Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo
|Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo|
|Studio album by Rivers Cuomo|
|Released||November 25, 2008|
|Rivers Cuomo chronology|
Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo is a compilation album by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo. It is a sequel to 2007's Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo. On July 24, 2008, a spreadsheet entitled "The 4 and 5 star demos of river como" was posted on riverscuomo.com, with certain songs designated as songs that either appeared on Alone, Buddyhead's Gimme Skelter compilation, or the then unreleased Alone II. Soon after the list was posted, the site was redirected back to Cuomo's MySpace. On October 27, 2008, final tracklist was posted on Pitchforkmedia.com at the end of the interview with Rivers.
On October 15, 2008, Alone II appeared on Amazon with a release date of November 25, 2008.
On October 22, 2008, the cover appeared on interpunk.com
The album is the second entry in the Alone Series of releases.
Rivers Cuomo has long been known by fans to have recorded a great deal of unreleased material, nearly 800 songs in his lifetime. This material was recorded with Weezer, earlier bands, and self-recorded demos. Of these songs, despite the large amount of unreleased material that has been made available by Cuomo on the internet, large chunks of his work remain unheard by fans. These include certain demos for The Blue Album, various songs from the scrapped Songs from the Black Hole project, over a hundred songs he composed and demoed throughout 1999 (songs which he has described as ranging from "drone-y Romantic," "abrasive dissonance" and "riffy pop-rock") and well over a hundred songs that didn't make the cut for Make Believe.
The idea for the demo collection was made 10 years ago, when Cuomo had brought up the idea to his record company. However, they discouraged him from the idea because they didn't want to "dilute the Weezer name" by putting out less polished material. It wasn't until 10 years later that Cuomo pushed harder for the collection and it gained enough support for a release.
There were some legal issues between Cuomo and Geffen about releasing the album:
[Legal issues] [were] a big part of it because the record company owns all of my demos under Weezer's contract, and my argument was that they aren't Weezer recordings; they're not part of the Weezer record deal, this is my own stuff, I should own this. So we had to negotiate for a long time to reach an agreement as to the legal ownership of the records but we agreed enough that we were able to move forward and put it out.
During promotional interviews for Alone in 2007, Cuomo mentioned the possibility of releasing more demo albums through Geffen records. Of the reported 15 hours of demos Cuomo has made, he believed that one or two more solid albums on the level of Alone could be created.
The album's cover photo was taken while Cuomo was in high school for his senior portrait. Cuomo elaborated on the photo session in an interview with Pitchfork media: "That is a real photo, and there was not an ounce of irony in the room when that photo was taken. For some reason, I missed the photo session in my high school for my senior portrait, so I had to go to a photo studio in Willimantic, Connecticut. I didn't really have any ideas: the guy just did his thing. And this is what he came up with [laughs]. But it's from the same session as my high school picture." The album much like the first Alone album will feature liner notes featured detailed descriptions and offered much insight into where Cuomo draws inspiration to write and arrange his music, specifically stating the time and dates where songs were written. Cuomo commented on the liner notes: "When I originally wrote the liner notes, it was about 5,000 words longer and included all the reasons why the songs didn't make it, which I thought was kind of interesting. It ended up feeling kind of negative, like so much of what I was saying was why the songs weren't good enough. It seemed like a strange thing to put in the liner notes. Why would anyone want to buy something like that?"
The album has since peaked at #175 on the Billboard 200 on the week ending December 13th.
College radio leak
The album was first played in its entirety on November 18, 2008 by Albumsix users Gecaj and Giggens on their college rock radio station: WSIN.
Alone II jam session
On November 25, 2008 Rivers organized a jam session for him and 80 fans at the Fingerprint record store in Long Beach, California. Participants brought their instruments and voted on what songs they wanted to play with Rivers singing. The event was recorded and filmed and eventually released as an EP and a DVD titled Not Alone: Rivers Cuomo & Friends Live at Fingerprints on May 5, 2009.
- "Victory on the Hill" – 0:50
- "I Want to Take You Home Tonight" – 3:56
- "The Purification of Water" – 3:56
- "I Was Scared" – 2:54
- "Harvard Blues" – 0:31
- "My Brain Is Working Overtime" – 3:27
- "I Don't Want to Let You Go" – 3:46
- "Oh Jonas" – 0:26
- "Please Remember" – 0:37
- "Come to My Pod" – 1:31
- "Don't Worry Baby" (The Beach Boys cover) – 2:58
- "The Prettiest Girl in the Whole Wide World" – 2:44
- "Can't Stop Partying" – 2:18
- "Paper Face" – 3:20
- "Walt Disney" – 2:50
- "I Admire You So Much" – 0:46
- "My Day Is Coming" – 4:23
- "Cold and Damp" – 3:35
- "I'll Think About You" – 3:01
Track list changes
The tracklist was changed after Cuomo put his demo spreadsheet online on July 24, 2008.
- "Victory on the Hill"
- "Harvard Blues"
- "My Brain Is Working Overtime"
- "Can't Stop Partying"
- "I Admire You So Much"
- "Cold and Damp"
Songs left off
- "Victory on the Hill" is an all-trumpet instrumental written and performed by Cuomo in late 1993. Its all-trumpet sequel, "Defeat on the Hill", was written and recorded between touring for Weezer (The Blue Album) in mid-1994.
- "Paperface" was recorded in 1992. A full-band demo was released on the deluxe version of Weezer (The Blue Album).
- "Don't Worry Baby" and "The Purification of Water" were recorded in 1992 and 1993 before the release of the band's debut album, Weezer (The Blue Album).
- "I'll Think About You" was originally recorded in 1994 and later a contender for the never-released Homie album.
- "Walt Disney" was recorded in 1995.
- "Come to My Pod", "Oh Jonas" and "Please Remember" were recorded for Songs from the Black Hole, recorded in 1995.
- "The Prettiest Girl in the Whole Wide World" and "Harvard Blues" were recorded in 1997 during the band's hiatus. The former was considered for 2001's Weezer (The Green Album).
- "My Brain Is Working Overtime" was originally written in 1999 during the band’s hiatus, eventually becoming part of the SS2K pantheon of songs a year later. The version present here was recorded prior to the release of Make Believe.
- "I Want to Take You Home Tonight" was recorded in 2002.
- "I Was Scared" was recorded in 2003 as an early contender for Make Believe.
- "My Day is Coming" and "I Don't Wanna Let You Go" were recorded in 2006 and 2007, before the release of Weezer (The Red Album).
- "Can't Stop Partying" was written with Jermaine Dupri and demoed by Cuomo in 2008.
- Alone II Liner notes
- Alone Series
- The 4 and 5 Star Demos of Rivers Cuomo
- Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo
- Alone III: The Pinkerton Years 1994-1997