Monday, March 28, 2022

Neil Young - Homegrown (upgrade)

Neil Young - Homegrown

(soniclovenoize reconstruction)

MARCH 2022 UPGRADE

 

Side A:

1.  Separate Ways

2.  Little Wing

3.  The Old Homestead

4.  Frozen Man

5.  Homegrown

 

Side B:

6.  Star of Bethlehem

7.  Love is a Rose

8.  We Don't Smoke It

9.  Give Me Strength

10.  Vacancy

11.  White Lines

 

This an oft-requested upgrade of one of my favorite albums that never were. This is a reconstruction—actually, more of a re-imagining, really—of Neil Young’s famous unreleased 1975 album Homegrown. Originally meant to be released in 1975 as the proper follow-up to On The Beach, it was shelved in favor of the more electric and immediate Tonight’s The Night. While the album was finally released in 2020 as a part of The Archive Volume 2 project, many fans complained that the album was not what they had imagined or what it could have been; some even seemed to like my own reconstruction better than the actual release! So this is an upgrade to my original reconstruction using the newly-released sources, swapping some tracks for others to make Homegrown actually live up to it’s own hype as the stark, acoustic record that was the successor to Harvest.

Neil Young has always been a man on the edge, a troubadour who embraced his inner-turmoil.  This was a characteristic that informed his music and ensured a long-lasting artistic integrity.  Presented with mainstream success that outshined his previous musical outlets with several hits from his 1972 album Harvest, Neil Young choose to intentionally follow-up the album’s commercial acoustics with more abrasive and difficult material to challenge his newly horizoned audience.  The subsequent albums were called “The Ditch Trilogy”, formed by 1973’s Time Fades Away, 1974’s On The Beach and 1975’s Tonight’s The Night.  All three projects shared the theme of loss and how Young dealt with it emotionally, as Young lost three of his closest confidants in the course of making the albums.  But “The Ditch Trilogy” is a misnomer, as it should have been the Ditch Tetralogy: the fourth and final recorded project during Young’s turbulent 1972-1975 era remained in his vault, as it not only was too personal, but the sound of the album was too reminiscent of Harvest, the album he strove to shy away from.  Regardless, it is the quintessential Ditch album, the final word of that era, although it was never actually heard.

After being fired from Crazy Horse years earlier, Young had given guitarist Danny Whitten a second chance with a rhythm guitar spot in his backing band The Stray Gators for the upcoming Harvest Tour.  Unable to perform competently due to his rampant alcoholism and heroin addiction, Young fired Whitten a second time.  Within 24 hours, Whitten was dead, overdosed on alcohol and Valium.  The effect on Young was immense, as he felt he was responsible for Whitten’s death.  The initial outcome was Time Fades Away, recorded live on the subsequent tour, mere months after Whitten’s death.  The sloppy sound of anguish and denial—an artist in mourning with an inebriated backing band—Young has since regretted the album, possibly due to the sound quality of the album, recorded live by very early digital technology.  Time Fades Away exists solely as a document of this troubled time in Young’s career, which was only strengthened by an additional subtext of the tour: Young was growing apart from his wife Carrie Snodgress, the muse of his Harvest.  The freedoms of a rock star’s wife did not seem to gel with the pressures of a grieving and overbooked rock star, and the two became distant.

A brief interlude from the turmoil occurred as a hopeful writing and recording session with a reunited Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in mid-1973, resulting in the genesis of the Human Highway project (which was also reconstructed on this author’s blog).  Unfortunately, a second casualty temporarily ceased the project, as Neil Young and CSNY’s long-time roadie Bruce Berry overdosed on heroin, a habit that was introduced to him by none other than Danny Whitten.  Leaving Crosby, Stills and Nash to their own battling egos, Young recorded possibly the rawest and most anguished recording of the 1970s, Tonight’s The Night, between August and September.  A painful ode to both Whitten and Berry, the album was perhaps too raw and Young sat on the completed recording for the remainder of the year while road-testing the material, toying with the mixing and sequence, finding the best way to release the album.  This cathartic tour for a soon-to-be-released record became a stereotype for rock band excess, and as Snodgress later recollected, was the beginning of the end of her marriage with Young. 

With a more-or-less completed album in his back pocket and a slew of even newer songs, Young returned to the studio in February 1974 and recorded the third of his Ditch Trilogy, On The Beach. While more refined than the previous Ditch albums, anguish still loomed over the songs while still soaked by the drug excess of the previous year’s tour. With Young both emotionally and physically absent, the lonely and hungry eye of the rock star’s wife looked in other directions; surely he had taken other lovers while on the road, why couldn’t Carrie? As the album was being released, Young's realization that Snodgress had been cheating on him unleashed a flurry of new songs about their disintegrating relationship and the break-up of their family. Young was given a surprise opportunity to road-test his new material with a re-reunited CSN&Y, on a much-hyped national tour through the rest of 1974 that the band later called “The Doom Tour”. During June rehearsals for the tour, Young recorded acoustic takes of a number of his new laments, including: “Love/Art Blues”, “Barefoot Floors”, “Homefires”, “Love is a Rose” and “Pardon My Heart”. Neil also recorded as an acoustic backstage duet with The Band’s Robbie Robertson on another of his new compositions “White Line” in September.

The miserable CSNY tour ended that fall, and Neil was free to record the bounty of material he had for a new album. Beginning at his own Broken Arrow Ranch in November, he tracked the acoustic “Frozen Man”, “Give Me Strength” and “Bad News Come To Town”. Moving to Quadrafonic Sound Studios in Nashville in December, Young tracked a number of songs with a full band, with a decidedly Western-sounding Harvest-esque full band: “Love/Art Blues”, “The Old Homestead”, “Daughters”, “Separate Ways”, “Try”, “Star of Bethlehem”, “Deep Forbidden Lake” and the scant title-track “Homegrown”. At the end of the year, Neil tracked two more at Broken Arrow, the jam “We Don’t Smoke It Anymore” and the hard-edged “Vacancy”, which was also recorded acoustically in November. Perhaps thinking the album needed a final touch, Neil recorded several more songs at The Village Recorder in January 1975, rather desolate and hallucinogenic tracks “Florida”, “Mexico”, “Kansas” and “Little Wing.” Neil compiled a twelve-song master from the nearly thirty tracks recorded over the last six months and prepared it for release that summer.

