Troublemaker

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For the tour of the same name, see Troublemaker Tour.
"Troublemaker"
Troublemaker cover
Single by Weezer
Album Weezer (The Red Album)
Released June 3, 2008 (album)
July 26, 2008 (single)
Recorded March 2008
Length 2:44
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo
Producer(s) Jacknife Lee
Status Officially released
Live debut August 18, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA
Stream Play on spotify.png Spotify
Play on Apple Music.png Apple Music
Weezer singles chronology
"Pork and Beans"
(2008)
"Troublemaker"
(2008)
"The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)"
(2008)
Weezer (The Red Album) track listing
"Troublemaker"
(1)
"The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)"
(2)
Alternate Cover
Troublemaker (Japan iTunes Single)
Troublemaker (Japan iTunes Single)
This song is part of the "Troublemaker" lineage of songs

"Troublemaker" is the second single and first track off of The Red Album.

Appearances

Overview

"Troublemaker" was originally written by Rivers Cuomo in 2006. Cuomo recorded several acoustic guitar demos in 2006 featuring different guitar riffs and vocal melodies. The song's verse lyrics also appeared in a similar demo titled "Rock Star" (previously titled "Special") based on the guitar riff from the 2001 demo "Diamond Rings." It is unknown if "Troublemaker" is derived from "Rock Star"/"Special" or vice-versa. These demos were released to fans in 2020 as part of the demo compilation Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years.

When the label suggested to Weezer to include more commercial material to speed up the album, the band revisited "Troublemaker." The line "Keep it on the up" was inspired by Cuomo's friend and former bandmate Kevin Ridel (of Avant Garde and AM Radio). Ridel has stated "Rivers sure has made my catch phrase popular!"[citation needed] "Troublemaker" is notably repetitive, with a guitar riff and drum beat that play unchanged throughout almost the entire song.

The song was released as a digital single. A promotional single was also sent to radio. A physical retail single was scheduled to be released in the UK in late September 2008 but never surfaced.[citation needed] "Troublemaker" debuted the week of July 26, 2008, at No. 39 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks charts and peaked at No. 2.

Liner notes


Linernotesw.png
Troublemaker which talks about your schooling, the middle references all those things you experience growing up. It's an interesting way to start a record.

Rivers: Yeah it's a real introductory sort of song saying, "Hi this is who I am". In that sense, "Troublemaker" reminds me of the way we started the blue album with "My Name is Jonas." It's just like reaching out your hand to shake and saying. "Hi, this is who I am." And I go through some of my childhood, and how I was raised and, what my background is and how I see myself now.

You touch on bits of spirituality or other things going on in your life at the moment. Rivers: The way my brain works its actually hard for me to remember what the content of my songs is when I'm sitting here talking about it. I'm really focused when I'm writing it or even singing it, but talking about it I almost can't remember what the song is about. Troublemaker is a song I had written in 2006 and I was stuck on it. I set it aside and forgot about it. We listened back to old demos and immediately everyone was like, yes that's the song.

Music video

The music video for "Troublemaker" was directed by the Malloy Brothers and was released on October 6, 2008. The video features Weezer and a selected group of fans attempting to break various world records. It was filmed in front of the Great Western Forum in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, California. The video includes footage of Weezer fans playing dodgeball, riding on an oversized skateboard, playing air guitar, and filling a large Weezer logo with nachos, cheese, and jalapenos. Rivers Cuomo is also shown pulling a stationwagon full of Weezer fans with his teeth. The video alternates between scenes of the hootenanny as well as a live performance by the band.

Track listings

Promo Radio Single

  1. "Troublemaker" (2:44)

Japanese iTunes E.P.

  1. "Troublemaker"
  2. "Are 'Friends' Electric?"
  3. "Oddfellows Local 151"
  4. "Pork and Beans" (Naked Version)

