Pinkerton is the second studio album by American rock band Weezer, released on September 24, 1996 by DGC Records. After abandoning plans for a rock opera entitled Songs from the Black Hole, Weezer recorded the album between songwriter Rivers Cuomo’s terms at Harvard University, where he wrote most of the songs.
To better capture their live sound, Weezer self-produced Pinkerton, creating a darker, more abrasive album than their 1994 self-titled debut. Cuomo’s lyrics express disillusionment with the rock lifestyle; the album is named after the character BF Pinkerton from Giacomo Puccini’s 1904 opera Madama Butterfly, whom Cuomo described as an “asshole American sailor similar to a touring rock star”. Like the opera, the album contains references to Japanese culture.
Pinkerton produced the singles “El Scorcho”, “The Good Life”, and “Pink Triangle”, and debuted at number nineteen on the US Billboard 200. It received mixed reviews and did not meet sales expectations. Embarrassed by the reaction, Cuomo returned to more traditional pop songwriting and less personal lyrics for Weezer’s next album, the Green Album (2001). However, Pinkerton went on to achieve wide acclaim; it was certified platinum in 2016, and several publications have named it one of the best albums of all time. It was the last Weezer album to feature bassist Matt Sharp.

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