Weezer Favorites: Volume 1 Songbook

The Weezer Favorites: Volume 1 collection features ten piano solo arrangements for intermediates and up by Jennifer Eklund. Includes favorites like, "All My Favorite Songs," "Haunt You Every Day," "Buddy Holly," and "Beverly Hills."

This post is part two of the Weezer Favorites Songbook Series.
Weezer Favorites: Volume 1 Songbook Image credit: Weezer, City of Trees 2016 by micadew, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

About the Weezer Favorites songbook series:

I’m a huge Weezer fan. What I love even more than listening to Weezer is arranging their songs for the piano in a way that stays true to the originals, but keeps them playable for intermediate level pianists. This has been a “heart songs” project and I’m sure there will eventually be more volumes. If you’re looking for Easy Weezer Favorites (arrangements for easy piano) I’ve got those too!

A couple of notes about this series:

  • I have omitted all of my arrangements of the songs from the Teal album. I love Teal, but wanted to stick to Weezer’s original stuff.

  • I tried to represent a bit of everything, the old, the new, the popular, the deeper cuts. These volumes are by no means exhaustive, but the series will undoubtedly continue to grow.

🎸 About Weezer

Weezer is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1992, consisting of members Rivers Cuomo, Patrick Wilson, Scott Shriner, and Brian Bell. They have achieved significant success, selling over 10 million albums in the US and more than 35 million worldwide.

Their career includes notable albums such as the self-titled “Blue Album” in 1994, which was a multiplatinum success, and “Pinkerton” in 1996, which initially had mixed reviews but later gained critical acclaim. The band went on hiatus after “Pinkerton” and returned in 2001 with the “Green Album,” featuring a more pop sound and achieving commercial success. Bassist changes occurred during this period.

Weezer continued to release albums like “Maladroit” (2002) with a hard-rock sound and “Make Believe” (2005) with mixed reviews but a chart-topping single, “Beverly Hills.” In 2008, they released the “Red Album” with the hit single “Pork and Beans.” Subsequent albums, “Raditude” (2009) and “Hurley” (2010), had mixed reviews, but are valuable albums in the Weezer ouevre.

They returned to a rock style reminiscent of their 90s sound with “Everything Will Be Alright in the End” (2014) and the “White Album” (2016). “Pacific Daydream” (2017) featured a more mainstream pop sound, and in 2019, they released a covers album (the Teal Album) followed by the “Black Album.”

In 2021, Weezer released “OK Human,” featuring an orchestral pop sound, which received critical acclaim, and “Van Weezer,” inspired by hard rock. In 2022, they released a series of EPs based on the four seasons.

🎶 Weezer Favorites: Volume 1 Songbook

The following songs are included in the Weezer Favorites: Volume 1 songbook.

These are all available as separate singles, but you get the most value by purchasing the whole collection. All of these arrangements are appropriate for intermediates and up.

  1. All My Favorite Songs
  2. Aloo Gobi
  3. Beverly Hills
  4. Buddy Holly
  5. Grapes of Wrath
  6. Haunt You Every Day
  7. I’m Just Being Honest
  8. QB Blitz
  9. Sweet Mary
  10. The Garden of Eden

🎹 Watch a performance of the entire volume:

Let’s dive deeper with some more details about a few of my personal favorites from Weezer Favorites: Volume 1 songbook.

1. “All My Favorite Songs” (2021)

Seemed apropos that we started here:

“All My Favorite Songs” is a track by the American rock group Weezer, which made its debut on January 21, 2021, as the initial release from their fourteenth studio album, OK Human. Simultaneously, they unveiled a music video on that very day.

On May 12, 2021, an alternative rendition of the song, featuring the indie pop ensemble AJR, was introduced, coinciding with the release of their fifteenth studio album, Van Weezer.

Diverging from the recent hard rock-oriented singles seen on Van Weezer, “All My Favorite Songs” leans more towards the realms of baroque pop and chamber pop. As noted by Spin, this orchestral pop-rock piece aligns seamlessly with Weezer’s musical identity, representing a natural progression in the journey of Rivers Cuomo’s musical evolution.

Regarding the song’s title and lyrics, Cuomo elucidated that it mirrors his personal music preferences, with the declaration that “All my favorite songs are slow and sad.”

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

2. “Buddy Holly” (1994)

A classic video:

“Buddy Holly” was released as the second single from “Weezer (The Blue Album),” on September 7, 1994, coinciding with Buddy Holly’s 58th birthday. The song references the 1950s musician Buddy Holly and actress Mary Tyler Moore. It achieved notable chart positions, including number two on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Rolling Stone ranked “Buddy Holly” at number 484 on its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” in 2021. The digital version of the single was certified gold by the RIAA in 2006, and VH1 included it in their “100 Greatest Songs of the 90s” at number 59 in 2007.

The song’s origin is tied to Rivers Cuomo’s personal experiences, initially considered for exclusion from the album due to concerns about its sound. However, producer Ric Ocasek convinced Cuomo to include it.

