Jimmy Eat World—one of the smartest, most enduring bands to emerge from the '90s pop-punk explosion—had just formed when Weezer's classic debut dropped. On the album's 20th birthday, frontman Jim Adkins graciously recounts the story of Jimmy Eat World's first brush with the brilliance of The Blue Album for us. Here's what he had to say:
My most vivid memories of hearing Weezer's Blue Album are of driving around shitty L.A. traffic. It was the early days of touring for us. The only van rental place in Phoenix that would rent to a 19-year-old had helped us take out the back two seating rows for gear. I was sitting back there with cases trying to get comfortable around the tracks for the seats and all our stuff. I don't think we had applied our Tetris skills to the load because comfort was a battle.
This could be wrong but I want to say we were coming from the Sunset Tower Records and Tom [Linton] had bought the album because he heard Ric Ocasek produced it.
I remember sitting back there, in rainy rush hour traffic listening to the whole album in one sitting. "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here" sealed it for me. I just couldn't place it in any category. I mean, it was rock. Maybe Pixies were closest thing. Something reminded me of the good, pure sense of "pop." But honest. It's no surprise at all it's an album people identify with and continue to build life associations with today.
To hear what critics said about Weezer Blue when it dropped—many hated it, most were confused—check out our retrospective roundup of 20-year-old reviews of Rivers & Co.'s first record. And for Surfer Blood's recollections of hearing Weezer's debut for the first time, head here.