Few albums in rock history have enjoyed as complete a critical and popular turnaround as Weezer’s Pinkerton (pre-order). Though tagged a disappointment upon its 1996 release, today Pinkerton is considered one of the most influential and important albums of that decade and beyond. In 2004, Rolling Stone even felt compelled to re-review the album, raising it from three stars to the ultimate five. Spin has since honored Pinkerton as among the 100 best albums of 1985-2005 and Guitar World ranks it among the top 100 guitar albums of all-time.
Now the two-CD Pinkerton – Deluxe Edition (pre-order), released November 2, 2010, adds color to the band’s musical journey with the original Weezer-produced album remastered and 25 contemporaneous bonus tracks, including every official B-side and 16 previously unreleased recordings. Among the latter are the newly-discovered gem “Tragic Girl,” unreleased B-side “I Swear It’s True” and numerous live performances, particularly noteworthy given that the band rarely played Pinkerton songs after the album tour. The 1996-1997 concert tracks were taken from the massive Reading Festival in the U.K., radio station sessions in Philadelphia and Salt Lake City, and a lunchtime performance won in a contest by Shorecrest High School near Seattle. Accompanying the package is a booklet with numerous photos and an essay by band compatriot Karl Koch, who reveals how the glorious “Tragic Girl” was recorded at the last minute but left undocumented, causing many to forget its existence.
Singer-songwriter-guitarist Rivers Cuomo, guitarist Brian Bell, bassist Matt Sharp and drummer Patrick Wilson had scored with 1994’s self-titled debut (aka “The Blue Album”). The triple platinum disk spun off the hits “Undone – The Sweater Song,” “Buddy Holly” and “Say It Ain’t So.” But Cuomo shelved an ambitious rock opera for the follow-up (the Hamburg, Germany recorded demo “You Won’t Get With Me Tonight” on Deluxe Edition is a remnant). His experiences of sudden rock stardom coupled with entering Harvard and enduring painful leg surgery suggested a darker, more visceral, less playful tone than Weezer’s previous power pop.
At the time, Pinkerton’s vulnerable lyrics and edgier music took audiences and critics by surprise. But redemption was near. Today Pinkerton approaches platinum and is widely hailed as one of modern rock’s greatest albums.
1. Tired Of Sex
3. No Other One
4. Why Bother?
5. Across The Sea
6. The Good Life
7. El Scorcho
8. Pink Triangle
9. Falling For You
B-Sides and More:
11. You Gave Your Love To Me Softly
13. The Good Life (Radio Remix)
14. Waiting On You
15. I Just Threw Out The Love Of My Dreams
16. The Good Life (Live and Acoustic)
17. Pink Triangle (Radio Remix)
18. I Swear It’s True*
19. Pink Triangle (Live and Acoustic)
1. You Won’t Get With Me Tonight*
2. The Good Life (Live at Y100 Sonic Session)*
3. El Scorcho (Live at Y100 Sonic Session)*
4. Pink Triangle (Live at Y100 Sonic Session)*
5. Why Bother? (Live at Reading Festival 1996)*
6. El Scorcho (Live at Reading Festival 1996)*
7. Pink Triangle (Live at Reading Festival 1996)*
8. The Good Life (Live at X96)
9. El Scorcho (Live and Acoustic)*
10. Across The Sea Piano Noodles*
11. Butterfly (Alternate Take)*
12. Long Time Sunshine*
13. Getting Up And Leaving*
14. Tired Of Sex (Tracking Rough)*
15. Getchoo (Tracking Rough)*
16. Tragic Girl*