While Young was uncertain about releasing Homegrown because of its brutal honesty—he even claimed he couldn’t sit through the entire album—the label was excited for Young’s return to a more delicate sound after his recent abrasive albums. But in typical Neil Young fashion, that was never to be. In the oft-repeated story, Young previewed Homegrown to a party of friends; after the album finished, the rough cut of Tonight’s The Night—still unreleased from 1973's work—played afterwards. More impressed by the later work, The Band bassist Rick Danko suggested to release Tonight’s The Night instead of Homegrown. And that is exactly what Young did that June of 1975 and Homegrown remained unreleased for 45 years, finally getting an archival release in 2020.

In the meantime, only a handful of the various songs from the Homegrown sessions had been released over the years, wetting fan’s appetites for what was mythicized to be Neil Young’s strongest and most emotionally vulnerable album; homemade Homegrowns—including my own approximated reconstruction—only fueled the homefire. Upon it’s eventual release, some fans were a bit disappointed—this wasn’t quite the stark, acoustic successor to Harvest they expected! While I don’t know if I necessarily agree or disagree with that statement, I was interested in upgrading my cut of Homegrown using the newly-released tracks. This re-imagination of Homegrown is neither meant to replace or improve Neil’s actual master; it is simply an improvement of my original cut of Homegrown, which a number of listeners seemed to have enjoyed. All sources are from Archives Volume 2, and follow the same template of my original cut: the album alternates between full-band and solo songs, trying to keep the “Stark, acoustic” vibe as much as possible. I have swapped out some of the songs to improve the album, and have chosen to almost exclusively use the songs about Neil’s divorce and the difficulties of being a touring musician.

My cut of Homegrown opens not with the title track, but similarly as the official version: “Separate Ways”, which in my opinion was an unheard classic Neil Young song. Staying true to my original cut, this is followed by “Little Wing” and “The Hold Homestead.” Next is “Frozen Man”, an amazingly honest track and one of the gems of this era. Ending side A is of course the title track “Homegrown”, here utilizing the Country-Funk version from the actual sessions rather than the later Crazy Horse version. Side B opens with “Star of Bethlehem”, followed by “Love is a Rose.” Next is “We Don’t Smoke It”; while some may question my choice here, I felt that the album needed the dynamic and emotional shift, which is a standard fare on Neil Young albums. My personal favorite, the proper studio version of “Give Me Strength”, follows. In this upgrade, we drop “Deep Forbidden Lake” and “Pardon My Heart” for the fantastic “Vacancy”, but close the album similarly with the proper studio version of “White Line”. 

 

Source:

  • 24 bit rip of lossless stream of Neil Young Archives
  • Homegrown

 

 flac --> wav --> editing in SONAR Pro and Goldwave --> flac encoding via TLH lv8
*md5, artwork and tracknotes included

Sunday, February 6, 2022

The Beatles - Get Back (Upgrade)

The Beatles – Get Back

(soniclovenoize reconstruction)
February 2022 UPGRADE


Side A:

1. Get Back
2. Dig A Pony
3. I’ve Got a Feeling
4. All Things Must Pass
5. Don’t Let Me Down
6. Two Of Us


Side B:

7. One After 909
8. For You Blue
9. Teddy Boy
10. I Want You
11. The Long and Winding Road
12. Dig It
13. Let It Be



This is an inevitable update of the legendary unreleased Beatles album Get Back, what eventually was cleaned up by Phil Spector as Let It Be. Originally intend as a throwback to the band’s early days of live, in-studio recording in order to boost their diminishing morale and comradery, The Beatles set out to rehearse and record an album’s worth of material without overdubs, concluding with an actual live performance and a television special documenting the process. Unfortunately the end result, compiled twice by Glyn Johns, was simply too rough and sloppy to be release-worthy and was shelved. Phil Spector was later appointed to make an album out of the tapes in 1970 and, even though better performances were selected, Spector infamously added his own orchestration, going against the live “warts and all” concept of the Get Back album. This reconstruction attempts to offer what a fully-realized Get Back album would have sounded like if it had been properly completed in April 1969. This reconstruct features a number of custom, unique edits, most notably a full-band Beatles studio take of "All Things Must Pass".  As a bonus disc, I am including my own personal lossless rip of the streaming only Apple Rooftop Performance.


Recognizing a possible end to the band, The Beatles came up with a novel idea: write, rehearse and record an album as they first started in 1962, live in the studio without overdubs. Going “back to basics” and abandoning their now-commonplace methodology of extraneous overdubbing would theoretically allow The Beatles to once again operate as a cohesive unit. An album would be compiled from these sessions displaying, as John Lennon once quipped, “The Beatles with their pants down” and the January 1969 rehearsals and recording sessions would be filmed for a television special by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. As the first week progressed, it was pitched to conclude the sessions with an actual live performance, although the band could not agree on where or even if it should be done at all (with George the most adamant against it). While a good idea in theory, the reality was that this project—eventually titled Get Back—was doomed from the start, as none of the band’s issues from the White Album sessions where solved and seemed to be exacerbated by the band’s new setting: the cold, uncomfortable Tickenham film studio, working regular 9-to-5 hours, Paul’s aptitude for bossiness, ambivalence towards George’s songwriting and John’s girlfriend Yoko Ono ever-present.


The rehearsals at Twickenham studios did not go according to plan. Paul offered an endless amount of new original compositions and thoroughly dictated his songs' arrangements to the rest of the band; Lennon seemed distant, completely uninterested and often communicating only through Yoko Ono, himself head-deep into a writer’s block and a heroin addiction; George was resentful over John and Paul’s disinterest in his own compositions, of which there were now plenty of high quality to choose from; Ringo simply went along for the ride, played solemnly and remained stoic and reserved. George eventually quit the band after an argument and refused to rejoin The Beatles until they had vacated Twickenham and nixed the notion for a televised concert.


With George temporarily subdued, The Beatles returned to the basement of their new Apple Studios with engineer Glyn Johns at the helm, intending to properly record the material rehearsed at Twickenham, live without overdubs. With Glyn needed in Los Angeles to track with The Steve Miller Band and Ringo needed to film The Magic Christian, the band had until the end of the month to record fourteen new songs. The serious contenders for the Get Back album included “Don’t Let Me Down”, “Get Back” “I’ve Got A Feeling”, “Two of Us”, “Dig A Pony”, “Teddy Boy”, “One After 909”, “All Things Must Pass”, several iterations of a jam loosely titled “Dig It”, “Let It Be”, The Long and Winding Road”, “For You Blue”, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”, “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window”, “I Me Mine” and “Across The Universe”. Further newly-written songs were introduced as the sessions progressed: “Oh Darling”, “Old Brown Shoe”, “Something”, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and “Octopus's Garden”, among others scantily observed. Although sessions were initially unproductive, the addition of keyboardist Billy Preston livened up the mood and forced The Beatles to not only settle their differences, but to perform better!


