Alt-rockers Weezer surprised fans by dropping a surprise covers album overnight, riding on the success of the surprise viral success of their recent cover of Toto's eighties classic Africa, which essentially came into being following a joke among fans on social media.
The band have been off the radar of most people other than the hardiest fans since they were dropped by Geffen Records in 2009, following disappointing sales for The Red Album in 2008. The band have been solidly touring, and recording for indie label Epitaph since, but with limited commercial success compared to earlier chartstormers such as Buddy Holly and Say it Ain't So.
Africa, however, became a surprise success after fans pleaded with the band to cover the song online. The band even previously recorded a cover of Rosanna, a totally different Toto song, to tease campaigners before they finally released their take on Africa last May, and subsequently saw it hit number one on the Billboard Alternative Chart and rack up almost eight million views on YouTube.
Having already exhausted the primary colours for album naming purposes with The Red, Blue, Green and White albums already under their belts and the The Black Album due on March 19, the band have opted to call the surprise release The Teal Album. The album opens with the chart-topping Toto cover, and also features tracks by The Eurythmics, a-ha, Black Sabbath and many more.
The Teal Album dropped last night with no publicity or advertising, and is available to download from major online retailers now. It will be released physically on March 8, less than two weeks before Weezer's next album proper The Black Album, on March 19.
That album will be produced by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek and promises something a little different for Weezer fans, according to frontman Rivers Cuomo. The singer told Rolling Stone recently: "Dave is close to our age, but he's from the completely other side of the alternative nineties. His point of reference is more Beck and the Beastie Boys, which is so different from where I was coming from with the Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins side of alt-rock."