El Scorcho

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"El Scorcho"
El Scorcho cover
Single by Weezer
Album Pinkerton
Released September 24, 1996
Format CD, Cassette, Vinyl
Recorded Spring, 1996 at Sound City Studios, Van Nuys , CA
Length 4:03
Label DGC Records
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo
RC# 213
COR# N/A
Producer Weezer
Status Released
Live debut September 24, 1996
Rivers Cuomo song chronology
"Pink Triangle
(RC# 212)
"El Scorcho"
(RC#213)
"Across the Sea"
(RC# 214)
Weezer singles chronology
"Say It Ain't So"
(1995)
"El Scorcho"
(1996)
"The Good Life"
(1996)
The Lion and the Witch track listing
"Death and Destruction (Live)"
(4)
"El Scorcho (Live)"
(5)
"Holiday (Live)"
(6)
Pinkerton track listing
"The Good Life"
(6)
"El Scorcho"
(7)
"Pink Triangle"
(8)

"El Scorcho" is the first single and seventh track from Pinkerton.

Appearances

Overview

According to the Recording History, the guitar riff for "El Scorcho" was originally written as the intro to an 8-track demo by Rivers Cuomo around the spring of 1992 titled "Simply State (and the Girl Will Follow)". A similar riff was also used as the outro to the demo "Blast Off!". While attending Harvard in December of 1995, Cuomo composed a piece of music as a homework assignment for his Music 154 course. This piece would form the basis for the chorus melody of "El Scorcho". "El Scorcho" was one of the first songs written by Cuomo (following "Pink Triangle") to be written while Cuomo was attending Harvard and began moving away from the Songs from the Black Hole album concept. The title "El Scorcho" was inspired by the sauce "Del Scorcho" from the fast food chain Del Taco [citation needed] .

A GIF of the actual moment when Grunge leg-dropped New Jack through a press table.
In a 2006 interview with the Harvard Crimson, Cuomo confirmed that two of the lines in the song ("Watching Grunge leg-drop New Jack through a press table" and "Listening to Cio-Cio San fall in love all over again") were taken from an essay written by one of his classmates from an expository writing class. The former lyric references ECW's star Johnny Grunge leg-dropping New Jack, through a table, while the later references Cio-Cio San, the character from Madama Butterfly, the Puccini opera on which Pinkerton is loosely based. The lyric "I'm the epitome of Public Enemy" is a reference to the song "Don't Believe the Hype" by Public Enemy [1]. The reference to "shred[ding] the cello" suggests that the object of Cuomo's affection in the song is the same girl as in "Falling for You". This is corroborated by a blog post by Cuomo to his Myspace account in 2007 in which he confirmed that both "El Scorcho" and "Falling for You" were about a "Half-Caucasian/half-Asian" girl. In The Pinkerton Diaries, the lyrics for "Falling for You" precede a cello composition written by Cuomo for a woman with whom he was acquainted, referred to only as "B.G.". In a journal excerpt the book, Cuomo laments "exposing" B.G. on Pinkerton.

Brian Bell is the one who says "El Scorcho" and "rock and roll!" at the beginning of the song. Bell's first lead vocal on a Weezer record can also be found on the song during the bridge ("How stupid is it, won't you give me a minute? Just come up to be and say hello to my heart.") Bell was also responsible for the guitar solo [citation needed] . The song also mentions the band Green Day in the lyric "I asked you to go to the Green Day concert/You said you never heard of them." When performing the song live, Rivers Cuomo has often substituted in other bands when singing the lyric, such as "I asked you go to the Foo Fighters concert" when touring with the band on the Foozer tour.

"El Scorcho" commercial performance was underwhelming; several radio stations refused to play the song, and the video did not receive airplay on MTV. This is considered to be one of the causes for the initial commercial failure of the album. The song was successful in Australia, however, reaching #9 on the Triple J Hottest 100 chart, the national poll conducted by alternative rock station Triple J for the year's most popular alternative songs. It was subsequently released on the 1996 Triple J Hottest 100 compilation. [2] [3]

A packet of Del Scorcho hot sauce.
A promotional CD for "El Scorcho" was produced featuring edits of the song that censor the lyric "Goddamn you half Japanese girls". One edit bleeps the word "God" ("Bleep Damn") and the other reverses it ("Dog Damn").