As the weeks soldiered on, it was unclear what the goal of the proceeding was: were The Beatles rehearsing for a live performance at the end of the month? Or were they recording an album live in the studio with the cameras rolling? The answer was a combination of both, as it was decided to rehearse and keep the great takes as possible masters, while prepping for the concert itself. In the process, The Beatles successfully tracked master takes of “For You Blue” on January 25th, “Get Back” on January 27th and “Don’t Let Me Down” on January 28th. Additionally, a passable master of “The Long and Winding Road” was tracked on January 26th by Glyn Johns’ account, although The Beatles themselves thought they could do better. The quintet concluded their sessions with a now-legendary concert on the rooftop of Apple Studios on January 30th, capturing lively masters of “I’ve Got a Feeling”, “Dig a Pony” and “One After 909”, as well as admirable takes of “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down”. The following day, The Beatles with Preston recorded three additional tracks back in the basement studio, songs that didn’t suit a live electric set: “Two Of Us”, “Let It Be” and a penultimate “The Long and Winding Road.”


As February arrived, The Beatles went their separate ways, the album a wrap. Or was it? Out of the goal of recording fourteen new songs, they had only tracked masters for nine. With five songs short, The Beatles reconvened in February 22 with Ringo and Glyn called back from their obligations to record John’s “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”, a song the quartet had rehearsed a handful of times the previous month. Although the song wasn’t completely finished, it is generally believed that this session was meant as a Get Back “clean up” session. On February 25th, George recorded solo demos of his three key offerings for Get Back: “Something”, “All Things Must Pass” and “Old Brown Shoe.” Furthermore, it was decided that “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down” were to be rush-released as a single and The Beatles decided to break their Get Back rule—overdubbing of a second vocal track onto “Don’t Let Me Down”, and an edit piece from an alternate take of “Get Back” from January 28th was edited onto the master take from the 27th as a coda.


Around this time, Glyn presented to the band a rough mix of some of the tracks recorded in January, presented in a “fly-on-the-wall” fashion, purely from his perspective as an outsider to The Beatles’ inner circle. Tasked to make a full album in this fashion, Glyn spent March compiling his vision of a Get back album. Although admirable, there were a number of shortcomings that ultimately led to the compilation’s rejection: sloppy takes of “Don’t Let Me Down”, “Dig a Pony” and “I’ve Got a Feeling” were chosen from January 22nd, rather than the master takes from the 28th and 30th; a rough “Two of Us” from January 24th was chosen instead of the superior master from January 31st; Glyn’s favorite rehearsal of “The Long and Winding Road” from the 26th was chosen over the final performance master from the 31st; and five minutes of the meandering “Dig It” and almost four minutes of a painful rehearsal of “Teddy Boy” both made the cut.


Just as the “Get Back” b/w “Don’t Let Me Down” single was released in April, there was an explosion of recording activity, mostly of songs already woodshedded in January: both “Old Brown Shoe” and the backing track for “Something” was recorded on April 16th; additional overdubbing on “I Want You” was done on April 18th and 20th; “Oh Darling” was recorded on April 20th; and “Octopus’s Garden” was recorded on April 26th. Finally, The Beatles again broke their own rule, as George overdubbed a new guitar solo onto “Let It Be” on April 30th. Simultaneously, Glyn Johns was tasked to mix and assemble an album in the documentary-style of his March acetates. Could these April sessions have also been meant to complete the Get Back album for release the following month?


Regardless, these recordings were never destined to make it onto Get Back, as The Beatles must have decided at some point in the summer of the album’s lost cause, instead earmarking the new recordings for an even newer album, tentatively titled Everest. Returning to the studio in July and August, the band finished the new batch of recordings, now titled Abbey Road, released to critical and commercial acclaim in late September. As for the actual January sessions, The Beatles were still hopeful for it’s eventual release as editing for the film dragged on and various versions of the soundtrack were mixed by Glyn and subsequently rejected by Apple.


By January 1970, director Michael Lindsay-Hogg had decided to include rehearsal footage of “Across The Universe” and “I Me Mine” into his cut of the documentary film—two songs never properly tracked by The Beatles in January. While Glyn simply made a new “stripped down” mix of the original 1968 take of “Across The Universe”, The Beatles—minus John—reassembled at EMI to properly record “I Me Mine.” Additionally, more work was done to “Let It Be”, including horns, bongos and backing vocal overdubs, along with a spicier guitar solo. The changes greatly improved Glyn’s cut of Get Back, but Apple regardless rejected his compilation yet again. By March, the legendary producer Phil Spector—himself building a working relationship with both John & George—was tasked to remix and compile a completed album, now titled Let It Be. Although Spector ultimately used better takes of the material, he heavy-handedly added orchestration to “I Me Mine”, “Across The Universe” and “The Long and Winding Road”, as well as a number of smaller changes to “Dig a Pony”, “For You Blue” and “Get Back” (not to mention dropping “Don’t Let Me Down” entirely!). Released as Let It Be in May 1970, a month after Paul’s first solo album and effectively after The Beatles ceased to exist, the album was a hodge-podge and a far cry from the band’s original concept. Can we reconstruct what both Glyn Johns and Phil Spector failed to accomplish?


The key tenet of my Get Back reconstruction is to use the nine master takes from January as the core of the album—specifically the studio versions of “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down” released as a single, the master of “For You Blue” that excluded all later overdubs, “Dig a Pony”, “I’ve Got a Feeling” and “One After 909” from the rooftop performance on the 30th and “Two Of Us”, “Let It Be” and “The Long and Winding Road” from the basement performance on the 31st. To round out the album, we will assume the early mix of “I Want You” from February was meant for Get Back and finds it’s place here (the early April takes of “Old Brown Shoe” and “Oh Darling”, as head on the Abbey Road SDE, are also fair game, but not necessary). We will also use a little less than a minute of “Can You Dig It” as miraculously, The Beatles had intended the jam to appear on Get Back in some form or another, and creating a concise edit of “Teddy Boy”. Finally, we will be construct a complete Beatles version of “All Things Must Pass”, which was originally meant as George’s second Harrisong for the album.


Side A begins with the Giles Martin single remix of “Get Back” from 1+, with the actual studio dialog intro restored using an edit of Giles’ LP remix and the WBCN acetate. “Dig a Pony” and “I’ve Got a Feeling” follow, taken from my own 24/48 rip of the lossless Tidal stream of the Get Back Rooftop Performance. My own reconstruction of a Beatles “All Things Must Pass” follows, which utilities George’s demo from Anthology 3, the drums, bass and backing vocals from A/B Road and Billy Preston’s electric keyboards from The Beatles Rockband Stems. This crossfades into Giles’ 2021 single mix of “Don’t Let Me Down” that includes it’s natural studio chatter intro. The side closes with Giles’ 2021 remix of “Two Of Us.”


