Rivers Cuomo has revealed how a simple trip to the grocery store helped Weezer create their 1994 self-titled debut, commonly referred to as the Blue Album.

In hindsight, it’s easy to see why the LP was a success. The Blue Album is chock full of such modern classics as “Buddy Holly,” “Say It Ain’t So” and “Undone (The Sweater Song).” Still, Weezer was an unknown band at the time, and there was no guarantee that anyone would pay attention to them.

After signing their record deal, the band wanted to self-produce their debut album. However, the label wasn’t comfortable giving a new act such power.

“We got a record deal with Geffen and we thought we knew exactly how we wanted the record to sound. We don’t want a producer,” Cuomo recalled during a recent interview with Booker & Stryker. “But [the label] absolutely insisted. ‘This is your first album. Second album, we can talk about, but first album you guys need a producer.’”

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Unsure of who to work with, Cuomo pondered over the decision. Then, during an innocuous visit to his local supermarket, the frontman had an epiphany.

“One day I was in the grocery store picking up some ramen noodles or whatever. And on the Muzak in there comes the Cars song, ‘Just What I Needed.’”

Cuomo was struck by the tune’s guitar punch, coupled with its instantly-recognizable keyboard line.

“And I was like, ‘Man, that’s exactly what we want to sound like! So let’s get that guy!’”

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Fatefully, “that guy” turned out to be the Cars’ frontman and songwriter, Ric Ocasek, rather than Roy Thomas Baker, who actually produced “Just What I Needed.” Cuomo reached out to Ocasek directly, and was excited by the response.

“We sent him our demo tape and he immediately responded and was totally blown away and very enthusiastic,” the singer recalled. “Whereas most of the people in the industry so far, we’d given them our tape and they were like, ‘Eh.’ But he really got it, so we went with him.”

With Ocasek’s guidance, Weezer found the sound they were looking for. The Blue Album became one of the defining albums of the ‘90s, selling more than 15 million copies worldwide. Weeezer will celebrate the LP’s 30th anniversary by embarking on a nationwide tour dubbed Voyage to the Blue Planet. It will see the band performing the Blue Album in its entirety, along with further hits from throughout their career.

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