The Weezer recording history: Page 5

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note: page 5 updated 3/06


BLUE ALBUM SESSIONS New York City- August, September, October 1993

The guys recorded and mixed 11 songs. The 10 songs that appear on the album , plus "Mykel and Carli", which was never quite finished. It still exists on the master tapes at Electric Lady Studios, along with the 10 main tracks.

There were several "takes" (recorded tries) of each song. I dont have documentation of this. I do recall there being about 4-5 takes per song that appeared on the album. The guys would then listen to the raw first takes, especially the drums, and pick out the best one. The best one was then used to over-dub all the other insturments and singing on, which effectively "wiped over" the original bass, guitars and vocals. In some cases it was determined that the drums were best in two different parts on two different takes. In this case the two master reels were actually cut and spliced together, creating a new "take" which consisted of pieces of the originals. (hey, the Beatles did this too, dont knock it!) Again, if I were at Electric Lady, I'd ask to see the reels and write down all the details. But im not there, so we can only guess at the number of original takes.

Jason Cropper was asked to leave the band during the recording sessions, and was replaced by Brian Bell, who had to send in an "audition" tape (see below), so the guys could see if he could sing. Jason's guitar tracks were re-recorded by Rivers, and his backing vocals were re-recorded by Brian, except when Brian was too unfamiliar with the material to get it just right, in which case Rivers stepped in. The only track that wasnt changed was "Mykel and Carli", which was abandoned due to a lack of time to finish it. The version of "Mykel and Carli" that you are familiar with was recorded later in 1994 (see below).

During the course of recording, "tracking roughs" were made on cassettes, for the guys to take back to the hotel at the end of the day, and listen to, with the intention of deciding what needed fixing, etc. The following is a list of the "roughs" that I personally ended up with, and may be just a sampling of the total amount. Again, these are not different "takes" from what you hear on the album, they are earlier mixes, often with different guitar parts, or rough "scratch" vocals.

One "rough" (listed below) was very nearly the final album mix. Again I was asked to supply samples for the intro to "Undone". The samples were added to the master reel, and the matter was assumed to be done with. But then, once we were back in LA in November, we got word thet my samples were too difficult to gain legal clearence for, and so something else had to be done. This is when the familiar "party dialogue" was added. This was done on Rivers's 8 track in "the" garage, with Mykel, Matt, a "crowd noise" sound effect CD and me. (see below)

Also, I took extensive home videos of the recording process and the NYC =w= expeience

Roughs as of 8/22
song comments (what the tape listing said)
undone the sweater song (note: all feature J.C.'s guitar playing, occasional singing)
mykel and carli #1
in the garage
buddy holly
sayit aint so #1 ("final")
only in dreams
holiday
the world has turned and left me here
surf wax america
mykel and carli #2
say it aint so #2
say it aint so #3
my name is jonas
no one else


"ruffs" 8/25, 8/26, 8/27
song comments
no one else
the world has turned and left me here
surf wax america
holiday
mykel and carli
my name is jonas
undone the sweater song
say it aint so
only in dreams
in the garage
buddy holly




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"weezer master mixes" (mixes made right before Jason left)

  • holiday
  • my name is jonas
  • in the garage
  • surf wax america

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Brian Bell's "audition" tape 9/14/93

    (Brians hastily learned, partially made up solo versions of the following, Fed-Exed to nyc:...)

  • no one else
  • undone the sweater song
  • the world has turned and left me here
  • say it aint so

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Undone "final mix" w/ karl's samples, which got as far as a "final, unmastered" cassette of the album

    (samples included Humphery Bogart , the Peanuts gang, and Dialogue from "The Black Hole", mixed in a way so that the left side was all enthusiastic happy stuff, and the right was all bummed , depressed things)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Undone "replace the samples" voice over 8 track master

    To do this, a mix was made to a DAT tape at Electric Lady , with the samples turned down. this was sent to LA, where rivers copied it to two stereo tracks of his 8 track cassette recorder. Then on other tracks, the party noise was put on, as well as conversations between Matt and I, and Mykel and I. Then the newly recorded vocals and party noise was mixed down (with no guitars, drums, etc) to another DAT tape, which was sent back to New York, to be "flown in" to the final mix. This was done in this manner to make sure the timing was exact, so that we werent still talking during the chorus part or any other errors. The only other option was to fly back to New york and book studio time to re-do it "professionally", which would have been rediculously expensive for such a minor thing.

    (And yes, I was bummed that my samples werent used)


    (please note that I do not have the resources available to accurately list any Jason Cropper recordings after september 1993.)
    NYC Pat Wilson 4 tracks: September'93

    Done at the hotel we stayed at (the Gramercy, on Gramercy Park), on Matt's 4 track, during blue album recording sessions.

  • buying and selling (1st recording)
  • i wouldnt say it (1st recording)
  • old and wise (1st recording)
  • "commercials for levi's"
  • scare you off (1st recording)
  • these people aren't my friends
    NYC Matt Sharp 4 tracks : September & October'93

    I dont have exact details of what songs he did at this time, however see 10-11/93 below. (All of Matt's '93-'94 4 track activity is summed up below)

    This is definitely when the "Friends of P" demo was recorded that became a rentals B-side much later.