Side B starts with the energetic “One After 909” from my rooftop stream rip, followed by Glyn John’s original 1969 mix of “For You Blue”, which was mistakenly included on the Get Back disc of the Japanese Let It Be SDE; this is the only professional mix that excludes the later vocal overdubs. Next is my own edit of “Teddy Boy” that follows the song’s structure as heard on McCartney, limiting the song to just over two minutes and making the song reasonable. “I Want You”, clearly intentionally recorded for Get Back, follows from the Abbey Road SDE with a tad of reverb via Wave’s Abbey Road Chamber plug-in to make it fit with the rest of the reconstruction. Next is the superior take of “The Long and Winding Road” from 1+ and a bit of “Can You Dig It” from the Let It Be SDE, as a link track to Glyn’s 1969 mix of “Let It Be”, also from the Let It Be SDE, the only professional mix to exclude the song’s later overdubs.

 

Since it does not seem to have a physical or even downloadable release, I have included my rip of the Apple Rooftop Performance as a bonus, sourced from the Tidal lossless stream into a Scarlett 2i2 into SONAR Pro at 24/48.  Some slight EQ changes were made to make the master sound more like the original 1970 Spector mixes and it was downsampled to 16/44. 

 

Sources used:

  • 1+
  • A/B Road (bootleg, Purplechick 2004)
  • Abbey Road (Super Deluxe Edition, 2019)
  • Anthology 3
  • Get Back Rooftop Performance (24/48 rip of lossless Tidal stream, 2022)
  • Let It Be (Super Deluxe Edition, US and Japanese, 2021)
  • Rockband Extraction Stems
  • The WBCN Acetate (bootleg, Masterjedi 2019)


flac --> wav --> editing in SONAR Pro and Goldwave --> flac encoding via TLH lv8
*md5, artwork and tracknotes included

 

 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Hey we got BAND SHIRTS for sale!

 We finally have something you never asked for!  

 

Because I am a broke ass musician/sound engineer/music nerd/blogger effected by the pandemic, I am now selling BAND SHIRTS for the various album covers that never were that I have done over the years.  Although initially a silly idea, who wouldn't want a Beatles "Band On The Run" shirt?  And they're only $25 which is kinda the going rate for band shirts, is it not?

 

Get 'em here:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/AlbumsThatNeverWere

 

I currently only have a handful of options to test the waters.  If this is a thing you like, I can add more designs, and possibly do requests of previous and future album reconstructions.  

 

Thanks and apologies for being a sellout!  

Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Beach Boys - Landlocked (and friends)

 The Beach Boys – Landlocked (and friends)
(soniclovenoize reconstructions)
November 2021 UPGRADE



Disc 1 – Landlocked
Side A:
1.  Loop de Loop
2.  Susie Cincinnati
3.  San Miguel
4.  HELP is On The Way
5.  Take a Load Off You Feet
6.  Carnival
7.  I Just Got My Pay

Side B:
8.  Good Time
9.  Big Sur
10.  Falling In Love
11.  When Girls Get Together
12.  Lookin’ For Tomorrow
13.  ‘Til I Die


Disc 2 – Add Some Music
Side A:
1.  Susie Cincinnati
2.  Good Time
3.  Our Sweet Love
4.  Tears in the Morning
5.  When Girls Get Together
6.  Slip On Through

Side B:
7.  Add Some Music To Your Day
8.  Take a Load Off Your Feet
9.  This Whole World
10.  I Just Got My Pay
11.  At My Window
12.  Lady (Fallin’ In Love)


Disc 3 – Reverberation
Side A:
1.  Cottonfields
2.  Loop de Loop
3.  All I Wanna Do
4.  Got To Know The Woman
5.  When Girls Get Together

Side B:
6.  Breakaway
7.  San Miguel
8.  Celebrate The News
9.  Deidre
10.  The Lord’s Prayer
11.  Forever


Disc 4 – Dennis Wilson – Hubba Hubba
Side A:
1.  All Of My Love
2.  Ecology
3.  Behold The Night
4.  Baby Baby
5.  Old Movie
6.  Hawaiian Dream

Side B:
7.  It’s a New Day
8.  I’ve Got a Friend
9.  Barbara
10.  Make It Good
11.  Before
12.  (Wouldn’t It Be Nice) To Live Again


Here is a massive update for you!  This is a reconstruction of The Beach Boys’ mythical unreleased 1970 album Landlocked, which was the precursor to their comeback album Surf’s Up.  Included are two bonus reconstructions that date from the same era—Add Some Music and Reverberation, both precursors to Sunflower—and Dennis Wilson’s unfinished 1971 solo album Hubba Hubba.  Most of the sources are taken from the new Feel Flows box set, so sound quality is superb.  

The Beach Boys were a band of true ups and downs.  From pioneering baroque-pop in the mid 1960s which coalesced into Pet Sounds and SMiLE, to pioneering lo-fi pop towards the end of the decade with Smiley Smile and Wild Honey, the band also saw their share of commercial waves.  By 1969, The Beach Boys were struggling to keep up with the times,  their de facto bandleader Brian Wilson succumbing to his own mental illness and self-imposed isolation.  After the relative failure of the 20/20 album and being released from their contract with Capitol Records, the group circled their wagons and doubled down to work together and record a comeback album worthy of their mid-60s output, to be released on their own label Brother Records.  

With all six band members contributing their own material to the new album project, The Beach Boys began recording in January 1969 with: Dennis Wilson’s “San Miguel”, “Got To Know The Woman”, “Celebrate The News” and “Forever”; Bruce Johnston’s “Deidre”; Brian Wilson and Al Jardine’s collaboration “Loop de Loop”; Brian and Mike Love’s “All I Wanna Do”; and Brian’s own “Breakaway”.  The later was chosen as a single release backed with “Celebrate The News”, released for the band’s own European tour in June.  Reconvening that summer, the band recorded Dennis’s “Slip On Through”, Brian’s “Soulful Old Man Sunshine” and Al’s requested Country re-arrangement of “Cottonfields”.  That fall and into January saw a sudden explosion of new recorded material after receiving interest from Warner Brothers/Reprise Records: Brian’s “Games Two Can Play”, “This Whole World” and “I Just Got My Pay”; Brian & Mike’s “Add Some Music To Your Day” and “When Girls Get Together”; Brian & Al’s “Our Sweet Love”, “At My Window”, “Susie Cincinnati”, “Good Time”, “Take a Load Off Your Feet” and “Back Home”; Bruce’s “Tears in the Morning”; Dennis’s “Lady”; and the group’s psychedelic take on “Over The Waves (Carnival).”

