Eminem recently offered an annotation to GENIUS for his 2000 hit single, “Stan”, recalled a story behind the recording process where an engineer he was working with nearly ruined the song.
Apparently, at the time, you had to lay down vocals on tape, and he the engineer screwed things up while he was laying down the third, climactic verse to what would become a smash hit.
“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,” Eminem noted. “What was I gonna do? Say no? He was already rolling it so I told him ‘No problem.'”
“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,” Em continued. “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?'”
Turns out, the engineer recorded over the verse he had laid down, so Eminem had to go back and record his parts all over again… but the song might’ve turned out a bit different if the original take wasn’t lost. “You should have heard the original take that shit was WAY better… oh well!”