Weezer’s Pinkerton Still Brings Home The Turkey And The Bacon

Seventeen years ago I was a sophomore in college. On this day back in 1996,  I walked a few miles between classes to the one record store near Seton Hall University to pick up a CD that was coming out that day, Weezer’s Pinkerton.

Once I purchased the only copy of the CD in the store, I walked/ran back to my dorm room, but was only able to listen to the first three songs before my next class began. All I remember about the class was not being able to wait to hear the rest of the album. Pinkerton was so different from the Blue Album (which was by then, my favorite thing to listen to), but not in a bad way.

The sound of Pinkerton was more raw and the lyrics more emotional, which were a bad news/good news thing for the album’s fortunes. The rawness and emotion, combined with the public’s changing musical tastes meant the album didn’t do well commercially. In the year after Pinkerton’s release I was incredulous as songs like One Headlight and The Freshmen were played constantly on the radio, while Pinkerton‘s songs were ignored.

At the same time, fans loved this approach and the public rediscovered the album a few years later after word-of-mouth and file sharing attracted more listeners, leading to the band’s resurgence in 2000.

But by then, it was too late for Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, who abandoned the approach that made Pinkerton what it was and sought out a more generic way of crafting the perfect pop rock song (this approach, which led to the Green Album, also was responsible band’s fascinating, yet vague (and too minimal) output in 1998). The band has also embraced (or re-embraced) the album, even releasing Pinkerton Deluxe Edition three years ago.  The highlight of this special edition was Tragic Girl, a song originally demoed at the last minute then promptly forgotten.

After my class, I rushed back to my room and listened to the whole of Pinkerton. I realized it was no Blue Album, but that was not a bad thing. It was an amazing, personal, rocking album. And it’s still amazing all these years later.

Waiting and Waiting (for Pinkerton Deluxe)

UPDATE September, 2010: A Japanese Web site posted a possible tracklist, view it here.

Last fall, Weezer announced a special Deluxe Edition of their second album, 1996’s Pinkerton would appear in stores in February or March 2010.  Not only would this deluxe album feature the 10 tracks of Pinkerton, it would also contain demos, alternate versions and possibly other unreleased gems like a full-band version of Superfriend (from Songs from the Black Hole), Getting Up and Leaving or even the (now) mythical track Tragic Girl.

Last November, I wrote a post speculating what would comprise Pinkerton Deluxe, and I’ve gotten some traffic to the Kingdom thanks to it.  Well, I feel it necessary to post an update: It’s February (almost March) and we’re going to have to wait a little longer for the album.

Weezer Homie Karl Koch posted on allthingsweezer this week that while the tracklist is done, we will have to wait a little longer for Pinkerton Deluxe.  No word on how much longer.

However, before we get Pinkerton Deluxe, we can expect Odds and Ends, a CD featuring a number of unreleased Weezer songs that were recorded for album releases, but never saw the light of day.  If you want to speculate on what songs will be on Odds and Ends, you better have some time on your hands.  All I can say is check out the Weezer Recording History, and anywhere you see a song mentioned as being recorded during an official album session, you have a potential O+E track.