While Karl Koch
, friend, everyman and webmaster for the band Weezer
states that The Lion and the Witch
is weezer's first and only "e.p
" (Extended Play single) release, he actually is overlooking two lesser known releases. One of those releases is the weezer - christmas e.p
which had a 5,000 album pressing, was sent to radio stations and original weezer fanclub members and included their two seasonal songs "The Christmas Song" and "Christmas Celebration." The other overlooked release is their first true EP, "The Good Life OZ e.p."
"The Good Life OZ e.p" was released in Australia (and only Australia) on March 5th, 1997 during a very quiet winter and spring in the Weezer camp, in which Pinkerton was shaping up to look like a commercial dud and the band hadn't been onstage in months after a heavy work schedule. The tracklist for the EP was as follows:
1. The Good Life (LP Version)
2. Waiting On You
3. I Just Threw Out The Love of my Dreams
4. The Good Life (acoustic live)
5. Pink Triangle (acoustic live)
Each of the songs has a good amount of significance though, making this quite a fascinating EP. "The Good Life," which was the second single off Pinkerton was a tremendous failure on the radio, never even cracking the Top 30 on Billboard Magazine's Modern Rock Charts. Yet, years down the road, it would come to be one of the most beloved songs by hardcore =w= fans and casual =w= fans alike. The song is a complete rock epic, telling a fluid and relatable story, complete with one of the greatest bridges in modern rock history.
"I Just Threw Out The Love of my Dreams" holds some historical significance though. As it was once slated to appear on Songs From The Black Hole, the unreleased, unfinished Weezer album that was supposed to follow-up their smash debut The Blue Album. While a handful of those songs have been released and are in constant rotation, over a decade after Songs From The Black Hole was scrapped, you can still hear fans on the weezer.com message boards still pining for its complete release.
As for "Waiting on You" begins with Rivers asking "Are we rolling?" and Pat clicking his drum sticks, then the song begins, a heavy ballad about a man waiting for a girl who could be perceived in many ways. Is he overly possessive? Is he pathetic? Is he justified in his sadness? The final repeated lines of "I asked you if you had a good heart, You answered "Yes, I'll never do you harm" marks some of Pinkerton era Weezer at their finest.
"I Just Threw Out The Love of my Dreams" is the only released Weezer song not to feature Rivers Cuomo on lead vocals. Instead, Rachel Haden, longtime friend of the band's and former member of Los Angeles-based rock-pop quartet that dog lent her vocals to the song. Which was fitting since it was from a female perspective. The track does feature a keyboard/guitar driven melody, a rockin' Rivers solo, great vocals from Rachel and a thunderous conclusion to wrap it all up.
The two acoustic live songs, versions of "The Good Life" and fellow Pinkerton track (and failed single as well) "Pink Triangle." They were both recorded during a lunchtime concert that Shorecrest High School, a Seattle-area school had won from a radio station. The kids in the audience cheer at the mention of the words "lesbian" and "queer" and there is a slight cheer for the line "Might've smoked a few in my time."
The incredibly well put together Weezer DVD, "Video Capture Device," (edited by Karl Koch) has some fascinating footage to add a little more back story to the OZ EP. Such as footage of the band rehearsing "I Just Threw Out The Love of my Dreams" before they decided to bring in Rachel, a video of the "Pink Triangle" performance that appears on the CD and the band playing fellow "Pinkerton" track El Scorcho in a Tower Records parking lot, which was the show that the cover of the EP, showing Rivers from the back holding up his guitar while surrounded by fans.
The OZ EP also has two things worth noting about its
packaging. On the cover, the bright blonde haired kid on the upper right is actually Daniel Brummel, bassist and lead singer of the now defunct band Ozma that toured with Weezer on the 2001 Yahoo! Outloud Tour. Also, the inside packaging featured an x-ray of Rivers' leg operation to correct the fact that he was born with his left leg was 44 mm shorter than the other.
Today, the actual CD is not only long out of print, but nearly impossible to find even on sites like eBay.