In 1995, after the Blue Album was released, Rivers Cuomo began writing the band’s follow-up album. Rivers developed a rock opera called Songs From The Black Hole, which told the story of a group of space cadets.
The band started recording SFTBH, but enthusiasm for the concept wasn’t really there and recording sessions were sporadic at best, with Rivers moving off to his first year at Harvard.
At the end of his first semester, the band returned to recording, scrapping the rock opera concept after Rivers showed up with a new concept, a crop of autobiographical songs which would become 1996’s Pinkerton. Some of the black hole songs survived, but the rest were seemingly discarded.
With the publication of the first version of the weezer recording history, fans were clued in to the original concept. And in early 2002, Rivers himself started funneling some of the original SFTBH demos directly to fans, speaking of an “en masse” distribution of not just the black hole songs, but the hundreds of other songs which he and the band worked on throughout the years, but never officially recorded.
For a few years, the band released dozens of songs straight to fans, but that stopped after the summer of 2002, with Geffen finally putting their corporate foot down.
The point of all this: things have changed again. In the last week, Rivers started writing blog entries about the held-back songs, saying:
I’m putting up the lyrics now because I suddenly realized that I can. I’ll also put up the sheet music (when I have time) so that you can play them for each other! I’ll release my home demos as soon as I am legally able.
And he’s put up lyrics and music for two songs, one from SFTBH, another a Pinkerton-era b-side. Fans with much more musical talent than I have started to work off these, developing their own versions based off what Rivers has posted.
While they’re not exactly Rivers’/weezer’s demos, it’s still an interesting idea. While I’m glad to finally be getting an idea of what the songs were supposed to be like, it’ll be nice if we actually get the real versions one day (perhaps when the band is free of its Geffen contract?).
I’m also interested in songs from other years- the late 90’s hiatus period, the Make Believe era and the future, which for weezer, looks like it’s going to happen.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past however many years of being a weezer fan, it’s that it’s going to be interesting. And I’ll probably get to hear some good music too.