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It’s Easy

Folksy, simple, and all around a very nice little ditty written and sung by Weezer guitarist Brian Bell. Although this song was released as a bonus track for The Red Album (the official coming-out party of Bell, bassist Scott Shriner, and drummer Pat Wilson as lead vocalists on a Weezer record), the performance here is actually culled from one of the many acoustic demo sessions held for 2005’s Make Believe. Apparently per the urging of band archivist Karl Koch himself, “It’s Easy” belatedly became one of the few pre-Red examples we have of non-Rivers Cuomo songs being pitched and seriously considered for Weezer (joining the ranks of Bell’s “Yellow Camaro,” Wilson’s “Reason to Worry” and “The Story Is Wrong,” and original bassist Matt Sharp’s Blue-era “Mrs. Young”).

As the only recording we have of it (and evidently the best one there is), “It’s Easy” is a breezy acoustic jam built on a couple acoustic guitars and an acoustic bass. It’s a very warm and organic arrangement, with a beguiling little run up and down the fretboard at the end of the progression. Bell’s Tennessee boy lead vocal fits the bill perfectly, especially with such breezy and agreeable lyrics: “Let’s not be mean to each other / There’s no need for name-callin’ / There’s no need for chain-ballin’ / Let’s be nice, babe, it won’t kill us.” Hard to argue with that, especially with Shriner and Cuomo harmonizing behind him oh-so-fine.

The chorus finds Bell catching his girl in a lie, placing the song in league with his Red Album cut “Thought I Knew” — which many Weezer fans grumbled was far inferior to “It’s Easy,” as Weezer fans are wont to do. I see where they’re coming from, but considering that “Thought I Knew” sounded quite nice in demo form as well, perhaps it’s best that we never got an arrangement of “Easy” with laser drums and million-dollarproduction.

But surprisingly enough, Weezer might have agreed in retrospect: for the band’s 2008 AOL Sessions in support of Red, “It’s Easy” got an airing instead of “Thought I Knew.” It’s a nice performance that trades in a few of the demo cut’s harmonies for the luxury of having Rivers beneath a beret and behind a cocktail drumkit. Bell plays even more into the victimized chorus with a new couplet: “All this time we could have got along / Instead we bitch and moan, you done me wrong!”

Oh, and Wilson’s extended guitar solo is a nice added touch. The band seems to enjoy playing it quite a bit, so perhaps it really is a shame this tune wound up being pushed into the margins.

24 Comments

  1. brado8 wrote:

    You’re pumping them out these days, Soy. What gives?

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 7:59 am | Permalink
  2. ThomYorke wrote:

    I LOVE this tune! I think both this and Thought I Knew are worthy tracks to have been on a standard album.

    The light, breezy nature of the song is so refreshing for a Weezer tune, and going acoustic with was it gives it just the right feel. It sounds so effortless, and the chord progression is really memorable with Pat’s little riff being the icing on a very well made cake. The lyrics actually make sense, and Brian sounds like he might really be thinking of this girl while he sings.

    It’s tunes and performances like this that remind me why I continue to follow Weeezer, because this proves unequivocally that the stars still align and the band can still produce something really memorable when you least expect it.

    I actually thought this was a cover the first time I heard it, but I was pleased to find out that they actually wrote it, and it was Brain no less! They need to listen to that guy more often.

    Oh, and Rivers with mustache and beret on a tiny drum kit? Priceless.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 8:24 am | Permalink
  3. Ludicrosity wrote:

    I love this tune. It has such a laid back feel to it: It may not be the most lyrically complex or strongest song but it just sounds like the band has fun playing it. Sometimes that’s enough to carry a performance for me.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 8:37 am | Permalink
  4. Melack wrote:

    Love this song. One of my favorite Brian compositions and the AOL version is the best one. It’s a great performance and everyone looks really cool (Brian, drool…).

    Even in demo form I prefer this song to every version of “Thought I Knew”, but seeing as I don’t think it was even a contender for TRA I don’t think there is much to argue about here.

    The chord progression is very catchy and the song has a laid back feel while at the same time manages to grab my attention.
    As a huge fan of Tom Petty I can’t help but draw comparisons to some of his work when hearing this song.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 8:38 am | Permalink
  5. Ludicrosity wrote:

    BTW, who is singing the first verse on the demo of this? I know people have said it’s Brian singing the whole thing but there is no way that’s him singing the first verse: If you compare how it’s sung to the rest of the demo, it’s entirely different. Unless he was disgusing his voice for some inexplicable reason (almost sounds like he has an accent) it can’t be Bri.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 8:46 am | Permalink
  6. Melack wrote:

    I hear Brian.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 9:01 am | Permalink
  7. Joel wrote:

    I have to admit that when I started reading the sentence about Bell’s “coming-out party” I briefly expected it to go in a different direction.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink
  8. clonus wrote:

    Thank you for putting this on The Grand Playlist-I just love this tune. It puts a big smile on my face whenever I hear it.
    Is there some reason why the sound quality of this demo is better than the two other “office demos” that we have (I Can Love, TSOML)? Different sessions, different recording techniques?
    And please keep pumping them out, Soy-you’ve been on a roll lately. (watch CDW come up next and ruin the blog.)

