Undone - The Sweater Song

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"Undone - The Sweater Song"
Undone - The Sweater Song cover
Single by Weezer
Album Weezer (The Blue Album)
Released June 24, 1994
Recorded August-September 1993 at Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY
Length 5:05
Label Geffen
Writer Rivers Cuomo
RC# 114
COR# N/A
Producer Ric Ocasek
Status Officially released
Professional reviews
Rivers Cuomo song chronology
"Make Me a Pallet"
(RC# 113)
"Undone - The Sweater Song"
(RC# 114)
"Why Do We Hurt Eachother?"
(RC# 115)
Weezer singles chronology
"Undone - The Sweater Song"
1994
"Buddy Holly"
1994
Weezer (The Blue Album) track listing
"Buddy Holly"
(4)
"Undone - The Sweater Song"
(5)
"Surf Wax America"
(6)
The Kitchen Tape track listing
"Let's Sew Our Pants Together"
(3)
"Undone - The Sweater Song"
(4)
"Paperface"
(5)
Weezer's third demo track listing
"Say It Ain't So"
(3)
"Undone - The Sweater Song"
(4)
"Surf Wax America"
(5)
Alternate cover
Cover of the European Retail CD
Cover of the European Retail CD

"Undone - The Sweater Song" is the first single ever released by Weezer. It was the fifth track and first single from Weezer (The Blue Album).

Contents

Appearances

MP3 Previews

Source is www.LastFM.com unless otherwise stated

Overview

Lead singer Rivers Cuomo has commented many times on this song. He said of the song, "I took typing, Psych 101, and English 101 that semester. It was in my English class that I heard the analogy of the unraveling sweater. Dr. Eisenstein used the image to demonstrate the effectiveness of focused thesis statement in an essay. “All I have to do is hold a single thread in your sweater and it will unravel as you walk away.”

Additionally Cuomo has stated, "'Undone' is the feeling you get when the train stops and the little guy comes knockin' on your door. It was supposed to be a sad song, but everyone thinks it’s hilarious."

The original concept for the dialogue spoken in the song was to juxtapose an upbeat person and a depressed person having a conversation. At some point during the recording of various demos of the song early in the band's existence, they decided to allow longtime friend of the band, Karl, to insert various sound clips into the song, creating a collage of left-and-right-speaker nonsense. This concept was carried through the recording of The Blue Album, but Geffen Records were wary of the cost of licensing the samples, and put a halt to that version. In the eleventh hour, a spoken version of dialogue was recorded at the Amherst house, by then-bassist Matt Sharp and Karl, as well as an "intermission" set of dialogue between Karl and one of the founding members of Weezer's official fan club and early supporter of the band, Mykel Allan. The tapes were then sent overnight to New York to be 'flown in' to the final mix. Live, these sections usually feature the band talking or quoting other songs.

During live performances in 2005, the band would often invite a fan up to play the acoustic guitar part of "Undone" with the band. On the last night of the Foozer tour, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl played the guitar part.

Music Video

The music video for "Undone" was Weezer's first music video. According to Rivers' Edge: The Weezer Story by John D. Luerssen, the band insisted that the video not have anything to do with a sweater. Yet, Geffen received twenty five treatments for the video, all involving sweaters, including one in which the band played in a sweater factory, and another wherein all four band members were together in one giant sweater. The video marks one of the early directorial efforts of Spike Jonze, whose pitch was simply "A blue stage, a steadicam, a pack of wild dogs." The $60,000 video was shot on a steadicam in one unbroken take, featuring the band playing to a sped up version of the song. When played at a slower speed, the illusion is created that the band is playing the song in the correct time, yet moving in slow motion. The one take was shot over twenty five times and the final version is somewhere between shot #15 and shot #20, in which the band had abandoned the idea of taking the video seriously at all. The humor was brought on by the frustration of shooting the same take over and over to a sped up version of the song as well as the fact that one of the dogs defecated on Patrick Wilson's bass drum pedal. The video became an instant hit on MTV.


An alternate take of the video can be found on the band's Video Capture Device DVD.

Musical composition

The song is notable for its seemingly basic chord progression which repeats through the verse and chorus of I, IV, V, IV. However, the song does experience a key change modulation for the guitar solo after the second chorus, modulating from the key of F# Major to A Major, and thus following the same I, IV, V, IV progression. Also, the main guitar lead played over the chords of the intro and the outro contains a raised second pitch which resolves to the third. This accidental within the key gives the song an off-note and perceivably quirky feel to it.