By February 1970, The Beach Boys had an unfathomable amount of new material,  consisting of the eight songs recorded before the European Tour and seventeen recorded afterwards!  Of those 25 tracks, 12 were selected for the new album—now titled Add Some Music—and a master was prepared on February 18th.  Unfortunately, Warner Brothers rejected the album, although they did elect to release the title track “Add Some Music To Your Day” b/w “Susie Cincinnati” as a single and suggested the band rethink the album itself.  Meanwhile, Capitol Records was still interested in a final release from The Beach Boys.  After a summer tour of Australia and a single release of their reworked and countrified version of “Cottonfields”, the band compiled a completely separate album called Reverberation (sometimes also known as The Fading Rock Group Revival), using ten of their recent 1969 recordings not used for Add Some Music (as well as new stereo mix of their 1963 recording of “The Lord’s Prayer”).  Capitol rejected the album for unknown reasons, instead choosing to release Live in London.  This was for the best.  

With urging by legendary record executive Larry Waronker, The Beach Boys reconvened in June to record “It’s About Time” and “Cool Cool Water”, the later which had been worked on during the SMiLE, Smiley Smile and Wild Honey sessions.  A completely new album was created by combining the two new songs, six songs from the rejected Add Some Music and four from the rejected Reverberation.  This new album—Sunflower—was released in August and although it was one of the strongest albums The Beach Boys had released since Pet Sounds, it flopped.  The band needed a facelift…

In August 1970, The Beach Boys hired Jack Rieley as their new manager, who set out to revamp and modernize the band’s image for the 1970s.  Hitting the studio, the band started recording new material for their second Brother Album release: Al’s “Lookin At Tomorrow”; Mike’s “Big Sur”; and Brian’s “HELP is On the Way” and “Til I Die”.   In September, Beach Boys’ house engineer Stephen Desper compiled a thirteen-track master with these four new songs and nine of the 1969 tracks not used on Sunflower, meant as a compilation of songs in consideration for the next album.  Unfortunately, Warner Brothers was again not thrilled with the compilation, and The Beach Boys once again went back to the drawing board.

Regrouping in the Spring of 1971, The Beach Boys recorded a new set of songs all the way up into the summer—tentatively called Landlocked—again pooling their collective resources: Dennis’ “4th of July” and “(Wouldn’t It Be Nice To) Live Again”; Mike & Al’s “Don’t Go Near The Water”; Mike’s “Student Demonstration Time”; Carl’s “Long Promised Road” and “Feel Flows”; Brian’s “A Day In The Life of a Tree”; Bruce’s “Disney Girls (1957)”.  Simultaneously, Dennis was recording his own material with Daryl Dragon of Captain & Tennille for a tentative solo album called Hubba Hubba (or, absurdly, Poops).  Finally, Rieley persuaded the group to finish Brian’s incomplete recording of the SMiLE track “Surf’s Up” to act as the centerpiece for the album.  A completely new master was prepared with the meat of the 1971 sessions, “Til I Die” and “Lookin At Tomorrow” from the 1970 sessions and curiously “Take a Load Off Your Feet” from the 1969 sessions.  Retitled Surf’s Up, the album was released in August to critical success, deemed as The Beach Boys’ 1970s comeback and reinvention album.  But as we’ve seen, this long promised road yielded a number of bumps.  Can we recover these lost precursors to Sunflower and Surf’s Up?

First thing’s first, the elephant in the room:  There was most likely no actual Landlocked.  Or more specifically, the unreleased album that is attributed to Landlocked is not actually LandlockedLandlocked was simply a working title for Surf’s Up.  The 13-song master attributed to the name was simply the compilation Desper assembled in September 1970, showcasing the four then-new songs and the nine Sunflower outtakes considered for the second Brother album.  Regardless, we will honor this mythos and simply reconstruct Desper’s compilation and call it Landlocked.   The reconstruction opens with the original 1969 mix of “Loop de Loop”, taken from Feel Flows.  The excellent modern remixes of “Susie Cincinnati”, “San Miguel” and “HELP is On The Way” from Feel Flows follows, then the album version of “Take a Load Off Your Feet” from the 2012 remaster of Surf’s Up (which I feel was better than the Feel Flows remaster).  “Carnival” from Feel Flows is next, but I have added the dizzying phasing that replicates a carnival ride, which was present on it’s bootlegged 1969 mix but not in this modern one.  New Feel Flows mixes of “I Just Got My Pay”, “Good Time” and “Big Sur” follow, along with the original 1969 mix of “Lady”.  The album concludes with a new Feel Flows mix of “When Girls Get Together”, “Lookin At Tomorrow” from the 2012 Surf’s Up, and Desper’s alternate 1970 mix of “Till I Die” from the Endless Harmony soundtrack.  The cover artwork is reconstructed from Jack Rieley’s own description of the unreleased Landlocked album cover, as well as unused promotional proofs.  

Full disclosure: I love this reconstruction of Landlocked, moreso than the actual Surf’s Up album!  This album doesn't take itself so seriously, and features an exuberant sound texture reminiscent of SMiLE.  Because of this fact, Landlocked is the heart of this reconstruction, and it’s related Beach Boys albums that never were (the ‘friends’) are assigned as bonus discs.  Disc Two reconstructs the February 18th, 1970 master of Add Some Music, with all Sunflower tracks taken from it’s (superior) 2012 remaster with the remainder from Feel Flows.  My cover art is based upon the actual unreleased cover art for Add Some Music (which was simply reused for Sunflower anyways).  

Disc Three reconstructs the June 19th, 1970 master of Reverberation, although I have made a few modifications to tie up it's loose ends: we will use the new stereo mix of “Cottonfields” from Feel Flows, as opposed to a duophonix mix; “Got To Know The Woman” is the standard stereo version from Sunflower as opposed to a mono mix; “When Girls Get Together” is the full remix from Feel Flows, rather than an instrumental version; “The Lord’s Prayer” is the proper stereo mix from Hawthorne, California, as opposed to a duophonic mix.  The rest of the songs are sourced from either the 2012 Sunflower or Feel Flows, except for the stereo remix of “Breakaway” from Made In California.  The cover art is my own creation.  

