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"Buddy Holly" is a song by the American rock band Weezer, written by Rivers Cuomo. It was released as the second single from the band's debut album Weezer (The Blue Album) in 1994. The single was released on what would have been Buddy Holly's 58th birthday. The lyrics reference the song's 1950s namesake and actress Mary Tyler Moore. It reached number two and number 34 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart and the US Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, respectively. The song also reached number 12 in the United Kingdom, number six in Canada and number 14 in Sweden.

"Buddy Holly"
BuddyHolly(USA).jpg
Single by Weezer
from the album Weezer (The Blue Album)
ReleasedSeptember 7, 1994
FormatCD, cassette, vinyl
RecordedAugust–September 1993, Electric Lady Studios, New York City, New York
Genre
Length2:39
LabelDGC
Songwriter(s)Rivers Cuomo
Producer(s)Ric Ocasek
Weezer singles chronology
"Undone – The Sweater Song"
(1994)
"Buddy Holly"
(1994)
"Say It Ain't So"
(1995)
Audio sample
Music video
"Buddy Holly" on YouTube

Rolling Stone ranked "Buddy Holly" number 499 in its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2010).[5] The digital version of the single for "Buddy Holly" was certified gold by the RIAA in 2006.[6] VH1 ranked it as one of the 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s at number 59 in December 2007.[7]

Contents

WritingEdit

Songwriter Rivers Cuomo planned to exclude "Buddy Holly" from the album; he felt it was "cheesy" and perhaps did not represent the sound he was pursuing for Weezer. Producer Ric Ocasek persuaded him to include it. In the book River's Edge, Ocasek is quoted saying: "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. But I think you should try. You did write it and it is a great song.'" Bassist Matt Sharp recalled: "Ric said we'd be stupid to leave it off the album. We'd come into the studio in the morning and find little pieces of paper with doodles on them: WE WANT BUDDY HOLLY."[8]

An early demo of "Buddy Holly" recorded by Cuomo in 1993 has a different feel, as the song is played at a much slower tempo than the version that appears on the album. This version appeared on Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo. The liner notes for Alone explain that the chorus, in its most primitive form, originally was sung as: "Oo-wee-oo you look just like Ginger Rogers / Oh, oh, I move just like Fred Astaire". The rest of the chorus stayed the same as the Blue Album version.

Cuomo was originally inspired to write the song after his friends made fun of his Asian girlfriend.[9]

Music videoEdit

The music video for "Buddy Holly" was directed by Spike Jonze and filmed at Charlie Chaplin Studios in Hollywood over a single day. The video portrays Weezer performing at Arnold's Drive-In from the 1970s television show Happy Days, combining footage of the band with clips from the show. Happy Days cast member Al Molinaro made a cameo. In the climax, the video's stylist Casey Storm body doubled, and this allowed Fonzie to dance to the band's performance. The video also features brief cameos by some members of the band as dancers at Arnold's. Anson Williams, who played Potsie on Happy Days, objected to footage of him appearing in the video, but relented after a letter from David Geffen, founder of Geffen Records.[8] According to drummer Pat Wilson, the video was achieved without computer graphics, only "clever" camerawork and editing.[10]

The video was met with great popularity, and heavy rotation on MTV.[11] At the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards, it won Best Alternative Video, Breakthrough Video, Best Direction and Best Editing at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards, and was nominated for Video of the Year.[12]

The "Buddy Holly" video was included on the Windows 95 CD-ROM, resulting in a skyrocket in popularity and earning Weezer a place in the history of MTV Music Video Awards.[13] Geffen did not tell Weezer they had negotiated with Microsoft to include the video; the band members, none of whom owned computers, were oblivious to the implications.[10] According to Wilson, "I was furious because at the time I was like, 'How are they allowed to do this without permission?' Turns out it was one of the greatest things that could have happened to us. Can you imagine that happening today? It's like, there's one video on YouTube, and it's your video."[10]

The video also appears in the music exhibit in the Museum of Modern Art. The music video was featured in Season 5, Episode 30 of MTV's Beavis and Butthead entitled "Here Comes the Bride's Butt" on June 9, 1995.

Cover artEdit

The original cover art for the single was an early photograph of Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo with an unidentified female friend. The cover art was soon changed, however, as the woman on the cover sued Weezer for usage of her photo without legal permission.[citation needed] The cover art was quickly changed to a childhood picture of Cuomo next to his younger brother, Leaves Cuomo. Cuomo attempted to contact the woman, to no response.