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 10:03 am | Permalink
  9. nate wrote:

    I haven’t listened to this one as much as I should (due in part to the 20 tracks that we got from various editions of Red). Real shame, I remember liking it when I first heard it. So, thanks for reminding me about it!

    For some reason the opening line “Let’s not be mean to each other” always reminds me of The Moldy Peaches.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink
  10. ThomYorke wrote:

    Nice call on the Tom Petty vibe, Melack. I thought of that immediately too.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 11:29 am | Permalink
  11. Soyrev wrote:

    Let me let y’all in on a little TVS psychology: if the stuff that comes up on the randomizer is relatively small-fry material, I can maintain a pretty good pace of knockin’ ’em out. The idea of blowing 10 or 15 minutes on writing about a Weezer song a couple times a week doesn’t sound too intimidating.

    But if the next one in the randomizer were, say, “Say It Ain’t So,” something classic and/or something I really have a lot of complex emotions about, I’m probably going to have to go brood for a while and try to forget the site exists. Writing those kinds of posts can be very positive experiences (my “Pig” post in particular), but they can also wind on and on and take a pretty damn long time to write (like OID). I’ve got a lot of other things to do in my life, so while I’m happy to get those posts out of my system, the knowledge that just spent several hours of my day writing about a Weezer song doesn’t help me sleep too soundly at night.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  12. Soyrev wrote:

    And speaking of psychology: it’s interesting to note that Brian, when asked about this song via Myspace in 2008, said that “It’s Easy” is an unfinished tune that he “gave up on” quite some time ago. Sounds pretty finished to me in these here demo form…I think every member of this band has a very strange perception of when a song or record is “done.”

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  13. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Still can’t believe no one else thinks the first verse of the demo sounds different. I agree it does sound like Brian, similar at least, but there is something off about the first verse compared to how he sings the rest of the song. Just listen to how words are pronounced in the first compared to say… when the first pre-chorus starts… that’s where it’s really noticeable to me.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink
  14. Ludicrosity wrote:

    And I am talking about the demo, not what’s posted here on the songblog.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 11:56 am | Permalink
  15. waitingandwaiting wrote:

    i really like this song, i also really like though i knew (even the red version). I think the two songs would make a really good single package, they compliment themselves so well.

    Also does anyone notice a striking similarity with the acoustic private message, a song Brian really liked? I have no musical expertise, but they sound similar.

    And what is the deal with Brian reworking his songs, he needs to learn when he’s reached the final product.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink
  16. ThomYorke wrote:

    The ENTIRE BAND needs to learn “when they’ve reached a final product.”

    Their habitual tinkering and over-producing has ruined many-a-good song.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink
  17. Allpwrtoslaves wrote:

    fucking LOVE this song. easily one of Brian’s best. i love that they revisited it for AOL sessions.

    Fun Fact:if any of you remember me talking to Brian about this song back when we first got it,he told me they were contemplating playing it on the Troublemaker Tour.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink
  18. Soyrev wrote:

    I think if we saw the outtakes for this band’s setlists, they’d make us groan and throw up our hands just as much as the outtakes for their albums do.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Permalink
  19. Ludicrosity wrote:

    I think you are correct, Soy. Seems like they have fresh ideas that end up getting squashed for the same old live setlists. I wonder if it’s because they are disatisfied with the quality or if it’s because they feel too nervous to shake-up their self-imposed status quo. It’s like they feel there’s some sort of important mainstream image to maintain… when in actuality it just alienates people further and further.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Permalink
  20. Adroit wrote:

    Probably the song I have played the most from the Red batch.

    I like it a lot, and well worthy of the Grand Playlist.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 2:19 am | Permalink
  21. yim_yecker wrote:

    This AOL Sessions version is the tops. And I think people should observe Soy’s first comment on this one. We may soon enough have a high quality post in our hands.

    Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Permalink
  22. I love this track too, though it sounds a lot like Fleetwood Mac era Lindsay Buckingham song to me. Kind of a “monday morning” vibe to it.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink
  23. ThomYorke wrote:

    Rivers stache makes this even better.

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
  24. Thegreatestscorch wrote:

    The beginning acoustic riff reminds me a bit of jamie

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

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