Disc Four is the real bonus here: my reconstruction of Dennis Wilson’s unfinished solo album Hubba Hubba (or Poops, if you will), recorded during the making of Surf’s Up.  Using the material from Feel Flows, as well as “Make It Good” from So Tough and “(Wouldn’t It Be Nice To) Live Again” from Made In California, I have assembled the material recorded during the 1971 sessions with Daryl Dragon (which thus excludes the 1970 single of “Sound of Free” and “Lady”) and organized them into two continuous suites of music for each side of the LP—which is what I believe Dennis and Daryl intended.  The result is half instrumental, but it gives you a clue as to what the pair were going for and what could have been.  The cover art is my own creation.

Sources Used: 

  • Feel Flows
  • Surf's Up (2012 remaster)
  • Sunflower (2012 remaster)
  • Hawthorne, California
  • Endless Harmony
  • Made In California
  • So Tough


flac --> wav --> editing in SONAR Pro and Goldwave --> flac encoding via TLH lv8
*md5, artwork and tracknotes included

Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Beatles - Imagine Clouds Dripping (UPGRADE)

The Beatles – Imagine Clouds Dripping

(a soniclovenoize re-imagining)

October 2021 UPGRADE

 

 

Side A:

1.  Back Off Boogaloo

2.  What is Life?

3.  Dear Boy

4.  Bangladesh

5.  Jealous Guy

6.  The Back Seat of My Car

 

Side B:

7.  Imagine

8.  Another Day

9.  Gimme Some Truth

10.  Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

11.  Oh My Love

12.  Isn’t It A Pity

 

 

Happy Halloween!  Here it is, my friends, an album that never was that is unrelated to Halloween!  This is an UPGRADE to the second re-imagined album in a series that posits “What if The Beatles never broke up?”  This collection would have theoretically been released near the end of 1971, and uses Lennon’s Imagine and McCartney’s RAM as it’s basis.  Additional tracks are pulled from Harrison’s All Things Must Pass and his “Bangladesh” single, and of course Ringo’s single “Back Off Boogaloo” as it was recorded in Fall 1971.  Notably, this upgrade uses the new All Things Must Pass remix, which sonically fits much closer to the other tracks.  The tracklist has been slightly revised as well, dropping “Power To The People” for “Gimme Some Truth”, which is admittedly more Beatles-esque and was actually familiar to The Beatles in 1969.  I have also replaced the Version II of “Isn’t It a Pity” with the more Beatle-esque Version I, edited to fit on the album. 

 

To restate once again, the “rules” of these 70s Beatles albums are:
1)  One album is represented per year, culled from tracks each Beatle recorded that year; the only exception is All Things Must Pass is split over 1970 & 1971, and Living In The Material World is split over 1972 & 1973.   
2)  Generally speaking, to include five Lennon songs, five McCartney songs, three Harrison songs and one Ringo song; there might be some deviance to this rule depending on availability per year.
3)  The chosen songs must be Beatle-esque in nature; we will attempt to avoid the idiosyncratic musical tangents each Beatle pursued in the 70s and vie for the solo songs that would have been most likely recorded by The Beatles (i.e. not vetoed by the rest of the band).
4)  The songs must flow together and make a unified album that shares a specific tone. 

 

Note that a suspension of disbelief is required to fully enjoy these 70s Beatles albums, and I encourage listeners to imagine what each Beatles would have contributed to each other’s songs, had they actually made these albums together.  

My original album notes from 2012, slightly revised:

 

This is the second in a series of albums that asks the question we’ve all asked at some time or another:  What if The Beatles never broke up?  This theoretical album attempts to cull the best of The Beatles solo material from 1971 (with some holdovers from All Things Must Pass) to create what could have been the band’s 1971 follow-up to my previous re-imagined Beatles album, Instant Karma!  This album is called Imagine Clouds Dripping, a surreal Yoko Ono quote that John had felt was particularly inspirational and sets the tone for a rather colorful album. 

 

The songs were chosen not only for quality but for what could continue to carry ‘the Beatles torch’.  While the solo members continued to stylistically diverge, there were always songs that could be described, in my opinion, as “Beatlesque” and we have the luxury of choosing those above the other more idiosyncratic numbers.  The best and least brickwalled/clipping remasters were chosen for source material, volume levels adjusted for song-to-song balance and all songs are tightly book-ended to make a continuous two sides of music.  Also, a completely unique edit of “Dear Boy” and “Bangladesh” is created when the two are hard-edited together, making them a medley. 

 

Musically, Imagine Clouds Dripping abandons the bare-bones arrangements on the previous re-imagining for the lush Phil Spector arrangements George had requested for his songs.  “What Is Life” and “Isn’t It A Pity” are all used on this album because they fit better with the RAM/Imagine contributions than with the Plastic Ono Band/McCartney contributions on the previous album.  Additionally, “Back Off Boogaloo” will be used as this album’s Ringo song, as it was recorded in September 1971, fitting in with RAM & Imagine’s timeline.  

 

So sit back, relax and imagine the following:  After the success of their first album of the 1970s, Instant Karma!, The Beatles regroup and focus diligently on a new album with some of their strongest songs since Abbey Road, often with grandiose arrangements from returning producer Phil Spector; Half-way through recording the album, George learns of the tragedy befallen in Bangla Desh and quickly writes a song in tribute that The Beatles record and release as a single; George organizes the Concert For Bangla Desh, at which The Beatles headline, marking their first live performance in two years; The positive experience of this concert gives The Beatles—particularly George and John—the courage to begin a limited-engagement European Tour in late 1971 in support of Imagine Clouds Dripping; The tour also features old friends Billy Preston on keyboards and Klaus Voormann who played bass when Paul was needed to play guitar or piano. 

