Return of the Rentals
|Return Of The Rentals|
|Studio album by The Rentals|
|Released||October 24, 1995|
|Recorded||Poop Alley Studios|
|Label||Maverick Records / Reprise Records|
|Producer||Tom Grimley, Matt Sharp|
|The Rentals chronology|
|Singles from Return of the Rentals|
Early version of album cover (used by MTV)
Return of the Rentals is the debut album by The Rentals, released on October 24, 1995, through Maverick Records. In addition to band frontman Matt Sharp, the band lineup consisted of Weezer drummer Pat Wilson on drums, Cherielynn Westrich on vocals, Petra Haden on viola and vocals, Rod Cervera on guitar, and Tom Grimley on Moog synthesizer.
Songwriting for ROTR began as early as 1993. In May of that year, Sharp collaborated on a song with Rivers Cuomo titled Mrs. Young. Originally considered for an independent Weezer single alongside "Jamie", the song was later reworked into "Please Let That Be You". Sharp continued working on refining a small number of demos throughout the rest of 1993, including "Friends of P", "California", and "Stupid Girl". After the release of Weezer's first self titled release in 1994, Sharp formed a side-project in which he was both the chief songwriter and lead-singer. Initially dubbed "That's Incredible!" by producer Tom Grimley, Sharp would eventually settle on the name "the Rentals". Sharp later recorded demo tapes for two potential albums at Poop Alley Studios: Return of the Rentals and For the Ladies. The Rentals released their first album, Return of the Rentals, later that year. The band had a radio hit with the single "Friends of P."
The music video for "Friends of P" portrays the band in black-and-white, in a vaguely Eastern-European setting, with the song's lyrics subtitled in Russian. According to Sharp in an interview with Matt Pinfield on 120 Minutes, the idea came from "[Sharp] and Tom Grimley playing so much Intellivision" and suggested that, because Sharp was already on the DGC label with Weezer, they decided to "make it so we weren't even from this country and I didn't have anything to do with anything from America at all."  Sharp, during this period, would put on an Eastern-European accent during appearances such as Weezer interviews and at the 1995 Video Music Awards.
Cherielynn Westrich, who co-wrote the song "My Summer Girl" did not receive a songwriting credit until several years after the album's release. Westrich expressed disdain for Sharp in a 2001 Glorious Noise interview, saying "Matt pretty much tried to take credit for everything that anyone would let him. He changed the album cover from the original design to a picture of just him. I think he even tried to take producer credit all to himself. I really think Matt was being kind of a big jerk to a lot of nice people. Tom [Grimley] really did do quite a lot on that album. Yes, Matt also did take all the writing credit, and all the publishing money that goes along with the writer's credit, although you are right about "My Summer Girl." I wrote the lyrics and melody. Oh well."
Rivers Cuomo, in a 2002 interview over AOL Instant Messenger, cited Return of the Rentals as one of his reasons for scrapping the Songs from the Black Hole concept album, adding "plus it was kind of a lame idea".
There is an untitled instrumental 'hidden' track which begins ten seconds after "Sweetness and Tenderness" ends. It consists of violin, backed by the 'wind' noise that begins the record.
Return of the Rentals was only available on CD and cassette upon its initial release. In January 2017, Matt Sharp teased on his Instagram account that he was in the process of archiving the Rentals' demos and early recordings for a vinyl release of the album . However, when asked about the release during a Reddit AMA on April 24, 2020, Sharp confirmed that the album's master recordings were missing or destroyed:
oh, boy. this is a really long story, wayyy too long for this forum. long story, very short. we were working on it for a very long time, but there have been several complications, like all of the original artwork was either lost or destroyed by our parent-record company and/or designers, but we found some work arounds with the art and found really cool things like a bevy of unreleased spike jonze photos, etc. but, the bigger thing is that, we found out 1/2 way through working on a deluxe vinyl edition, that all of the master recordings are also missing or destroyed. i search for them for over 2 years, but came up completely empty handed, except for 1 DA-88 tape with some of petra's violins
Though the album never charted, the album received positive reviews and significant airplay on MTV's 120 Minutes.
|Original album track listing|
|1.||"The Love I'm Searching For"||Matt Sharp||3:35|
|3.||"Friends of P."||Sharp||3:32|
|5.||"Please Let That Be You"||Sharp||3:33|
|6.||"My Summer Girl"||Sharp, Cherielynn Westrich||3:12|
|10.||"Sweetness and Tenderness/(untitled hidden track)"||Sharp||5:55|
- Patrick Wilson - drums
- Rod Cervera - guitar
- Tom Grimley - Moog synthesizers
- Petra Haden - violin, harmony vocals
- Cherielynn Westrich - female lead vocals
- Matt Sharp - vocals, bass, Moog, extra guitars
- Jim Richards - Moog on "Please Let That Be You"
- Rachel Haden - vocals on "Move On"
| Studio LPs: Return of the Rentals | Seven More Minutes | Lost in Alphaville | Q36 |
EPs: The Last Little Life EP | Forgotten Astronaut Extended Play Multimedia projects: Songs About Time
Compilations: Live in Japan | Excellent Stocking Stuffer | For the Ladies | Little Russell Street
Matt Sharp solo work: Puckett's Versus the Country Boy | Matt Sharp
Other: Resilience | List of Rentals songs | List of the Rentals shows | Lost Out in the Machinery - Songs of the Rentals