” “The Good Life,” “Hash Pipe,” “Island In The Sun,” “Dope Nose,” “Keep Fishin’,” “We Are All On Drugs,” “Perfect Situation,” “Pork And Beans,” “Troublemaker,” “”(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To,” “Back To The Shack,” and “Thank God For Girls,” to give but a few examples.  The band even had a successful hit in 2018 with their cover of Toto’s “Africa,” showing their continuing influence.  The band has been staples on rock and alternative for nearly the entire 25 years since their debut over the course of ten albums.  Given that record of critical and popular success, and the rather slim amount of other rock bands from the same period that can say the same for themselves, that ought to be an obvious induction.

Why Weezer Isn’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

They just got eligible, so it is too early to say if they will struggle to get in like many of the giants of 1980’s rock [3].  That said, considering just how dominant grunge was in the eyes of many it is possible that the nerdiness of Weezer combined with the lack of appreciation for their lengthy success and large and successful body of work and their absence of hit mainstream singles will combine to make this band a bit under-appreciated for a while.  Let us hope not for too long, though.  Perhaps it would be good to have a lengthy enough retrospective to remind everyone just how vital Weezer has been to rock over the past quarter of a century.

Verdict:  Put them in.  I can see Weezer writing a song about just this problem, actually.

[1] See, for example:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weezer

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/02/27/im-not-that-kind-of-nerd/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/01/28/novaj-koroj-novaj-lingvoj/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/01/07/movie-review-hidden-figures/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/06/19/the-thug-life-chose-me/

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weezer_discography

[3] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-bryan-adams/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-bon-jovi/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-tears-for-fears/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-janet-jackson/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-sting/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-phil-collins/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-huey-lewis-the-news/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-steve-winwood/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in History, Music History, Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Weezer

  1. Jason Bolinger says:

    I’m with you. Put them in.

    One way I look at it… Pearl Jam is in, and they’ve had a very similar career trajectory. Two amazing albums followed by 20 years of hits and misses. You could even argue that weezer was more influential than Pearl Jam in the punk/emo movement of the late 90s/early 2000s. It’s ridiculous they weren’t on the list this year. But I think they’ll get in eventually.

    • I agree. I think they’ll get in eventually. Pinkerton was pivotal in helping to inspire Emo (even if the band obviously moved in other directions after its initial lack of success) and the group brought Toto to a new generation of rock fans. Despite their uneven career, I think that Wheezer is one of the most important rock acts of the last 25 years and that they will get in. I think of their generation they and the Foo Fighters are probably the most obvious inductions, though there are plenty of other acts I will be writing about in the next few years from the post grunge scene. I may even get to writing about Stone Temple Pilots before too long as well, as they are an obvious act to go along with Nirvana and Pearl Jam from their cohort.

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