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The End of The World

The next song on the list is another short one, so I might as well bang this one out tonight, too.

This December 2002 cover gives us a neat little insight into what Rivers Cuomo was listening to at the time: the 2001 solo record from Nina Gordon, a saccharine pop departure from her more hard-edged punk rock band Veruca Salt. This song closed the album, a sappy breakup ballad colored by digital drum touches and some almost-country harmonies on the chorus (sort of like a poor man’s Cardigans).

What Cuomo does with it in his home recording (of which only an incomplete 54-second clip exists) is simple, but interesting. His voice arcs and falls with unguarded emotion (signaling the change in modus operandi from Maladroit to Make Believe), and the lone electric guitar that accompanies him has a hint of the classic Weezer crunch of yore. And with that long, winding vocal melody, this sounds like the skeleton of something that might not have seemed out of place in the Blue era. As it stands, this clip fails to captivate beyond the historical perspective it provides, but that alone makes it a worthy one-time spin.

On the other hand, the Recording History reveals that a few intriguing full-band takes of this song have been recorded. On March 21st, 2003, Cuomo and Weezer bassist Scott Shriner recorded a version of this song with Swirl 360 drummer Luke Adams and guitarist Jimmy Messner (Pat and Brian were “unavailable”). Five days later, another take was recorded (the personnel left unspecified), and then another take a few days later with the guys from Sloan — from the same jam that produced Alone‘s scorching version of “Little Diane.” It’d be very interesting to hear how these renditions came out (especially considering how hard “Little Diane” kicks!), and I do hope that we’ll get the chance to find out someday.