which ten demos would you get them to flesh out and record? Things that have been officially released through Alone or as b-sides shouldn't be included because only 'new' old songs are allowed on this hypothetical record (just like Death to False Metal). Homie songs aren't allowed either because that'd make this too easy.
The ten I'd want them to record (with the changes I think the songs should take) are:
1. Listen Up.
- I think the BBC demo is the best recording of the song we have so far because the great tempo, emotion and the arpeggio of the BBC version is lost in the Maladroit demos of the song, so that's the place where I'd want the band to start reworking the song in the studio.
- Even though, for the most part, the Maladroit demos of this song are awful, the solo from the 01-07 demo is terrific and I'd want a solo like that worked into the song.
- A harmonica would fit perfectly within this song. Not only would it terrifically compliment the feel and charm the song has, but it could also add much needed variation to parts of the song that sound repetitive.
- The lyrics at times are awkward ("Listen pretty mumma, I won't be with you tonight.") or are executed with terrible grammar ("Listen up for goodness sakes, me, I never had much brakes.") so some refinements here and there would be much appreciated.
2. Broken Arrows.
- The 1-03 version is my personal favourite Broken Arrows version because of the awesome harmonies, revised lyrics and interesting guitar work. I know a lot of people think the lo-fi Rivers-solo demo is the definitive one, and I do admit that one has charm, but at the end of the day, I'd want Broken Arrows to be tackled as a full band so 1-03 is a good reference point.
- I'd want the band to cut down some of the excess vocal parts after the solo because it adds nothing substantial to the song and instead makes it drag on a bit for the sake of it. If it weren't for that lengthy ending, this song could stand as an effective, quick and powerful pop song in the quality realm of O Girl.
- The guitar tone and Rivers' vocal delivery in the 1-03 demo are a bit too abrasive for the song in my opinion. The original home-recording version of the song is extremely beautiful and I hope a studio version of the song would capture the greatness heard in that demo. I think cleaner guitar tones and soft, passionate vocals would be a good place to start achieving that goal.
3. Private Message.
- The 4-21 demo is my favourite because of the sweet falsetto "ooh"s at the start.
- The lyrics for the verses could be tightened up a bit. While the song as a whole has a great theme, I feel like it's not as eloquently executed as it could be. Lines like "I'm trying to show you a hint of my coolness" are a bit blunt and could definitely use some work.
- It'd be nice to have a proper bridge after the solo. I feel that a bridge could add a lot of flavour to the song, saving it from the possibility of sounding monotonous.
4. Mad Kow.
- I really like the 07-02 Early Album 5 demo version because of the piano. For the most part, the piano sounded contrived when it was brought in for those A5 demos, but in Mad Kow's case it added depth to the song.
- The lyric "I'm lost, just like a cow" is a bit silly to me. Why does Rivers think cows are lost? I think the lyric would make a lot more sense if it were "I'm lost, like a mad cow" and it wouldn't sound so ridiculous.
5. We Go Together.
- If the awesome performance of the HBO version could be replicated in a studio that'd be beyond amazing.
- The solo should evolve beyond that small, Green-like, melody-following solo we hear in the Goat Punishment performance.
- The lyric "we go together" could be changed to something like "set for each other" to avoid that common Grease comparison.
6. So Low.
- Like We Go Together, a new solo would really help this song out.
- The backing vocals are pretty weak in the version of the song we have. Some sweet 50's like backing vocals would make it really fit in with the songs it's sandwiched in between (We Go Together and O Girl).
7. O Girl.
- Official Summer Songs of 2000 version is perfect for me. No changes are needed in my opinion. (I like the "woo!" Rivers used to give before he played the solo, but not having it present is no deal breaker for me, it'd just be a cool flourish to have, to quote Rivers: "either way, I'm fine".)
- The best version of 367 we have is the 04-22 version because it doesn't sound as forced as future versions (there's the seldom liked piano in one version and some misplaced rawk guitars in another).
- This song is really lucky to be here on my list. The chorus is awful and insta- forgettable and the bridge is beyond bland and uninspired. The saving grace for the song is its amazing verse melody (which comes perfectly off O Girl in my opinion). In my opinion, for this song to work the chorus and bridge would have to be rewritten, It'd be a lot of work, but I think it's well worth it for that verse.
9. Everybody Wants a Chance to Feel All Alone.
- As good as this song sound in its acoustic format, I'd want it translated to an electric format if were to be rerecorded. It's a real strong ballad and strong instrumentation would really elevate the song to another level.
- When away from the acoustic format, I feel slightly edgy vocals would suit the lyrical content of this song perfectly, it's an emotionally charged song, not some vacuous pop listen, so it should be treated accordingly.
10. High Up Above.
- I love the BBC version, the Maladroit demo sorely misses that organ.
- I feel that the song longs to sound big and bombastic, though because it is suffocated by sticking to a traditional song structure and it is only given 2:15 to accomplish its enormous goal it doesn't happen. This song needs the kind of treatment The Angel and the One received.
- All the instruments rush into things too quickly. The first half of the first verse would sound awesome if it was just Rivers sounding raw and exposed, backed only by a piano and from there layers of instruments were added. It's cliche, but for a song aiming to be grand, I think it would work.
- The guitar solo is really mechanical and unfulfilling, some long, spacey progressive rock solo would add a heap of atmosphere to the song and it'd fit perfectly.
- Instead of ending the song on the lazy "and the experts will agree, will agree, will agree..." line (which is a stupid lyric that doesn't really deserve to be in the song, let alone repeated again and again to close the song.) a second solo could carry the song to the end, kind of like Only In Dreams.
- A slower tempo could definitely make the song feel a lot more emotional and more like a closing track.
- I hate the crunching guitar tone, it's gross and it definitely needs to be sorted out.
I've just pointed out a few obvious alterations that could be made to these songs, but there are hundreds of little things Weezer could change here and there on these songs to make these tracks so much better. To me, these songs are not necessarily the demos that have the greatest execution, but the demos that hold the greatest potential.