Track listingsEdit

7": Geffen Records / GFS 88 (UK)

Side one

  1. "Buddy Holly (LP Version)" - 2:40

Side two

  1. "Jamie (Geffen Rarities LP Version) " - 4:18

Cassette single: Geffen Records / GFSC 88 (UK)

Side one

  1. "Buddy Holly (LP Version)" - 2:40
  2. "Jamie (Geffen Rarities LP Version) " - 4:18

Side two

  1. "Buddy Holly (LP Version)" - 2:40
  2. "Jamie (Geffen Rarities LP Version) " - 4:18

CD: Geffen Records / GFSTD 88 (UK)

  1. "Buddy Holly (LP Version)" – 2:40
  2. "My Name Is Jonas" (Live Version) – 3:40
  3. "Surf Wax America" (Live Version) – 4:09
  4. "Jamie (Geffen Rarities LP Version)" – 4:18

CD: Geffen Records / GED 21978 (Europe)

  1. "Buddy Holly (LP Version)" – 2:40
  2. "My Name Is Jonas" (Live Version) – 3:40
  3. "Surf Wax America" (Live Version) – 4:09

CD: Geffen Records / GED 22052 (Netherlands)

  1. "Buddy Holly (LP Version)" – 2:40
  2. "Surf Wax America" (Live Version) – 4:09

CD: Geffen Records / GEFDS 21968 (Australia)

  1. "Buddy Holly (LP Version)" – 2:40
  2. "Holiday" - 3:26

CD Promo: Geffen Records / PRO CD 4687 (US)

  1. "Buddy Holly" - 2:40
  • Live tracks recorded at Horizontal Boogie Bar, Rochester, New York on November 27, 1994.

PersonnelEdit

Charts and certificationsEdit

In popular cultureEdit

In 2015, the song was featured as an impromptu a cappella family sing along in an advert for the Honda Pilot.[32] The song was featured on the show Parks and Recreation during the Season 6 episode "Prom".

In 2016, the song was covered by Canadian nerd rock trio Double Experience with an accompanying video[33]

In 2017, the song was chosen by Finn Wolfhard on the show Lip Sync Battle during the Stranger Things episode.[34]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Weezer / Pixies". Delawareonline. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  2. ^ Brod, Doug (June 2008). "The "Buddy Holly" Story". Spin. 24 (6): 16. ISSN 0886-3032.
  3. ^ Braun, Laura (September 23, 2016). "How Weezer's 'Pinkerton' Went From Embarrassing to Essential". Rollingstone. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  4. ^ "Weezer brings the fun, and the Pixies, to tour". The News & Observer. July 20, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  5. ^ "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 24, 2007.
  6. ^ "RIAA searchable database". Archived from the original on September 2, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  7. ^ 100 Greatest Songs of the '90s Archived February 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ a b "Buddy Holly: How Four LA Rockers Created the Definitive Hipster-Doofus Battle Cry", Ryan Domball, Blender, November 2008
  9. ^ "Readers' Poll: The 10 Best Weezer Songs". Rolling Stone. June 18, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c Valania, Jonathan (2 October 2014). "EXCERPT: The Complete Oral History of Weezer". Magnet. Archived from the original on July 1, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  11. ^ Luerssen D., John. Rivers' Edge: The Weezer Story. ECW Press, 2004, ISBN 1-55022-619-3 p. 132
  12. ^ "1995 MTV Video Music Awards". Rock on the Net. Retrieved September 11, 2007. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  13. ^ "1995 MTV Video Music Awards on mtv.com". mtv.com. Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  14. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 16 Apr 1995". imgur.com. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  15. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  16. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 7984." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  17. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 8014." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  18. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Buddy Holly". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  19. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 29, 1995" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Weezer – Buddy Holly" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  21. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  22. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Weezer – Buddy Holly". Singles Top 100. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  23. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  24. ^ "Weezer Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  25. ^ "Weezer Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  26. ^ "Weezer Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  27. ^ "Weezer Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  28. ^ "RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1995". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  29. ^ "Årslista Singlar – År 1995" (in Swedish). Topplistan. Archived from the original on February 16, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  30. ^ "British single certifications – Weezer – Buddy Holly". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 25, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Buddy Holly in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  31. ^ "American single certifications – Weezer – Buddy Holly". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 25, 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  32. ^ "Family Time Becomes Weezer Singalong in Honda Spot". adage.com. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  33. ^ "Double Experience Channel Weezer's Blue Album in Their Own Buddy Holly Video".
  34. ^ "Finn Wolfhard performs Buddy Holly". Archived from the original on 2017-06-01. Retrieved 2017-05-28.

External linksEdit