A year ago, Eminem posted a song annotation for his influential single “Stan” on the website Genius. At the time, he wrote about how listening to Dido’s “Thank You” affected the theme for his 2000 track off of The Marshall Mathers LP.
Yesterday, Eminem came back to Genius to add more details about the song’s production. This time he’s recounting the story of how a baked sound engineer accidentally recorded over part of the third verse from “Stan” and almost ruined the record. Eminem concluded the annotation, “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!”
The story according to Eminem goes that one of the sound engineers that he worked with asked if he could smoke a joint. "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," he explained. In re-recording the last 3 lines, the sound engineer actually recorded over what Eminem already had and then had to do it all again.
Read Eminem's full Genius annotation below.
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!