Reception

"Undone" is one of Weezer's most popular songs. It is praised as a quirky, nerdy song and helped align Weezer with the genre of nerd rock. It reached 57 on the US Billboard Hot 100 List of 1994. Die hard Weezer fans have also almost universally praised this song, as is shown by its ranking as "The Very Best" by Teenage Victory Songs, a popular Weezer songblog. Allmusic.com gave "Undone" a 5 star rating and also named it an "AMG Track Pick."

Versions

An early demo, officially released on the 2004 Deluxe Edition of The Blue Album.

From the band's third and final demo, this version features some of the early samples employed by Karl, and is a glimpse into the unreleased studio version. This version is being cirulated as an mp3 on the internet.

  • LP version
  • promo edit(s)

Initially, when edited for promotional radio CDs, the song was incorrectly pared down to 3:58, featuring a drastic edit of the ride-out guitar solo. The band, particularly Rivers, wanted a certain 4:10 edit, featuring a more smoothly edited guitar solo, and so the correct edit was summarily produced on all future promos. However, a great many of the incorrect promos were made and sent out, so that the incorrect version is actually the more common one, with the correct 4:10 edit a collector's item. Both edits also fade out early, after the main song ends, eliminating the drawn-out collage of sounds.

  • video edit

The version used in the video retains the full guitar solo of the LP version, but also employs the early fade-out as featured on the previously mentioned edits.

  • MTV Live version

A session recorded for MTV's '120 Minutes' program, and released in 1998 on MTV's 120 Minutes Live compilation.

Tracklist

Promo Only Radio Single

  1. "Undone - The Sweater Song" (Radio Edit) - 4:10

Promo Only Radio Single

  1. "Undone - The Sweater Song" (Incorrect Radio Edit) - 3:58

US Retail Cassette/US Promo 7" Jukebox Single (Black Vinyl)

  1. "Undone - The Sweater Song" - 4:58
  2. "Holiday" - 3:26

Australian Retail CD

  1. "Undone - The Sweater Song" - 4:58
  2. "Mykel & Carli" - 2:53
  3. "Susanne" - 2:46
  4. "My Evaline" - 0:44 (Erroneously listed as "Sweet Adeline")

UK Retail CD/UK Retail Cassette/UK 7" Single (Blue Vinyl)

  1. "Undone - The Sweater Song" - 4:58
  2. "Mykel & Carli" - 2:53
  3. "Susanne" - 2:46
  4. "Holiday" - 3:26

French Retail CD/French Promo 7" Single (Blue Vinyl)

  1. "Undone — The Sweater Song" - 4:58
  2. "My Name Is Jonas" - 3:24

Personnel

Lyrics

Lyric sheet for "Undone - The Sweater Song"
Lyric sheet for "Undone - The Sweater Song"

Matt: Hey bra', how we doin', man?
Karl: Alright.
Matt: It's been awhile, man. Life's so rad! This band's my favorite, man. Don'tcha love 'em?
Karl: Yeah.
Matt: Aw, man, do you want beer?
Karl: Alright.
Matt: Aw, man. Wow, bra', this is the best, man. I'm so glad we're all back together and stuff. This is great, man.
Karl: Yeah.
Matt: Hey, do you know about the party after the show?
Karl: Yeah.
Matt: Aw, man, it's gonna be the best. I'm so stoked! Take it easy, bra'.

I'm me, me be
Goddamn, I am
I can, sing and
Here me, know me.

If you want to destroy my sweater
Hold this thread as I walk away.

Mykel: Hey, what's up?
Karl: Not much.
Mykel: Um... did you hear about the party?
Karl: Yeah.
Mykel: I think I'm going to go, but, um... my friends don't really wanna go. Could I get a ride?

Oh no, it go
It gone, bye-bye...bye
Who I, I think
I sink, and I die.

If you want to destroy my sweater...Woah-ah-woah-ah-woah.
Hold this thread as I walk away... As I walk away.
Watch me unravel, I'll soon be naked.
Lying on the floor, lying on the floor
I've come undone.

If you want to destroy my sweater...Woah-ah-woah-ah-woah.
Hold this thread as I walk away... As I walk away.
Watch me unravel, I'll soon be naked.
Lying on the floor, lying on the floor
I've come undone.

If you want to destroy my sweater. (I don't want to destroy your tank-top.)
Pull this string as I walk away. (Let's be friends and just walk away.)
Watch me unravel, I'll soon be naked. (Hate to see you lyin' there in your Superman skivvies.)
Lying on the floor, lying on the floor
I've come undone!.....

Woo-ooo-woo

See also

External links

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