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I’ve Got Your Letters: Rivers Cuomo Announces “Alone III,” “Pinkerton” Diaries Set

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Until recently, you may have been wondering what to get the Weezer fan in your life for the holidays. After all, the long-running, hysterically polarizing pop/rock band haven’t released any albums this year, after four albums put out since 2008 (including two in 2010: Hurley, their first for Epitaph Records, and Death to False Metal, an outtakes compilation on longtime homebase Geffen). There was, of course, also the deluxe edition of beloved sophomore effort Pinkerton from a year ago.

At the end of last week, frontman Rivers Cuomo announced the long-awaited release of Alone III: The Pinkerton Years 1994-1997 – and super-deluxe fans are going to find it’s worth the wait.

The third entry in Cuomo’s series of solo demos covers the furtive years in which Weezer released their first two albums, 1994’s self-titled debut and 1995’s Pinkerton – still their best works – and provides fans with a host of long-coveted material. Cuomo responded extremely to the runaway success of Weezer’s debut, crafting his already-complex demos into a planned space-rock concept album, Songs from the Black Hole. He also retreated from the rock star lifestyle, enduring a painful surgery to adjust the length of his left leg (it was almost two inches shorter than the right from birth) and studying for an English degree at Harvard University. Ultimately, Black Hole was scrapped for Pinkerton, an intensely personal set of songs that sputtered critically and commercially at first, but has since been regarded as Weezer’s greatest work and a watershed moment in ’90s rock.

The generous 26-track compilation includes early versions of various Pinkerton tracks and B-sides, including “Getchoo,” “Tired of Sex,” “You Gave Your Love to Me Softly” and “No Other One.” (There’s also an early version of favorite B-side “Susanne,” released in 1994 and used as the closer to Kevin Smith’s cult favorite Mallrats a year later.) Longtime devotees of the band are going to enjoy a six-song suite of demos from Songs from the Black Hole, the band’s much-adored, unreleased concept album scrapped in favor of Pinkerton as well as another song cycle called the “Fulton Avenue Suite.” (Black Hole demos have surfaced on previous Alone compilations.)

But Alone III isn’t just a disc. It’s only going to be available online, packaged with an elaborate 237-page book, The Pinkerton Diaries, featuring, in Cuomo’s words, “a collection of my journals, emails, letters, photos, and school papers — so you get an inside look as to exactly what I was thinking [when I wrote Pinkerton].” Anyone who’s bought the previous Alone sets knows Cuomo’s penchant for lengthy, intense liner notes, so those looking for a deeper perspective on the man’s mind from around this time is going to get at least twice more than they could ever expect.

There’s no word on whether or not a smaller set will be made available featuring the music and less book, but the deluxe set – basic, limited hand-numbered copies at $75, as well as a swag-filled extra set for $135 – is available to order now, with an expected ship date of December 12.

Check the demo track listing after the jump.

Rivers Cuomo, Alone III: The Pinkerton Years 1994-1997 (Geffen/UMe, 2011)

  1. I’m So Lonely
  2. Getchoo
  3. Lisa
  4. Negativland
  5. You Gave Your Love to Me Softly
  6. When You’re Alone
  7. Susanne
  8. There is No Other One
  9. Let Me Wash at Your Sink
  10. Waiting on You
  11. Oh No, This Is Not For Me
  12. Tired of Sex
  13. She’s Had a Girl
  14. What is This I Find?
  15. Now I Finally See
  16. Longtime Sunshine
  17. I’m Lonely on a Saturday Night
  18. Oh God I’m Hungry
  19. I’m on Fire, You’re a Liar
  20. The End of My String
  21. I Can’t Break Your Heart Slow
  22. Money Makes Me Happy
  23. My Mind’s on You
  24. Defeat on the Hill
  25. Clarinet Waltz
  26. A Glorious Moment

Tracks 11-16 are “Suite from the Black Hole.” Tracks 17-23 are the “Fulton Avenue Suite.”

Written by Mike Duquette

November 14, 2011 at 12:11

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