    October '93 Pat Wilson 8 tracks

    This was likely made upon return to LA, after the blue album was finished.
    Unfortunately it seems Pat was careless with his recordings, and there are multiple tape-overs. over the course of 2 master tapes there is not one song that isnt cut off early, partially recorded over, or otherwise rendered unusable. In many cases different tracks have different songs on them, playing simultaneously. It sounds like he was using the tape as a practice tape, just working out the songs.I could detect definate early attempts of "I Wouldn't Say It" on both tapes, as well as one song w/ drum machine drums, similar to his later Suburban Advantage demo (see below), but clearly before that time due to its raw state.


    October/November '93 Pat Wilson 8 track demo: "My Spine"

    This was a rough demo, all parts played by pat. Soon he would move on from this material and write new songs, and make the "Suburban Advantage EP" (see farther on below)

    Pat's pre-Suburban Advantage demo, "My Spine"
    song comments
    old and wise
    you'll never change
    someday you will have to learn
    i wouldnt say it
    buying and selling (Prototype: Suburban Advantage 'New Wave Lullaby')
    why is this so (Prototype: Suburban Advantage 'lets go to the mall', & S.G. 'Riff')
    scare you off


    November '93 "Martha" version 2

    This officially counts as a Southern Fried Swing recording, which when i first mentioned SFS (above), I said I wouldn't be including further details of. However, this is a special exception. At my behest, Pat Wilson helped me record a more "pro" version of this song, which was probably a bad idea, as it lost its special silliness. The unusual thing is that I persuaded Rivers to play a trumpet solo on the song. He was on a kick to learn trumpet (I suppose if youve just recorded your debut major label album, you need to find new challenges!), and I corralled him into the garage. Pat played drums and guitar, I "sang". Recorded on Rivers's 8 track.


    October/November '93 Matt Sharp 4 track recordings (continued from New York)

    As of November, Matt had 3 songs that he was fairly pleased with. I imagine he destroyed a considerable amount of his New York hotel room recordings, focusing on a few standout tracks. He would continue to make 4 track recordings till Spring '94 (see later on below)

  • friends of p
  • california
  • stupid girl
    November/December '93 Rivers 8 tracks

    song comments
    you gave your love to me softly first version
    when youre alone barbershop original
    victory on the hill an all trumpet original


    January 1994 Rivers 8 tracks

    ....Quite a crop!

    song comments
    i'm tired of having sex (note original title)
    suzanne original
    waiting on you original
    gitchoo original (original spelling, too)
    longtime sunshine original
    why bother? original
    Longtime Sunshine was likely recorded in Connecticut while Rivers was back east visiting family for the holidays. The rest were done in 'The Garage' at 2226 Amherst Ave in West L.A.


    January - April '94 Pat Wilson 8 tracks

    more prototype pre-Suburban Advantage material, mostly recorded in an apartment in Riverside, CA on Rick Ocasek's vintage cassette 4 track, which he gave to the band during the Blue Album sessions (sadly later lost!)
    song comments
    they put pat finn in jail (choruses = S.G. "i'd like to know")
    nobody acts like this makes fun of Smashing Pumpkins "Cherub Rock" video, and a Pringles commercial
    i will do my best (2 trk acoustic)
    i'm at the counter
    i will do my best (electric; 4 track)
    unfamiliar (1st recording)
    song of youth
    youd never wonder Recorded 2/94 in The Garage, Rivers on trumpet
    if you think im different (Recorded 4/5/94, in Riverside; 2 track)


    February '94 Live performance of "Susanne" in Susanne's Geffen office

    The guys did this semi-barbershop acoustic version as a suprise to the songs inspiration, Todd Sullivan's A&R assistant Susanne F., on what may have been her birthday. I captured the moment on my microcassette recorder. They just marched into her office at Geffen and started singing. Susanne was speechless and moved to tears, she had never heard the song before. (few had!) Pat played acoustic guitar, the other three sang.


    Spring 1994 Matt's new 4 track demos to date

    This list represents all of Matt's 4 track output from fall '93- Spring '94. I have noted where a song has already appeared. Those are the same recordings as I listed before.
    song comments
    these days
    say goodbye forever
    susan not "suzanne!"
    move on
    california (same as above, not a new version)
    you are in charge
    sweetness and tenderness
    want you , need you, love you
    stupid girl (same as above, not a new version)
    waiting
    jamie (mark 2 ) same as [way] above, not a new version
    friends of p (same as above, not a new version)
    come back to me ("i feel so lonley and sad..." bridge later used in"Naive" (Rentals)
    december days
    the tv is on
    she looks at me (that dog cover)
    frisbee days
    the love I'm searching for


    Spring 1994: Space Twins "Craterface" demo

    I beleive this was Brian's first Space Twins demo. It was recorded with his then-girlfriend Susan Fox, at an unknown LA location.

  • take my place
  • some sort of crime
  • my love
  • no show
  • here comes the sun
  • smells like...hot dogs
  • rings of saturn



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