Chess

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"Chess"
Chess cover
Demo by Rivers Cuomo
Album Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo
Released December 18, 2007
Recorded May 1993
Length 2:26
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo
RC# 162
COR# N/A
Producer Rivers Cuomo
Status Released
Rivers Cuomo song chronology
"Negativland"
(RC# 161)
"Chess"
(RC# 162)
"Holiday"
(RC# 163)
Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo track listing
"Buddy Holly
(5)
"Chess"
(6)
"Longtime Sunshine"
(7)

"Chess" is the sixth track from Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo.

Liner notes

In 1992, I had written about half the songs that would end up on The Blue Album, including "the Sweater Song" and "Say It Ain't So". It was clear that we were going to get a record deal and make a record. But then the songs stopped coming. I felt more and more pressure to write the rest of the record, to write top notch Weezer-style songs. Finally, I shook off all expectations, from both myself and from everyone else, and let myself write whatever came naturally upon strumming a D major chord over and over on an acoustic guitar. The result was "Chess". I knew it wouldn't work for Weezer, but it at least got me creating again and having fun. Within two months, I wrote the rest of the songs for The Blue Album.

The "Sex and drugs and Rock and Roll" line I got from a song I happened to hear one night out on the town in which the singer says "sex and drugs and rock and roll" over and over with a British accent. I thought it was kind of weird so I wanted to use it. [I just looked it up online and learned that the song is by Ian Dury.]

Personnel

  • Rivers Cuomo – lead guitar, lead vocals, percussion, rhythm guitar, bass guitar

Lyrics

Chess is such a difficult game
With so many pieces
So many squares where you can go
So few promises

Never you mind all the others
Anticipating your next move
I know it's hard
'Cause you got a lot to do

Street signs and traffic lights
Ever confusing the issue
Stop left, go right, no U-turn
Where's the goddamn exit?

Never you mind all the others
Influencing your next move
I know it's hard
'Cause you got a lot to prove

La la la, la la la

Sex and drugs and rock and roll
The pieces lie right before you
This puzzle can't be done wrong
So come one while you can

Never you mind all the others
Anticipating your next move
Never you mind all the others
Never you mind what they do

Don't let them get you down
'Cause if they do
You'll be trapped forever under their shoe
Here is a paintbrush so go
I know it's hard
'Cause you've got a lot to do

La la la, la la la

Audio

See also