Buddy Holly

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"Buddy Holly"
Buddy Holly cover
Single by Weezer
Album Weezer (The Blue Album)
Released May 10, 1994
September 7, 1994 - as a single
Format CD, cassette, vinyl
Recorded August-September 1993 at Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY
Length 2:39
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo
RC# 165
COR# 59
Producer Ric Ocasek
Status Officially released
Live debut August 1, 1993
Professional reviews
Rivers Cuomo song chronology
"Souvenirs, Novelties, Party Tricks"
(RC# 164)
"Buddy Holly"
(RC# 165)
"Hot Tub"
(RC# 166)
Weezer singles chronology
"Undone - The Sweater Song"
(1994)
"Buddy Holly"
(1994)
"Say It Ain't So"
(1995)
Weezer (The Blue Album) track listing
"The World Has Turned and Left Me Here"
(3)
"Buddy Holly"
(4)
"Undone - The Sweater Song"
(5)
Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo track listing
"The Bomb"
(4)
"Buddy Holly (Demo)"
(5)
"Chess"
(6)
Alternate cover
Cover of the European Retail CD
Cover of the European Retail CD

"Buddy Holly" is the second single and fourth track from The Blue Album.

Appearances

Overview

"Buddy Holly" is one the most-well known Weezer songs. Originally written in June of 1993, the demo for the song, released on Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo, features a slower tempo. In the liner notes for Alone, Cuomo explained how he was inspired to write the song after a friend from his choir lent him a Korg keyboard:

I was in the Santa Monica College Choir and I met a kid named Steve Graff who lent me his Korg Keyboard. Inspired by its goofy synth sounds, I decided to write some new-wave influenced songs.

The chorus melody, though, I came up with as I was walking through the lawns of the campus. The melody was in time to my steps: "ooo-we-ooo I look just like Buddy Holly." The lyrics I struggled with, trying to find the right reference point. An early version read, "ooo-we-ooo you look just like Ginger Rogers. Oh-oh I move just like Fred Astaire."

The life-situation that inspired the lyric was an incident in which the Weezer guys were making fun of my friend Kyung He (also in the Santa Monica College Choir). They were the "homies dissin' my girl".

I rarely wrote lyrics about tension between me and the guys in the band because I thought it would be awkward for us all to perform those songs together. In this case, though, it didn't seem like a big deal.

Obviously, this track is kind of slow compared to how it ended up on the Weezer record. [Even on the Weezer record we recorded it pretty slow. We sped it up during mastering.] I've always like big, fat, heavy guitar sounds and when I write a song with a sound like that I end up digging in and playing real slow. It isn't 'til we hear a song back on tape that we realize, "hey, that's a little dirgy."

"Buddy Holly" is the most oft-performed song in the Weezer catalog. Beginning in late 2000, an extended guitar intro was added, and continued to be performed through 2005. Rivers Cuomo has said that "Buddy Holly" is his favorite song to perform live.

Single release

"Buddy Holly" was the second single released from The Blue Album. Its initial cover art featured a photo of a very young Rivers Cuomo with a female friend. Apparently, the photo was used before gaining permission from this girl, and a search for her turned up fruitless. When Geffen realized they may be in an actionable position, they quickly changed the cover, and a photo of Cuomo and his brother Leaves was used instead. The incorrect cover only appears on promo copies of the single, except in Austrailia, who rushed a "Buddy Holly" single out so fast that it not only included the banned photo, but included none of the exclusive B-sides, instead simply including the LP version of "Holiday". Karl Koch would later say, "These Austrailians seem to rush into everything."

The retail single utilized live recordings from a November 1994 show in Rochester, New York as B-sides, along with the DGC Rarities version of "Jamie".

Reception

"Buddy Holly" is one of the most universally-loved and famous Weezer songs. The guitar fill at the end of the solo is one of the most notable moments in any Weezer song. Its music video was very significant in Weezer's career, winning awards and bringing the band a high level of visibility. The song was ranked as part of "The Very Best" by the Weezer songblog, Teenage Victory Songs. Allmusic.com gave "Buddy Holly" a 5 star rating and named it an "AMG Track Pick."

