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Weezer’s Divisive ‘Pinkerton’ Goes Platinum 20 Years Later

Slow and steady wins the (sales) race.

By Hayden Wright

Just days before its 20th anniversary, Weezer fan favorite Pinkerton has officially gone platinum, proof that sometimes slow and steady does win the race.

Weezer’s second studio album, Pinkerton took Rivers Cuomo and company in a darker direction than the band’s commercially successful 1994 self-titled debut. Pinkerton was less radio-friendly and explored heavier themes, including identity and sexual frustration, which failed to wow critics and was a commercial disappointment. Though it seemed like a low point for the band commercially, the album resonated with fans and influenced two generations of self-deprecating alternative and indie-rock bands.

Related: Weezer Gigs Feature Rivers Cuomo Family Members

Despite the adoration of Weezer devotees, frontman Rivers Cuomo badmouthed his band’s second release:

“It’s a hideous record,” he said in 2001. “It was such a hugely painful mistake that happened in front of hundreds of thousands of people and continues to happen on a grander and grander scale and just won’t go away. It’s like getting really drunk at a party and spilling your guts in front of everyone and feeling incredibly great and cathartic about it, and then waking up the next morning and realizing what a complete fool you made of yourself.”

Though critics and the mainstream weren’t ready for Pinkerton in 1996, the disc holds up as a time capsule, both in the context of Weezer’s trajectory and as a slice of prime mid-’90s adolescent angst.

Earlier this week, the band shared the official certification notice and thanked fans for their enduring support:

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