Although not technically true, to me this is the genesis of Andrew W.K.. I don’t know how many times I’ve written about this album but based on past experience it probably won’t be the last. I suppose it’s because I’m obsessed with these tracks. I’ve put more legwork and spent more time scrapping for details about these tracks than perhaps any other piece of AWK material out there. Because of that, what once was a relatively vague piece of audio is now much more clear.
But first, I’m happy to announce that I have another update to our music archive. I finally have the album properly archived and up to par with the rest of the archived material on this site. Though this is probably the 3rd iteration of this release be sure to re-download it. It features full album art and HQ audio (320 KBPS, MP3s). -Much thanks to P.C..
If you’re wondering what in the world this mysterious album is, read on…
The Genesis of Andrew W.K.
There are three different contexts to view this unreleased album. The “1999 Recording Sessions” – a library of 40 or more songs were recorded in ’99 and used on EPs, a promo/demo/press kit, and though it never materialized an LP on Bulb Records. Some songs have still never been released or heard. The “S/T Full Length Album Promo” – a promo handed out which subsequently landed Andrew W.K. a record deal and enlisted his backing band. The “We Want Fun” LP – a canceled Bulb Records LP that was slated to be released January, 2001.
1999 Recording Sessions
Throughout 1999 and perhaps into early 2000 Andrew W.K. recorded an unknown number tracks. However, to date I’ve accounted for 40+ known tracks which are listed below. These particular recording sessions all used the same setup to create a distinct sound and catalog of material. The easiest way to distinguish these particular recording sessions from another is by listening to the EP “Girls Own Juice”. The songs as they appear on that EP are unaltered tracks from these recording sessions. For simplicity, just imagine that EP having 40+ tracks rather than just the six.
Eventually this material was used as a groundwork for later releases. The first instance of the tracks being modified in some form is the follow up EP to Girls Own Juice; the Party Til You Puke EP. Though Girls Own Juice and Party Til You Puke sound very different, you can still hear the same sounding vocals used on both EPs. Once Andrew was signed to Island/Def Jam Records he did not start recording his debut album from scratch either. Rather, he used this already existing library of material as a basis for “I Get Wet” and even its follow up, “The Wolf”. However, the tracks that appear on those releases have many additional layers that have been stacked on top of the original recordings. Or they have been either completely re-recorded or altered in various ways. Here is a running list of the 40+ known tracks (a “(?)” indicates an unconfirmed 1999 recording session track).
|She Is Beautiful (early version)||1999 Recording Session|
|Girls Own Juice (early version)||1999 Recording Session|
|Really In Love||1999 Recording Session|
|Were Not Going To Get Old (early version)||1999 Recording Session|
|Kicks and Bricks||1999 Recording Session|
|I Love NYC||1999 Recording Session|
|It’s Time To Party||S/T Full Length Album Promo|
|Free Jumps||S/T Full Length Album Promo|
|Girls Own Juice||S/T Full Length Album Promo / Girls Own Juice EP|
|Your Rules||S/T Full Length Album Promo|
|She Is Beautiful||S/T Full Length Album Promo|
|Tear It Up All Night||S/T Full Length Album Promo|
|I Love Music||S/T Full Length Album Promo|
|Kill Yourself||S/T Full Length Album Promo / Mother of Mankind|
|Don’t Stop Living In the Red||S/T Full Length Album Promo|
|Party Music||S/T Full Length Album Promo / I Get Wet 10th Anniversary (Bonus Disc)|
|I’m Totally Stupid||S/T Full Length Album Promo|
|Party Hard||S/T Full Length Album Promo|
|Girls Own Juice||Girls Own Juice EP / S/T Full Length Album Promo|
|Don’t Ever Stop The Noise||Girls Own Juice EP|
|We Want Fun||Girls Own Juice EP|
|Music or Die||Girls Own Juice EP|
|Make Sex||Girls Own Juice EP|
|AWK||Girls Own Juice EP|
|Violent Life||Party Hard Single|
|We’re Not Gunna Get Old||Mother of Mankind|
|Kicks and Bricks||Mother of Mankind|
|I’ve Got Know Fear||Mother of Mankind|
|Coming Bad (?)||Mother of Mankind|
|They Ruined Our Lives||Interview|
|Learning to Live (?)||U.S. Copyright Office|
|Rule It (?)||U.S. Copyright Office|
|You Don’t Understand (?)||U.S. Copyright Office|
|Can’t Break Life (?)||U.S. Copyright Office|
|It’s Going To Be Hard (?)||U.S. Copyright Office|
|There’s Only One Women (?)||U.S. Copyright Office|
|I’m Going To Take The World Out (?)||U.S. Copyright Office|
|Just Build It Up (?)||U.S. Copyright Office|
|Don’t Ever Stop The Love (?)||BMI|
|Get Ready To Dance (?)||BMI|
|Standing In The Background (?)||BMI|
S/T Full Length Album Promo
The Girls Own Juice EP pulled six tracks from the 1999 Recording Session and was manufactured in 1999, even though its copyright is printed (C)2000. Around the same time 12 other tracks were pulled to manufacture a limited amount of semi-professional promo CDs. This promo CD donned the title “S/T Full Length Album Promo” on the actual CD in sharpie, printed on the back cover and at least one copy even had it written over some masking tape on the case.
This promo was also included in a press kit that was sent out. Press kits are common in the music industry to promote an upcoming album release. In this case the tentative release on Bulb Records (see below). They can be defined by the entire packaged material sent out (photos, business cards, recordings, etc.). For example this is what the press kit looked like for The Wolf:
If a recording is included in the press kit it is sometimes referred to as the musician’s “demo”. In this case, the manufactured promo as described above. Not much else is known about the other contents of this particular press kit (if any). Fun fact, the cover art is taken from a giant painting Andrew made that hangs on the wall on the back cover of the Girls Own Juice EP.
