Having waged a prolific campaign of annotating his lyrics on crowd sourced lyrics site Genius for over a year now, Eminem has revealed that while his Dido sampling song Stan would go on to be a massive hit, he lost his best take of the track thanks to a stoned audio engineer. God bless the music industry right?
The take in question was specifically of the song’s powerful third verse (you know the one that starts with “Dear Mr. I’m-Too-Good-to-Call-or-Write-My-Fans”), with the error being equal parts stoned oversight and analogue technology pitfall.
“When we recorded Stan I worked with a couple different engineers but this particular engineer I had never worked with before. While we were recording the third verse of Stan, he started rolling a joint and asked me if I minded if he smoked while we cut. What was I gonna do? Say no? He was already rolling it so I told him “no problem”. Everything was cool and I had gotten all the way to the last 3 lines and I screwed up so all he had to do was punch in my vocals at the end so I could re-do that line and the verse was finished.
“Back then we were recording on 2 inch tape, so once you recorded over something it’s gone forever. So I’m in the booth waiting and he backs the tape up all the way to the beginning of the verse and punches me in. I realize he’s in the wrong spot and I can’t hear any of my vocals so I start waving my arms and yelling in the mic to try to get his attention. He doesn’t notice so I run into the control room through a cloud of smoke and yell ‘Yo, I wanted to keep those vocals’ he just looked at me and said ‘My bad man…you wanna hit this?’
“The first half of the verse was GONE. I re-recorded it but you should have heard the original take that shit was WAY better…oh well!”
Writing about some other parts of the song about a year ago, Eminem also gave some insight into how the hook, sampled from Dido’s Thank You, actually inspired the whole song in the first place.
“When I heard ‘your picture on my wall,’ I was like ‘Yo, this could be about somebody who takes me too seriously.’ So I knew what I was going to write about before I wrote it. A lot of times when I’m writing songs, I see visions for everything I’m writing. This was one of those.”
Too bad old stoner McGee had to stuff up your choice take though Em, I guess being certified double platinum will have to make up for it.
In the meantime check out the depressing AF video for the track here below and imagine what could have been, although this song is dark enough without an even more intense take on that final verse.
Eminen – Stan ft Dido