Early this morning, I got a surprising e-mail from the Weezer camp.
The band is inviting registered members of its Website to take a survey ranking a number of Weezer songs. There are two lists, one of standard album tracks and another of rarities and live-only covers. Pretty much the whole band’s catalogue is included. There are some weird omissions (no Love Explosion), but a number of songs I’m surprised to see make it (Rosemary, Baby, Sheila Can Do It, and other songs from Rivers Cuomo’s solo shows in Boston during the fall of 1997).
I’d offer to share the link, but each survey is tied directly to an individual e-mail address. Usually, I think that test marketing tends to ruin things, but I’m glad Weezer is looking for opinions from the fans. I can think of three reasons why they’re doing this:
- The band is looking for input on setlists. They have a bunch of shows coming up this spring/summer. (However, these shows start this weekend. And they tried something similar back in 2000, but Buddy Holly didn’t make the fan’s cut. The band played Buddy Holly anyway.)
- They’re putting together some kind of greatest hits/boxset and want ideas on what to include. (If that was the case, they’d probably just take their singles and throw them on something. Besides, they’re between two labels and there may be legal difficulties in putting such a compilation together.)
- Rivers/the band are developing new material and are looking to see what worked in the past and what the fans want to hear. (Probably wishful thinking on my part.)
This weekend will tell if they’re using this to develop setlists. Last week, Rivers tweeted the band was learning Radiohead’s Paranoid Android (although I really wish he would remember his 2002 pronouncement that “Radiohead sucks, except for Creep), and the cover could make its way into a setlist or two (hopefully replacing the Kids/Pokerface mashup). I do have to admit that while my voting was based around my feelings of the band’s songs, I ranked a song or two higher or lower than I otherwise would to offset any other crazy fans out there. And most of the Boston material I gave high marks, because I do think gems like Baby and Rosemary need to be revisited.
The one thing that could have made the survey better (aside from the inclusion of some missing tunes) was the opportunity to comment on rankings, or at least specify what version of each song was being ranked. For example, the Green Album version of Don’t Let Go is an 8. But the live AOL Sessions version is an easy 10. The Maladroit version of Take Control is maybe a 4. But the Take Control DC Demo is an 8.
Now I’m just getting nitpicky.
I just hope they use this for something productive. And that no one went crazy and ranked their cover of Unbreak My Heart higher than a 2.
And with no real transition, the band finally released a video for Hang On, the second single off Hurley. I’m sure it’s going to win the award at the VMAs for best use of bluescreen.