The music video, directed by Spike Jonze, was filmed at Charlie Chaplin Studios in Hollywood and features Weezer performing at Arnold’s Drive-In from the TV show Happy Days, with cameos from Happy Days cast members. The video received acclaim and numerous awards, including Best Alternative Video at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards.

The video’s unexpected inclusion on the Windows 95 installation CD-ROM further boosted its popularity, making it a landmark in MTV Music Video Awards history and earning Weezer significant recognition.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

3. “Haunt You Every Day” (1994)

A personal favorite, and in my opinion, the most beautiful song in Weezer’s catalog:

“Haunt You Every Day” is a song by the American rock band Weezer. It is the closing track on their fifth studio album, “Make Believe,” which was released in 2005. The song was not released as a single but remains notable for its emotional and reflective lyrics, as well as its departure from Weezer’s typically upbeat and pop-oriented sound.

“Haunt You Every Day” is a more somber and introspective track compared to many of Weezer’s previous hits. The lyrics suggest feelings of regret, longing, and the haunting presence of past mistakes or lost love. The song features a slower tempo and a melancholic melody, with Rivers Cuomo’s vocals conveying a sense of vulnerability and introspection. The instrumentation is less guitar-driven than some of their other songs, with a focus on keyboards and a more atmospheric sound.

While “Haunt You Every Day” may not be as well-known as some of Weezer’s earlier hits, it has found a place among fans for its emotional depth and willingness to explore different musical styles. It showcases a more mature and reflective side of the band’s songwriting and has been appreciated for its honesty and raw emotion.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

4. “Grapes of Wrath” (2021)

Weezer managed to make and amazing amount of videos during the pandemic and this is definitely a highlight (and a great song from OK Human):

The song “Grapes of Wrath” takes its name from the American realist novel “The Grapes of Wrath,” penned by John Steinbeck and published in 1939. When queried about the song’s inception during an interview with Audible, Rivers Cuomo shared:

One night a few years ago I woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to listen to an audiobook on Audible. I did that from time to time anyway, but this was the first time I did it in the middle of the night. I stayed up for a couple hours, just listening and listening to The Grapes of Wrath. I did not get good sleep, but it was a pretty magical experience. There’s something about that state of the brain, that time of night—I’m able to drift into this more imaginative state and really enter the world of the writer’s imagination.

The next day, I woke up and it was time to go write songs ’cause that’s what I do, and I was pretty sleepy and just feeling like, not ambitious and what’s the point? But then, I found myself in that same half-asleep brain state, and it was kind of pleasant. I remembered reading an interview with the producer Quincy Jones, and he said the whole time he was producing Michael Jackson’s Thriller, he was half-asleep behind the mixing board. He mentioned something about beta waves, like when your brain is producing these beta waves it’s a better state for creativity and imagination than when you’re fully awake and more conscious about what you’re doing. I think also I’d heard that Thomas Edison, the great inventor, was constantly dozing off as he was coming up with all these amazing inventions. So I took that opportunity of being in that beta-wave state and wrote a song about my experience listening to The Grapes of Wrath for a long time in the middle of the night.

And ever since then, I’ve gotten into this habit of listening to fiction as I’m going to sleep or in the middle of the night when I wake up. It’s just a wonderful opportunity to enter into the giant imagination and empathy of these great writers.

Rivers Cuomo, interview with Audible, January 2021

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

5. “QB Blitz” (2017)

Pacific Daydream is my “happy place” album and this is one of my faves from that release. It was meant for the piano and has one of the best bridge sections ever:

In an October 2017 Upset Magazine interview Rivers said:

‘QB Blitz’ is about another person in my creative life, a collaborator. That one’s ultimately about disappointment with decisions that had been made, and that feeling of, ‘Why did I trust other people when I should have just been going with my own creative instincts?’ I just need to get back in touch with my instincts and go for it, rather than relying on the advice of the experts.

Rivers Cuomo

In an October 2017 NPR interview Rivers provided context for the “algebra” lyric, noting that he tried to get his wife to take a Khan Academy algebra course with him but that “she wasn’t having it.”

In a 2020 Riverpedia entry, Cuomo noted that the song was “inspired by the lack of commercial breakthrough of the White Album” following the band’s signing to new management (Crush Music) in early 2015. Cuomo added, “The phrase ‘qb blitz’ just came to me while writing stream of consciousness. Maybe it means I have to resort to drastic measures after being frustrated with more conservative play.”

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

🤔 Looking for more Weezer sheet music? I’ve got you covered!

👋 Do you have a favorite Weezer tune? I’d love to hear about it!

Jennifer Eklund
Written by Jennifer Eklund
Jennifer Eklund holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music from California State University, Long Beach. She is an avid arranger, composer, and author of the Piano Pronto® method books series as well as a wide variety of supplemental songbooks. She is also a Signature Artist with Musicnotes.com with a large catalog of popular music titles for musicians of all levels.


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