"El Scorcho" was released as a downloadable song for the rhythm video game Rock Band on February 19, 2008 and as part of the Rock Band Track Pack Vol. 2 on November 18, 2008. The version of the song included notably features an alternate guitar solo and vocal track from the version heard on the album, with a noticeably different delivery of the line "Come down on the street and dance with me".

Music video

Whatever weirdness that led to the band's version being the 'MTV cut' has long since been forgotten, and everyone now concludes that Mark's cut is 'The One.' The video was hot in Downtown L.A. at some sort of old ballroom.
-Karl Koch on the "El Scorcho" music video, from the liner notes for Video Capture Device

The music video for "El Scorcho" was directed by Mark Romanek. Cuomo felt very strongly about being seen as a serious songwriter during the promotion for Pinkerton, strictly avoiding gimmicks ala the "Buddy Holly" music video. During the editing of the video for El Scorcho, Cuomo and Romanek disagreed about the way the video was to be made, which led to Romanek removing his name from the directing credit. Two versions came out of this dispute, a "Director's Cut" edition (Romanek's version) and a second, which is said to have been edited under Cuomo's supervision.

Tracklist

Retail CD single

Weezer el scorcho.jpg
  • Origin: United Kingdom
  • Catalog no: GED22177
  • Tracklist:
  1. "El Scorcho"
  2. "You Gave Your Love to Me Softly"
  • Notes:
    • CD in cardboard sleeve
Weezer el scorcho.jpg
  • Origin: United Kingdom and International
  • Catalog no: GFSTD-22167 (UK)
  • Tracklist:
  1. "El Scorcho"
  2. "You Gave Your Love to Me Softly"
  3. "Devotion"
  • Notes:
    • CD in slimline jewel case
Weezer el scorcho.jpg
  • Origin: Australia
  • Catalog no: GEFDM-22167
  • Tracklist:
  1. "El Scorcho"
  2. "You Gave Your Love to Me Softly"
  3. "Devotion"
  • Notes:
    • CD cardboard sleeve

Retail vinyl single

Weezer el scorcho.jpg
  • Origin: United Kingdom
  • Catalog no: GFS22167
  • Tracklist:
  1. "El Scorcho"
  2. "You Gave Your Love to Me Softly"
  • Notes:
    • 7" black vinyl

Retail cassette single

  • Origin: United Kingdom
  • Catalog no:
  • Tracklist:
  1. "El Scorcho"
  2. "You Gave Your Love to Me Softly"
  • Notes:

"You Gave Your Love To Me Softly" was recorded for and released on the soundtrack to Angus. This version is a completely new recording.

Personnel

Lyrics

El-Scorcho-lyrics.jpg

Goddamn you half-Japanese girls
Do it to me every time
Oh, the redhead said you shred the cello
And I'm jello, baby
But you won't talk, won't look, won't think of me
I'm the epitome of Public Enemy
Why you wanna go and do me like that?
Come down on the street and dance with me

I'm a lot like you so please Hello, I'm here, I'm waiting
I think I'd be good for you and you'd be good for me

I asked you to go to the Green Day concert
You said you never heard of them
-How cool is that?-
So I went to your room and read your diary:
"watching Grunge leg-drop New-Jack through a press table..." and then my heart stopped:
"listening to Cio-Cio San fall in love all over again."

How stupid is it? I can't talk about it
I gotta sing about it and make a record of my heart
(How stupid is it? Won't you give me a minute
Just come up to me and say hello to my heart)
How stupid is it?
For all I know you want me too and maybe you just don't know what to do or maybe you're scared to say: "I'm falling for you"

I wish I could get my head out of the sand 'cuz I think we'd make a good team
And you would keep my fingernails clean
But that's just a stupid dream that I won't realize
'cuz I can't even look in your eyes without shakin', and I ain't fakin'
I'll bring home the turkey if you bring home the bacon.

See also