Being Alone never felt so great

Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo showcases song writing talent on early recordings.

By Ryan Shiner | July 7, 2010

Tags: Music

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I remember when I was a sophomore in high school and came across Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo. Rivers Cuomo is the lead singer of the rock band Weezer, so I thought it would be interesting to see what he had to offer the public from his private collection of self-recordings.

The demos themselves were actually pretty good — but he’s from Weezer. Of course they are going to be good. This was one of the first times fans could actually purchase “lost” tracks from Songs From The Black Hole, a space-themed rock opera Cuomo wrote to follow up The Blue Album, that were never released.

Along with demos from Weezer’s lost album, Alone contains the original recording of “Buddy Holly,” one of the band’s most successful singles. It is different from The Blue Album version. It is slower, heavier and puts more focus on the guitar solo than the album version does. Alone also features Cuomo doing covers of Ice Cube’s “The Bomb” and Gregg Alexander’s “The World We Love So Much.”

What really makes the album special is the roughness of each recording. It sounds like he recorded these tracks in his garage or his basement. Alone also features Cuomo playing every instrument on almost every track. The recordings span from 1992 to 2007, which means many of the songs came before he had the backing of a major label. It’s usually pretty interesting to hear what an artist was like before he had the kind of backing a major label can offer. In fact, the band was in the same position that many aspiring musicians are in today.

Another unique aspect about Alone is the tracks “Blast Off!” and “Lover In The Snow” had their own music videos, both of which feature Cuomo practicing and playing in a celebrity soccer game. Those songs, along with “Chess,” “Lemonade” and many others could actually fit in on a real Weezer album, like Pinkerton or any of the records named after colors.

As a fan, it’s pretty hard to keep up with every album Weezer releases. Cuomo released Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo in 2007 and Weezer has since released The Red Album and Raditude. Don’t let Alone get lost in the fray.

Rivers Cuomo has had a spectacular musical career with Weezer. Alone just shows how great of a song writer he is by himself and that he had an immense amount talent before his major label debut. It is a good reminder that even the best of bands had to start out making demos in the basement or garage just like everyone else.

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