This Press Kit and Promo CD became the catalyst for Andrew W.K.’s career. Prior to being signed to Island/Def Jam records Andrew W.K. and temporary manager Matt Sweeney passed out the Press Kit (and perhaps Girls Own Juice too) to friends and peers within the music industry. Andrew states;
I [Andrew W.K.] was fortunate enough to meet several people in New York who were willing to help pass my music out and one of these guys was a man named Spencer Sweeney. He helped me get my first few shows in New York and was extremely friendly and outgoing and through him I met his cousin Matt Sweeney who became my first manager that had real connections, vision and experience. It was exciting because just starting out there was nowhere to go but up. Matt got the music to Gary Hellsinger at Universal Publishing, who I am still working with, and Gary signed me. Matt also passed the music to Lewis Largent A&R who had just left MTV for Island / Def Jam and Lewis signed me there. Through Matt Sweeney, and in the course of about two months it all got going”.
The Press Kit was also used to recruit drummer Donald Tardy from Obituary. The promo was copied by Donald Tardy and then given to members of the backing band, thus assembling the original lineup.
To complicate things, apparently there were different versions of the promo passed out. They contained alternate track listings and artwork. For example, Andrew W.K. mentioned in an interview a track called “The Ruined Our Lives” and a “whole bunch of other songs” while discussing this promo. The most widely known version of the “S/T Full Length Album Promo” contains the following track listing.
- “It’s Time To Party”
- “Free Jumps”
- “Girls Own Juice”
- “Your Rules”
- “She Is Beautiful”
- “Tear It Up All Night”
- “I Love Music”
- “Kill Yourself”
- “Don’t Stop Living In The Red”
- “Party Music”
- “I’m Totally Stupid”
- “Party Hard”
We Want Fun (Unreleased Bulb Records LP)
After Andrew W.K. released two EPs on Bulb Records, Bulb officially announced the release of a full length LP. In this announcement the album was given a name; “We Want Fun”. And it was scheduled to be released January, 2001. Because the album never materialized, this is perhaps the most ambiguous context to view these recordings in. The album should be considered in terms of a concept rather than an actual physical good. For example, there was never any set track listing or album artwork. This conceptual album is often confused with the promo CD (described above) promoting the upcoming album on Bulb. That said, the promo CD and the album probably would have been very similar in their contents. For example, some of the artwork from the promo CDs was intended to be used for the album cover. The track listing on the promo CD and the We Want Fun LP could have also been fairly similar. However, an example of how they could have been different is the fact that the promo CD did not have the track “We Want Fun” on it. One could make a strong argument that the album “We Want Fun” would have contained the song “We Want Fun” (probably as it appears on the Girls Own Juice EP).
Andrew Wilkes-Krier released Girls Own Juice and Party Til You Puke under his alias “Andrew W.K.”. Even after releasing those EPs and having gained traction under that stage name, Andrew Wilkes-Krier considered releasing the Bulb album under a new alias by which he called himself “Steev Mike”. In fact, officially it was never going to be released under the “Andrew W.K.” title. So its proper title should be “Steev Mike, We Want Fun”.
Sometime between the end of 2000 and the beginning of 2001, Island/Def Jam Records bought out Andrew W.K.’s contract with Bulb Records. And subsequently Andrew W.K. signed onto Island/Def Jam. Island/Def Jam canceled the release of Bulb Record’s LP and instead fleshed out the existing material; further worked on by Andrew W.K., studio musicians, and sound engineers. Island/Def Jam Records released “I Get Wet” on November 13, 2001 in the UK and March 23, 2002 in the US.
The “We Want Fun Demo”
The “We Want Fun Demo” is a term referred to by fans as a specific set of audio tracks (above) that are widely circulated on the internet. These audio tracks are often mistaken for the actual We Want Fun LP. It is impossible for the source of these tracks to be the We Want Fun LP because that album only ever existed as a concept. Nothing was ever finalized or released.
It is assumed that the actual source of the audio came from the “S/T Full Length Album Promo”. How the promo was originally obtained and who initially leaked the audio tracks is unknown to me. It’s rumored to either be from an eBay listing, Aaron Dilloway, or from Andrew W.K. and/or a band member(s) handing it out to a hard-core fan(s) after a show. These audio tracks were circulated by an exclusive fan base for a number of years. In 2006 a member of the official Andrew W.K. Message Board leaked the tracks and they became much more widely available. When the audio was leaked fans had very limited information to go off of. Most didn’t even know it existed prior to hearing it for the first time. So it was given the inaccurate title of the “We Want Fun Demo” based on the fact that it was probably the audio for the canceled We Want Fun LP for Bulb Records.
The quality of that leaked audio left much to be desired. A new source of better quality audio presented itself in 2010 and was released via AndrewWKMusic.com. Additionally, an even better source of audio and full album art scans came from an ebay listing posted in late 2013. The seller obtained the copy in 1999 while attending an Andrew W.K. performance at a Starbucks in New York (13-25 Astor Pl, New York, NY 10003). The buyer graciously provided the audio and scans to AndrewWKMusic.com.
The unreleased album entitled “We Want Fun” for Bulb Records should not be confused with the song “We Want Fun”. The song appears on various Andrew W.K. releases such as “AWKGOJ” EP, Jackass: The Movie: The Official Soundtrack, a “We Want Fun” promo sampler, and the “We Want Fun” music video.