The song was covered by parody group Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine for their 2003 album Tuxicity.

Music video

The one that blew everything out of the water for Weezer, and, along with his "Sabotage" video, put Spike firmly on the map. No computer trickery, just a real Al, real sets and real props, combined with vintage footage to freak out a lot of fans not yet familiar with what CGI could and couldn't do.
-Karl Koch on the "Buddy Holly" music video, from the liner notes for Video Capture Device

The music video, featuring the band spliced into a Happy Days set, was directed by Spike Jonze. The video combines new footage of the band, and old footage from the show, including many of its stars, such as Henry Winkler and Ron Howard. Also included, in a newly-shot speaking role, is Al Molinaro, who played Al Delvecchio on Happy Days. It was massively successful, and launched the band into mainstream fame. It was featured on the installation CD-ROM for Microsoft Windows 95 as well. In the commentary for the video on the Video Capture Device, the band members reveal that many of the backup dancers used in the video are friends of theirs, including Tony Maxwell of that dog..

The video has won several awards, notably four awards at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards, including prizes for Breakthrough Video and Best Alternative Video.

In a Riverpedia post from September 2020, Cuomo recounts a story watching Nirvana's video for "In Bloom" and admiring it. The video bears a number of similarities to Jonze's "Buddy Holly," including a TV personality introducing the band before the song, footage of the bands performing inter-spliced with footage of an audience that isn't actually there watching, and the band members giving a tongue-in-cheek 1950's style performance of the song.

Audio

Demo

Notable performances


Track listings

Promo Only Radio Single

  1. Buddy Holly - 2:40

UK Retail CD

  1. Buddy Holly - 2:40
  2. My Name Is Jonas (Live) - 3:40
  3. Surf Wax America (Live) - 4:09
  4. Jamie - 4:18

UK Retail Cassette/UK Retail 7" Single (Black Vinyl)

  1. Buddy Holly - 2:40
  2. Jamie - 4:18

Australian Retail CD

  1. Buddy Holly - 2:40
  2. Holiday

Dutch Retail CD

  1. Buddy Holly - 2:40
  2. Surf Wax America (Live) - 4:09

Live tracks recorded at Horizontal Boogie Bar, Rochester, NY on November 27, 1994.

Personnel

Lyrics

Buddy-Holly-lyrics.jpg

What's with these homies dissin' my girl?
Why do they gotta front?
What did we ever do to these guys
That made them so violent?

Woo-hoo, but you know I'm yours
Woo-hoo, and I know you're mine
Woo-hoo, and that's for all of time

Woo-ee-oo I look just like Buddy Holly
Oh-oh, and you're Mary Tyler Moore
I don't care what they say about us anyway
I don't care 'bout that

Don't you ever fear, I'm always near
I know that you need help
Your tongue is twisted, your eyes are slit
You need a guardian

Woo-hoo, and you know I'm yours
Woo-hoo, and I know you're mine
Woo-hoo, and that's for all of time

Woo-ee-oo I look just like Buddy Holly
Oh-oh, and you're Mary Tyler Moore
I don't care what they say about us anyway
I don't care 'bout that
I don't care 'bout that

Bang! Bang! Knock on the door
Another big bang, get down on the floor
Oh No! What do I do?
Don't look now but I lost my shoe
I can't run and I can't kick
What's a matter babe, are you feelin' sick?
What's a matter, what's a matter, what's a matter you?
What's a matter babe, are you feelin' blue?
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!

And that's for all of time
And that's for all of time

Woo-ee-oo I look just like Buddy Holly
Oh-oh, and you're Mary Tyler Moore
I don't care what they say about us anyway
I don't care 'bout that
I don't care 'bout that
I don't care 'bout that
I don't care 'bout that

See also