 

The critics hail Imagine Clouds Dripping as one of the highest points of The Beatles career, comparing it to a second Sgt. Pepper.  There are a number of hit singles released throughout 1971, including “Imagine” with the non-LP B-side “Monkberry Moon Delight”, “Another Day” with the non-LP B-side “Crippled Inside” and “Jealous Guy” with the non-LP B-side “I Dig Love”.  And as aforementioned, “Bangla Desh” was released as a single to promote their concert, with the b-side “Smile Away.”  The success of The Beatles late 1971 European tour spurred them to plan an American tour in 1972, and a need for new material in the material world… 

 

 

Sources:

George Harrison - All Things Must Pass (2021 50th Anniversary remaster)

John Lennon - Imagine (The Ultimate Collection, 2018 remaster) 

Paul McCartney – RAM (2012 remaster)

Ringo Starr – Photographs: The Best of Ringo Starr (2007)

 

 

 flac --> wav --> editing in SONAR Pro and Goldwave --> flac encoding via TLH lv8
*md5, artwork and tracknotes included

 

 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Weezer - Songs From The Black Hole (upgrade)

Weezer – Songs From The Black Hole
(soniclovenoize reconstruction)

SEPTEMBER 2021 UPGRADE



Act I, Scene 1:
1.  Blast Off!
2.  You Won’t Get With Me Tonight
3.  Maria’s Theme/Come To My Pod
4.  Tired of Sex

Act 1, Scene 2:
5.  Superfriend
6.  You Gave Your Love To Me Softly
7.  Waiting On You
8.  Tragic Girl

Act 2, Scene 1:
9.  She’s Had A Girl/Good News!/Now I Finally See
10.  Getchoo
11.  I Just Threw Out The Love of My Dreams

Act 2, Scene 2:
12.  No Other One
13.  Devotion
14.  What Is This I Find
15.  Why Bother?
16.  Longtime Sunshine


In honor of the 25th anniversary of Weezer’s influential sophomore album Pinkerton, this is a very long-overdue upgrade to my reconstruction of Songs From The Black Hole, the space rock opera which was the precursor to the album.  Originally meant as a literal opera which functioned as an allegory to Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo’s disenchantment from the band’s instant stardom, the album was scrapped and restructured into the seminal Pinkerton in 1996.  This updated reconstruction, using a combination of Weezer’s studio takes and Rivers’ demo tapes, more closely follows Cuomo’s actual script of the opera.  My own reconstruction of the final script is included here, pieced together from his notes included in The Pinkerton Diaries.  I have also created some cover and back artwork based on river’s sketches in his Diaries.  

With a slew of 1994 hits and lovable, quirky music videos including “Buddy Holly”, “Say It Ain’t So” and “The Sweater Song”, Weezer  seemed to fill the gap left by recently-departed Nirvana, merging Brian Wilson-esque songwriting with fuzzed-out grunge guitars.  The unlikely nerd rockers found themselves in the limelight after hashing it out in the LA club scene, with years of work and dedication paying off and their debut Blue Album becoming a 90s Alt-Rock classic.  But the band’s newfound fame seemed to be a burden for the anxious and introverted frontman Rivers Cuomo, overwhelmed with the reality of what he had always wished for.  

On a break from touring during around Thanksgiving 1994, Rivers charted out the bare bones of the band’s second release: a futuristic concept album about a rock band whose singer was dealing with the band’s popularity, as well as personal relationship issues with a “good girl” and a “bad girl”.  At first using a handful of already-written (and largely unrelated) newer Weezer songs (such as “Getchoo” and “Tired of Sex”), Rivers composed additional material to link the songs, including lyrics as dialog between characters: an actual rock opera.  After creating a rough draft of a script with no real ending, Rivers revised his concept that Christmas, turning the ‘band’ into a crew aboard the space ship Betsy II, on a mission to save the planet Nomis on the edge of a black hole.  At this time, Cuomo recorded demos of most of the rock opera, now titled Songs From The Black Hole.  

Throughout the first half of 1995, Rivers would continue to refine the Songs From The Black Hole concept, while rehearsing and recording segments of the cycle with his Weezer bandmates.  Since the entire lyric of the album were sung by different characters, it was decided that the different members of Weezer would sing for the various characters: Cuomo would sing for the protagonist, Jonas, the captain of the ship Betsy II; crewmate Wuan would be sung by guitarist Brian Bell; crewmate Dondo would be voiced by bassist Matt Sharp; roadie Karl Koch would voice a robot crew member M1, via a vocoder effect; “good girl” love interest Laurel would have been sung by Rachel Haden of the band that dog; “bad girl” love interest Maria would have been sung by Joan Wasser of the band Dambuilders; and Mike Stanton of the band Avant Gard would appear on the album as a pre-recorded message of a television host.  

While on tour in Germany that February, bassist Matt Sharp headed back to the United States due to a family emergency.  The remaining members recorded band demos of several SFTBH songs at a studio in Hamburg, notably the lead-off song “Blast Off!”.  By August, the band had formally entered Electric Lady Land Studios to track SFTBH, recording versions of “Blast Off!”, “Tired of Sex”, “You Gave Your Love To Me Softly”, “Waiting On You”, “Getchoo”, “I Just Threw Out The Love of My Dreams”, “No Other One”, “Devotion”, “Why Bother?” and “Longtime Sunshine”.  The recordings were much more raw and less polished than their debut Blue Album, as the band desired a “live in the studio” sound with minimal overdubs.  Anticipating a short break from the band due to Cuomo being enrolled into Harvard that September, Weezer booked a final recording session for Songs From The Black Hole in August at Fort Apache Studios in Boston.  Although left unfinished, they recorded new versions of “Tired of Sex”, “You Gave Your Love To Me Softly”, “Waiting On You”, “Getchoo”, “No Other One”, “Devotion” and “Why Bother?”. But a new event would shift the course of Songs From The Black Hole into self destruction and ultimately reinvention.  

While at Harvard that Fall, Cuomo began writing new songs that strayed greatly from the Songs From The Black Hole concept-- songs about his loneliness and isolation and a desire to return to simplicity and innocence.  Regrouping with the rest of the band in January 1996 at Sound City Studios, Weezer tracked two of these newer compositions “El Scorcho” and “Pink Triangle” (as well as newer versions of “Tired of Sex”, “Getchoo” and “No Other One”.  Basic tracks of “Superfriend” were finally attempted, but never completed, as seen in the 2004 Weezer DVD Video Capture Device).  Returning to Sound City on Rivers’ spring break, Weezer cut even newer compositions “Across The Sea”, “The Good Life”, “Falling For You” and “Butterfly.”  

By Summer break, the album was complete and now titled Pinkerton.  The Songs From The Black Hole concept was completely abandoned for that of SF Pinkerton from the opera Madame Butterfly, used as a metaphor for Cuomo’s own wanton access that lead to regret.  The tracklist was arranged to be (approximately) in the order in which they were written to illustrate Cuomo’s own emotional progress throughout the last two years.  The album was more immediate, personal and more musically raw in presentation than that of The Blue Album and was a turn-off for some (casual) fans.  Coupled with the simple fact that hype still had not died down from The Blue Album, Pinkerton was an often overlooked release in 1996.  In effect, Cuomo would be disenchanted from writing emotional, personal songs with a rawer production.  He would spend the next three years attempting to create a mathematical formula for the perfect pop song-- a concept that would actually see fruition on their third release, The Green Album, hailed as Weezer’s (first) great comeback.  

