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|Single by Weezer|
|Released||September 24, 1996|
|Format||CD, Cassette, Vinyl|
|Recorded||Spring, 1996 at Sound City Studios, Van Nuys , CA|
|Rivers Cuomo song chronology|
|Weezer singles chronology|
|Pinkerton track listing|
"El Scorcho" is the first single and seventh track from Pinkerton.
- El Scorcho (Radio Only Promo CD)
- El Scorcho (UK Retail 7"/UK Retail CD #1)
- El Scorcho (UK Retail CD #2)
- The Lion and the Witch (Live)
- Not Alone: Rivers Cuomo & Friends Live at Fingerprints (Live)
Source is www.LastFM.com unless otherwise stated
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"El Scorcho" was not a successful single; several radio stations refused to play the song, and the video stiffed on MTV. This is considered to be one of the causes for the initial commercial failure of the album. On WeezerJonas, the official online street team for Weezer, "El Scorcho" was ranked the 3rd best song on Pinkerton, losing to "The Good Life" and "Tired of Sex." Although "El Scorcho" had little success as a single, the song itself has become somewhat of a cult classic. It is only now that it is seeing large strides in mainstream popularity (in large part from being on the video game Rock Band). The premise of "El Scorcho" is the struggle between confessing your feelings, waiting for the girl to, or simply doing nothing about it. The opening lines explain the frustration of finding out if someone likes you, and finding out everything you can about the person through their friends ("The redhead said you shred the cello"). The same girl that is the subject matter of "El Scorcho" may also be the subject of "Falling for You", with a mention of leaving her "cello in the basement".
In the second verse, Rivers finds out the girl actually does like him when he reads her diary and mentions listening to Cio-Cio San. During the bridge, Rivers expresses his frustration with not being able to confront things directly, and instead having to make songs and records that are so personal.
"El Scorcho" is one of the first narrative songs Cuomo wrote at Harvard. In December 1995, Cuomo composed sheet music for a Music 154 homework assignment that would eventually form the basis for the song's chorus melody. In a 2006 interview with the Harvard college newspaper, The Crimson, that the lines mentioning "Cio-Cio San" and "watching Grunge leg-drop New Jack" were actually taken from an essay from a classmate of his at Harvard in an Expository Writing class. The printed lyrics to the song identify these two lines as quoted with the enclosure of quotation marks. "...one example is, in 'Pinkerton,' in 'El Scorcho,' two lines in the song are actually taken from someone else’s essay in my Expos class. Because at one point, we had to do a little workshop thing, and we each got assigned to review someone else’s essay. So, I reviewed this one person’s essay, and I liked some of the lines in it, so I took them and used them in the song." The actual meaning of "watching Grunge leg-drop New Jack" is a reference to ECW's star Johnny Grunge leg dropping New Jack, through a table, possibly referencing a photograph of Grunge fighting wrestler New Jack that was published in Pro Wrestling Illustrated.
The line "listening to Cio-Cio San" is in reference to Puccini's opera, Madame Butterfly, The main characters of which are an American sailor - Pinkerton - and a Japanese girl named Cio-Cio San. The actress who played Cio-Cio San in the premiere cast of 1904 was named Rosina Storchio though the alternate spelling points to this being an unintentional reference. The reference may additionally be to the David Henry Hwang play M. Butterfly, which, at least to a degree, deals with themes of gender, sexuality and the confusion many people experience. This, in conjunction with the song "Pink Triangle", and the continued reference to the opera and/or play, gives the album an over-arching theme. Additionally, the line "I'm the epitome/of public enemy" is a direct quote from Public Enemy's "Don't Believe the Hype."
The song also mentions the band Green Day in the lyric "I asked you to go to the Green Day concert/You said you never heard of them." In 2005 while on the Foozer tour, Weezer often changed the lyric to "I asked you go to the Foo Fighters concert" and changed it to "the Weezer concert" in late '05. During their stop in Chicago for Lollapalooza, this was again changed to "I asked you to go to The Pixies concert", who were playing just before Weezer on a nearby stage. The song also goes onto mention 1990's professional wrestling company ECW in the lyric "Watching Grunge leg drop New Jack through a press table."
- The opening line, "Goddamn you half Japanese girls" has been censored in two different ways: "*Bleep* damn" and "dog damn".
- The title was taken from the name of the Del Taco sauce, "Del Scorcho".
- Brian Bell is the one who says "El Scorcho" and "Rock and Roll" in the beginning of the song. Bell's first lead vocal on a Weezer record can also be found on the song during the bridge ("How stupid is it, won't you give me a minute? Just come up to be and say hello to my heart.") Bell was also responsible for the guitar solo.
- The Rock Band version of "El Scorcho" has several different elements, most notably a partially different lead vocal take and a different guitar solo. The reasons for these differences are unknown, but likely have something to do with the master tapes being remixed by the game's developers.
Cuomo felt very strongly about keeping his videos gimmick-free during the promotion for Pinkerton. His reaction to the huge success of the Buddy Holly music video was one of fear that people loved the geeky gimmicks of the video, and weren't appreciating his songwriting. He wanted "El Scorcho" to be very straight-forward. During the editing of the video for El Scorcho, Cuomo and the director, Mark Romanek, got into a disagreement about the way the video was to be made, which led to Romanek removing his name from the directing credit. Two versions came out of this dispute, a "Director's Cut" edition (Romanek's version) and a second, which is said to have been edited under Cuomo's supervision. The "Director's Cut" version is shown below.
Many covers of "El Scorcho" by various bands (Good Charlotte, Michael Cera's band The Long Goodbye, Dashboard Confessional, etc) are available on YouTube. Most of them are thoroughly disliked by Weezer fans.
Retail CD single
Retail vinyl single
Retail cassette single
"You Gave Your Love To Me Softly" was recorded for and released on the soundtrack to Angus. This version is a completely new recording.
- Rivers Cuomo – lead guitar, lead vocals
- Patrick Wilson – percussion
- Brian Bell – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Matt Sharp – bass guitar, backing vocals
Goddamn you half-Japanese girls
Do it to me every time
Oh, the redhead said you shred the cello
And I'm jello, baby
But you won't talk, won't look, won't think of me
I'm the epitome of Public Enemy
Why you wanna go and do me like that?
Come down on the street and dance with me
I'm a lot like you so please Hello, I'm here, I'm waiting
I think I'd be good for you and you'd be good for me
I asked you to go to the Green Day concert
You said you never heard of them
-How cool is that?-
So I went to your room and read your diary:
"watching Grunge leg-drop New-Jack through a press table..." and then my heart stopped:
"listening to Cio-Cio San fall in love all over again."
How stupid is it? I can't talk about it
I gotta sing about it and make a record of my heart
(How stupid is it? Won't you give me a minute
Just come up to me and say hello to my heart)
How stupid is it?
For all I know you want me too and maybe you just don't know what to do or maybe you're scared to say: "I'm falling for you"
I wish I could get my head out of the sand 'cuz I think we'd make a good team
And you would keep my fingernails clean
But that's just a stupid dream that I won't realize
'cuz I can't even look in your eyes without shakin', and I ain't fakin'
I'll bring home the turkey if you bring home the bacon.