The Lion and The Witch was a special EP released by Weezer on September 24, 2002.

In early summer 2002, Geffen Records, the band's label, came to the band asking for an EP to be released in limited quantity and only available in independent retail stores. The EP was in reaction to the label doing EPs with other artists that are only available at say Best Buy or K-mart or Wal-Mart etc.. CIMS and Music Monitor, two groups of unified independent retailers, approached Geffen asking to have the same treatment with Weezer since the band was so popular in more independent stores.

The band recorded their 2002 Japanese tour for the purpose of using the live tracks for what is now known as The Lion and The Witch. While the live shows were being compiled, the band also commissioned an illustrator and planned a special package (as opposed to the traditional jewel case). Geffen came back to the band and said the package was too expensive and the number of songs on the EP needed to be reduced from eight songs to six as to not upset the other retailers who wouldn't be getting the disc. Weezer did not want to back down on the issue of the artwork, but understood the impact of having more than six songs. After further discussions with the label, the Geffen agreed to the roll with the planned special packaging but only if the band agreed to reduce the number of songs. In reality though, the number of songs was be seven, as one was a "hidden track"

The Lion and The Witch was only released in the United States and was limited to a pressing of 25,000 copies. It was not be available from internet retailers or big chain stores, only at certain independent record shops. A complete listing of these stores is available at www.weezer.com.

There are no stores in Chicago or the surrounding area that are carrying the album. /me is not happy.

Track Listing:

  1. Dope Nose (the song "Polynesia" is used as the intro and counts as the "hidden track")
  2. Island in the Sun
  3. Falling For You
  4. Death and Destruction
  5. El Scorcho
  6. Holiday
An excellent little EP issued, as the above writeup mentions, on September 24th.

While there aren't any stores carrying it anywhere near where I am, I was able to get a copy from Vintage Vinyl's online store.

Interesting factlets about The Lion and the Witch
  • Although there are, supposedly, a little over 25,000 copies of the disc made, the numbers (each copy has a unique number. The same thing was done with Maladroit) go well into the 30,000s. My paticular copy is number 026,677.
  • The last track is thirty seconds shorter than what the band intended (as of Oct. 8, 2002, a full version can be found at Weezer's website). None of the music is missing, but there was more after-song commentary that the band wanted on the disc.
The versions of the songs on the CD include two gaffes. During the included version of El Scorcho, Rivers messes up the second verse. He starts singing the "I wish I could get my head outta the sand..." part before trailing off and remaining silent for a bit. The crowd doesn't seem to mind. The bigger gaffe is on Holiday. Poor Scott Shriner. He had to learn a whole bunch of Weezer songs literally hours before playing them in front of thousands of people. When the breakdown comes, Scott messes up the words. He trails off after mumbling a few words, laughing. Rivers says, "Yeeeahh, boy." Brian Bell tries to help Scott out a little when he comes in. By the time it's Rivers' turn to enter with the "On the road with Keruoac..." part, he's laughing too hard. Rivers messes up his part too.

The after-song stuff is pretty amusing on all the tracks. Rivers says some pretty random things. My favorite of the comments on this CD is after Holiday, when he says, "Scott just won a Grammy..."

All in all, it was well worth the $11 I paid to have it shipped to me. And I love the cover art ... Kittens holding yen on a japanese street while sticking their free paw in the air ...

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