Meanwhile, Pinkerton was not exactly the failure that Cuomo saw it as.  Aside from actually hitting the Billboard Top 20 and spawning two hits, a new generation of fans embraced the unfiltered, personal lyrics and cut-throat production of the album and at the turn of the century, began playing a new, “emotional” version of punk rock; Pinkerton had become, intentionally or not, the godfather of the Emo movement.   

But for Weezer die-hard fans, the underlying allure of Pinkerton wasn't it’s influence, but it’s unheard precursor, Songs From The Black Hole.  After clamoring for it’s release for years, fans were treated to leaked demos of the project, often by Karl Koch himself, throughout the Napster years.  Pieces of SFTBH eventually found their way onto the first three volumes of the Alone series, compilations of Cuomo’s early demos, the third of which exclusively covered the SFTBH/Pinkerton era.  Finally, a Deluxe 20th Anniversary release of Pinkerton gave fans a handful of studio versions of the SFTBH project.  Is this enough to reconstruct a fairly accurate SFTBH?  

Not precisely.  The smoking gun was found in the 2011 book The Pinkerton Diaries, which included excerpts from three different drafts of Rivers’ original script for Songs From The Black Hole.  At first glance this would provide the best road map to reconstruct the rock opera, until we realize that the final draft was not only partially included, but some pages were out of order!  The first step in reconstructing SFTBH is to reconstruct Rivers’ script; from there, we will be able to make a more accurate audio version of SFTBH.  To do this, we will be taking the third script draft as a base, and using clues from the previous two drafts to fill in the blanks and correct the page order.  Through this process, we will observe that neither Rivers nor Weezer actually recorded few of the crucial songs for the album: “She’s a Liar”, “Touch Down!”, “Special Thanks” and “I Don’t Belong.”  Along with my standard audio, I am also including my own reconstruction of the SFTBH script, which will note the missing, unrecorded songs in red text. 

Act 1, Scene 1 of Songs From The Black Hole opens with “Blast Off!” from the Pinkerton Deluxe, with the piano intro from “Longtime Sunshine” used as an introduction; note my addition of M1’s count down using the vocoder setting on a MicroKORG, if I may be so bold.  The song sets the stage as five astronauts and a robot head to the planet Nomis, on the edge of a black hole.  The captain Jonas notices Maria, whom they knew in the Academy...  “Who You Callin’ Bitch” is not used in the third draft, so we are going directly into “You Won’t Get With Me Tonight”, the channels swapped to match the panning of “Blast Off!”.  Next is “Oh Jonas/Come To My Pod” from Alone II, in which Maria seduces Jonas; “Please Remember” is excluded, as it was dropped from the third draft of the script.  This follows directly into the early version of “Tired of Sex” from the Pinkerton Deluxe, in which Jonas regrets his decision to hook up with Maria; note that “Oh No This Is Not For Me”  is excluded as it was dropped from the third draft of the script, with Rivers noting “Come To My Pod” should flow into the feedback intro of “Tired of Sex.”  

Act 1, Scene 2 begins with Jonas confiding to Laurel about his dissatisfaction with his relationship with Maria on “Superfriend” from Alone.  They realize they both like each other and hook up themselves in “You Gave Your Love To Me Softly” from the Pinkerton Deluxe.  Maria comes to Jonas’s pod (room) to tell him she’s pregnant with his child, but instead hears him fooling around with Laurel!  The unrecorded “Oh Jonas (I Hear You)” acts as a link to “Waiting On You” from the Pinkerton Deluxe, sung by Maria.  The three then confront each other in the unrecorded “She’s a Liar”, which I presume is a reworking of “Please Remember.”  Choosing to leave Laurel for his fatherly duties with Maria, Jonas laments his situation in “Tragic Girl”, from the Pinkerton Deluxe; note it is likely that the actual SFTBH version of “Tragic Girl” would have had a fairly different set of lyrics, but here we will use the glorious studio version, still somewhat relevant.  

Act 1, Scene 2 features a time jump, where Jonas and Maria’s daughter is born to Jonas’s lamentation in “She’s Had a Girl” from Alone III.  Wuan and Dondo announce the ship has finally arrived to Nomis in “Dude, We’re Finally Landing” from Alone I, followed by Jonas’s epiphany that he does want Laurel in “Now I Finally See” from Alone III.  Of course Laurel rejects him in the early version of “Getchoo” from the Pinkerton Deluxe, although she immediately regrets her decision in “I Just Threw Out The Love of My Dreams”-- the only SFTBH song to actually feature Rachel Haden singing her character.

Act 2, Scene 2 sees Jonas resolving to be with Maria in “No Other One” from the Pinkerton Deluxe, followed by the unrecorded “Touch Down!”, clearly a musical reprise of “Blast Off!”  While Wuan, Dondo and M1 investigate the planet Nomis, Jonas finally pledges his love for Maria in “Devotion” from the Pinkerton Deluxe.  Unfortunately, he sees a used condom in her pod, as heard in “What Is This I Find” from Alone III!  Jonas is ultimately defeated by both Maria and Laurel and claims “Why Bother?” from the Pinkerton Deluxe.  Meanwhile on the planet surface, the crew find a prerecorded message on an unmanned satellite (which was supposed to be voiced by Mike Stanton) explaining that the crew’s entire mission was simply a reality-based TV show; this would have been featured in the unrecorded song “Special Thanks”, which Rivers described as a Sonic Youth-type of noise jam.  Mike explains that while there was no actual mission, there is an actual immediate danger as Nomis is about to be sucked into a black hole.  Luckily, there are five transports to carry the five human crew members to safety (sorry M1).  With the realization that with his new baby, they are one transport short and someone must stay behind, Jonas sacrifices his life for his daughter by giving his transport to her.  This is explained in the unrecorded “I Don’t Belong” and I have extrapolated the lyrics to this, based upon the melody of “Now I Finally See.”  As Jonas watches the crew escape, he awaits his eminent death by singularity.  Jonas then realizes that neither the love of Maria nor Laurel mattered, but only his love for his own daughter, and he sings “Longtime Sunshine” from the Pinkerton Deluxe as the planet is destroyed.  


Sources used:
Rivers Cuomo – Alone: The Home Demos of Rivers Cuomo (2007)
Rivers Cuomo – Alone II: The Home Demos of Rivers Cuomo (2008)
Rivers Cuomo – Alone III: The Pinkerton Years (2010)
Weezer – Pinkerton (deluxe edition, 2010)



flac --> wav --> editing in SONAR Pro and Goldwave --> flac encoding via TLH lv8
*md5, artwork and tracknotes included