|Demo by Weezer
|November 22, 2020
Unchained Melody is a collection of demos recorded on May 3, 2004 by Rivers Cuomo. It was presented to the rest of Weezer as potential songs for what would ultimately become Make Believe. In the end, only Haunt You Every Day would end up making Make Believe a year later. These demos were leaked online on November 7, 2020. Per the Weezer Recording History:
Rivers continued to work alone at S.I.R rehearsals, with Chad Bamford engineering the sessions. He worked incessantly, nearly everyday for months, refining and further refining his tracks, whittling them down to what he intended to be the prospective new album's final demos. On several occasions it is known that he presented his results to the rest of the band and Rick Rubin, and was likely dismayed to hear varied non-unanimous opinions about which were the best songs and what to keep and what to kill. He kept going 'back to the drawing board' for several months, while the rest of weezer started to despair as to whether they would ever pick up work on, let alone complete the album. There was even speculation that perhaps Rivers simply wasn't interested in completing an album anymore, that the continuous state of demo making felt better to him that actually calling for a cut-off point. Regardless of the mounting uncertainty, the demos kept coming.
On November 19, 2020, Cuomo added comments about the collection to his wiki on riverscuomo.com:
"Unchained Melody" was a phase of writing. 'Melody First' songs. I was craving old school Weezer melody after a few years of writing less melodically. This was during the period where I broke off from Rick and worked on my own. I played the demos for Q Prime as part of our get-to-know-you process. They didn't like them at all, singling out "Simple Fisherman" for particular scorn. For this and one other reason we didn't go with them. "Haunt You Every Day" is from an earlier phase.
Cuomo then added in the chat
Qprime is one of the biggest rock band managers of all time. I think. The last 15 years would have looked quite different if we went with them. Instead we went with the Firm who had a spectacular collapse after Make Believe.
The full collection was released as part of the digital compilation Alone IX: The Make Believe Years on November 22, 2020.
All songs written and composed by Rivers Cuomo.
Note: The song "Haunt You Every Day" was grouped with these songs as part of Cuomo's "A-List" in the Recording History, but was recorded during an earlier phase, according to Cuomo. Likewise, it is unknown if "Where to Start" was part of this "phase" or not.