Troublemaker Remixes

See Troublemaker Remixes

Known recordings

Click [Expand] to view full table

Performer(s) Title Filename Date of recording Recording location Length Appeared on Notes
Rivers Cuomo Anything but Love 291 Anything But Love.mp3 2001 4:17 Alone VIII: The Maladroit Years
Weezer Diamond Rings August 29, 2001September 8, 2001 Sage and Sound Recording, Los Angeles, CA
Weezer Diamond Rings October 22, 2001 Steakhouse Studios, Los Angeles, CA Rough mix (Take 2)
Weezer Diamond Rings October 22, 2001 Steakhouse Studios, Los Angeles, CA Rough mix (Take 3)
Weezer Diamond Rings October 22, 2001 Steakhouse Studios, Los Angeles, CA Rough mix (Take 4)
Weezer Diamond Rings October 23, 2001 Steakhouse Studios, Los Angeles, CA Rough mix
Weezer Diamond Rings October 23, 2001 Steakhouse Studios, Los Angeles, CA Rough mix
Weezer Diamond Rings October 23, 2001 Steakhouse Studios, Los Angeles, CA Rough mix
Weezer Diamond Rings October 24, 2001 Steakhouse Studios, Los Angeles, CA "Very" rough mix
Weezer Diamond Rings October 24, 2001 The Knitting Factory, Los Angeles, CA Filmed for HBO's Reverb. Did not air.
Weezer Diamond Rings October 25, 2001 Steakhouse Studios, Los Angeles, CA Rough mix
Weezer Diamond Rings October 26, 2001 Steakhouse Studios, Los Angeles, CA Rough mix
Weezer Diamond Rings October 27(?), 2001 Steakhouse Studios, Los Angeles, CA "Final CD" rough mix
Weezer Diamond Rings November 4, 2001 Cello Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Weezer Diamond Rings November 4, 2001 Cello Studios, Los Angeles, CA Alternate
Weezer Diamond Rings December 2, 2001 Alliant Energy Center, Madison, WI 2:57 Audience bootleg
Rivers Cuomo Special special (I-IV).mp3 ? 3:32 Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years
Rivers Cuomo Special special (diamond rings, all my life.mp3 ? 3:27 Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years
Rivers Cuomo Rock Star rock star.mp3 ? 3:23 Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years
Rivers Cuomo Troublemaker troublemaker feel and low bridge.mp3 2006 3:03 Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years
Rivers Cuomo Troublemaker troublemaker melody crammed.mp3 2006 2:02 Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years
Rivers Cuomo Troublemaker troublemaker melody shifted.mp3 2006 3:07 Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years
Rivers Cuomo Troublemaker troublemaker chunky GFeF.mp3 2006 1:23 Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years
Rivers Cuomo Troublemaker troublemaker orig feel.mp3 2006 3:18 Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years
Rivers Cuomo Troublemaker troublemaker strummy.mp3 2006 2:18 Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years
Rivers Cuomo Troublemaker Troublemaker.mp3 2006/2007 2:48 Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years "Last Ditch Efforts for Album 6"
Weezer Troublemaker 2007 Shangri La Studios, Malibu, CA
Malibu Performing Arts Center, Malibu, CA
Threshold Studios, Santa Monica, CA
2:44 Weezer (The Red Album)
Weezer Troublemaker 2010 2:45 iTunes Originals

Personnel

Lyrics

Put me in a special school 'cuz I am such a fool
And I don’t need a single book to teach me how to read
Who needs stupid books? They are for petty crooks
And I will learn by studying the lessons in my dreams
So turn off the TV 'cuz that’s what others see
And movies are as bad as eating chocolate ice cream
They only sicken me. Don’t let me play football
I’ll sack the quarterback and jack the brother of the ball

I’m a troublemaker, never been a faker
Doin’ things my own way and never giving up
I’m a troublemaker, not a double-taker
I don’t have the patience to keep it on the up

I picked up a guitar. What does this signify?
I’m gonna play some heavy metal riffs and you will die.
You wanted arts and crafts. How’s this for arts and crafts?
Wuh-nuh- nuh- nuh- nuh- nuh- nuh- nuh- nuh—that’s right!
I’m growing out my hair. I’m moving out to Cherokee.
I’m gonna be a rock star and you are gonna bear with me
'Cuz I can’t work a job like any other slob
Punchin’ in and punchin’ out and suckin’ up to Bob

Marryin’ a beeyotch, havin’ seven keeyods
Givin’ up and growin’ old and hopin’ there’s a God.

I’m a troublemaker, never been a faker
Doin’ things my own way and never giving up
I’m a troublemaker, not a double-taker
I don’t have the patience to keep it on the up

I’m gonna be a star and people will crane necks
To get a glimpse of me and see if I am having sex
And studying my moves, they try to understand
Why I am so unlike the singers in the other bands.
I’m such a mystery as anyone can see
There isn’t anybody else exactly quite like me
And when it’s party time, like 1999
I’ll party by myself because I’m such a special guy

I’m a troublemaker, never been a faker
Doin’ things my own way and never giving up
I’m a troublemaker, not a double-taker
I don’t have the patience to keep it on the up

See also