Recently there has been a renewed interest in Weezer, more specifically their first two albums, Weezer (The Blue Album) and Pinkerton. Many bands have been performing their classic albums in their entirety live and Weezer is no exception. A recent release on their webstore showcases such a show and the reissues and expanded deluxe editions of both albums are now available. Even a (Rivers Cuomo approved) Canadian Weezer-tribute band, Sheezer is playing material only from the first two records. I'm just a casual Weezer fan, but I do regard Blue and Pinkerton as their essential recordings, the rest of their catalogue isn't as required, but they're still better than most of the newer bands today.
It came as a bit of a surprise when I was digging around researching information about "lost" albums and discovered (why didn't I know this?) that Weezer have a lost album. Songs From The Black Hole was a concept conceived by front-man Rivers Cuomo that was to be the follow-up to their debut album, The Blue Album. This concept album was a space themed rock opera/musical that Rivers wrote and demo-ed, but in the process the concept was scrapped and the album evolved into Pinkerton instead. To read about the history of the recordings and the plots of the concept there's a huge wikipedia entry dedicated to this recording that remains unreleased and unfinished. There has much interest in the Weezer community to try to coax the band into releasing the album. To feed the interest, Rivers Cuomo has posted the lyrics and music for some of the SFTBH tracks. Also Cuomo has released 3 solo albums of home recordings, Alone: The Home Recordings Of Rivers Cuomo, Alone II: The Home Recordings Of Rivers Cuomo and Alone III: The Pinkerton Years that included many tracks that were intended for SFTBH. Cuomo considered releasing the entire Songs From the Black Hole, "I knew 'Blast Off' and some of these other Songs from The Black Hole had to be on there, because for years Weezer fans have been wanting to hear these songs, and I knew if I put out the album without these songs on there, they would hunt me down and kill me." He also added, "I thought about it for a long time. I thought maybe I should release it as The Black Hole and put the demos in the right order, but like I said, it was never finished, so it wouldn't really stand up, like it wouldn't be a very good listen... It was a very tough decision".
Instead of the space-theme opera of SFTBH, Weezer recorded an album that is named after B.F. Pinkerton from the opera Madame Butterfly as the album is loosely based on around the opera. The album includes references to Japan, Japanese people and Japanese culture from the perspective of an outsider who considers Japan fragile and sensual. Many consider Pinkerton to be Weezer's best record and I would agree, it's darker in tone and sound than the first record, but the songs are more solid and still stand up well today.
The tracks I have posted were compiled by a fan who combined both track listings from the original SFTBH demos to recreate the plot Cuomo might have intended. The songs are edited to flow seamlessly into each other as there are pieced together demos, b-sides, and other tracks to create what he felt was the concept Cuomo had in mind. The result is a enjoyable cohesive album that provides a glimpse of what might have been. Thanks for the effort and this is something every Weezer fan (or casual fan...) should listen to, as this may in fact be, the greatest lost album hardly anyone has ever heard! Enjoy!!
1. "Countdown" - [0:53] 2. "Blast Off!" - [1:58] 3. "Who You Callin' Bitch?" - [0:44] 4. "Oh Jonas"* - [0:27] 5. "I Do" - [1:56] 6. "Come to my Pod" - [1:29] 7. "Oh No, This Is Not for Me" - [0:45] 8. "Tired of Sex" - [2:54] 9. "She's Had a Girl"* - [0:46] 10. "Dude, We're Finally Landing (Good News!)" - [0:51] 11. "I Don't Want Your Lovin'" - [3:02] 12. "Getchoo" - [2:49] 13. "I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams" - [2:40] 14. "Superfriend" - [3:16] 15. "Superfriend (Reprise)" - [0:27] 16. "O Lisa" - [2:31] 17. "You Won't Get Me Tonight" - [3:26] 18. "Why Bother?" - [2:00] 19. "Waiting on You" - [3:55] 20. "No Other One" - [2:44] 21. "Devotion" - [3:05] 22. "Purification of Water" - [3:55] 23. "Longtime Sunshine" - [3:06] 24. "Longtime Sunshine (Reprise)"* - [1:13]
*Covers not performed by Weezer An interpretation by Kyle K - Chitown, IL, USA