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Weezer’s Blue Album came out 20 years ago this month.1 When I started looking back over Weezer’s catalog, one thing that stood out is how many of my favorite songs were B-Sides or labeled as “rarities” by the band. Not surprisingly, most of these were from the Blue Album and Pinkerton eras and share an aesthetic sense with the songs on those albums.2 Luckily, most of these songs are now available on Spotify.

As with any internet list, the rankings below should be considered the final say on this issue.

 

1. Mykel & Carli

This song has all the earmarks of classic Weezer. An earwormy guitar riff leads into a memorable and poppy hook, both working to service Rivers’ pensive lyrics. The song was written as a tribute to Mykel and Carli Allen, two sisters who were early supporters of the band. The song was recorded during the Blue Album sessions but the band never felt it was quite good enough for the album. Luckily, this version was eventually released as a B-Side to Undone.

2. I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams

This one is an outlier in the Weezer catalog. It’s the only song the band has ever recorded with a female lead, at least as far as we know. Rachel Haden takes the honors on this one, with Rivers coming it at the end to join her for the chorus. The song is as pure a dose of pop as Weezer ever produced, never taking much of a breather during its just over 2 and a half minute run time. Although eventually released as a B-Side to Pinkerton’s “The Good Life”, this was initially part of an unreleased album Weezer was writing called Songs from the Black Hole.3

3. Susanne

This might be Weezer’s most popular B-Side and is the one that gets the most play on tour. It was recorded during the same session as Mykel and Carli and has the same classic Blue Album feel to it. Also like Mykel & Carli, it was written for an early supporter of Weezer, an A&R assistant at Geffen Records named…wait for it…Suzanne.

4. Jamie

Okay, you get the winning formula by now:
Catchy Blue Album era jams? Check.
Named after a woman who gave the band early support?4 Check.
Personal lyrics about the type of support offered? Check.
Name checking other bands? Check.

5. Longtime Sunshine

Likely the most contemplative of all the songs on this list, this one finds Rivers longing for the proverbial and actual good old days. It’s piano driven and much slower than most other Weezer songs, as well as being one of the most vulnerable,5 All that said, it’s still a Weezer song and I find myself wistfully humming along to it in my head for days any time I happen to hear it.

6. You Gave Your Love to Me Softly

Remember all the stuff I just said about “Longtime Sunshine”? Well, forget it, because this is the opposite. This El Scorcho B-Side clocks in at 1:58 of pure pop rock goodness.

7. Devotion

This is a slower, Pinkerton era tune that shares a lot of that album’s DNA. It’s about a relationship, or more accurately, it’s about settling. While it’s got a lot going for it, just a bit more energy would help things in a big way (think “Falling For You”).

8. My Evaline

A perfectly pleasant 44 seconds.

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