Little Boxes (Malvina Reynolds Cover)

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"Little Boxes"
Weeds Season 3 Key Art.jpg
Song by Linkin Park
Recorded 2007
Length 0:51
Writer Malvina Reynolds

Background

"Little Boxes" is a song written and composed by Malvina Reynolds in 1962[1] and first appeared on her 1967 Columbia Records album Malvina Reynolds Sings The Truth.

The song is a political satire about the development of suburbia, and associated conformist middle-class attitudes. It mocks suburban tract housing as "little boxes" of different colors "all made out of ticky-tacky", and which "all look just the same." "Ticky-tacky" is a reference to the shoddy material used in the construction of the houses.

The song was used as the opening theme song for the Showtime television series Weeds. The first season used Reynolds's version as the theme song. The second, third, and eighth seasons used versions by nearly thirty different musicians, as well as the occasional Reynolds version.

Linkin Park recorded a version of "Little Boxes" for episode 14 of the 3rd season,[2] "Protection", which aired on November 12, 2007. This version is 51 seconds long and lacks the second half of the song.

Since the introduction sequence to Weeds is always the same length, the show producers often have to trim the song down in order to fit. The official Weeds website typically uploaded the full version of the theme song for streaming shortly after the episode aired.[3] However, when Linkin Park's version was uploaded it was exactly the same as the version heard during the episode.

Other artists who have covered the song include Pete Seeger, Devendra Banhart, Elvis Costello, Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, Tim DeLaughter of The Polyphonic Spree, Donovan, Anjan Dutt, Ben Folds, Skott Freedman, Engelbert Humperdinck, The Individuals, Jenny and Johnny, Angélique Kidjo, Rilo Kiley, Kinky, Man Man, The Mountain Goats, Randy Newman, Nina & Frederik, Ozomatli, Phosphorescent, The Real Tuesday Weld, The Shins, Regina Spektor, The Submarines, Billy Bob Thornton, Walk off the Earth, The Womenfolk, Rise Against, Adolfo Celdrán, Víctor Jara, Graeme Allwright, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, and Weepers Circus.

Release

On July 10, 2007, the website Contactmusic.com reported, "Randy Newman, The Shins, Linkin Park and Billy Bob Thornton have been selected from the 90 acts who've sent TV bosses a cover of the WEEDS theme tune in the hope of having their submissions played on the show. For the second successive year, Weeds producers at studio Lionsgate have been inundated with recordings of Little Boxes, written in 1962 by folk musician Malvina Reynolds. Although covers by some big name acts have been confirmed to appear, many others are still being considered. Lionsgate boss Jay Faires says, "We have 90-plus submissions so far. The show speaks to artists across all musical genres - hard rock, indie, alternative, folk... Maybe it's the weed thing.""[4]

The cover aired during the Weeds Season 3 Episode 14 episode titled "Protection" on November 12, 2007. A rip was provided for download immediately by Linkin Park fans the next day.[5] Since a lot of bands record a full cover of the song, the Weeds website would upload the full version a few weeks after the episode aired. On December 1, 2007 when Linkin Park's cover was uploaded, it was discovered that their full cover was actually just the 51 seconds for TV and they didn't do a longer version.[6]

The cover was recorded during the band's sessions for Minutes To Midnight in 2006.

Versions

Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.

Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Little Boxes 0:51 2006
  • Incomplete cover of the Malvina Reynolds song of same name.
  • Uploaded to Weeds' official website for streaming on December 1, 2007.

Personnel

  • Chester Bennington
  • Mike Shinoda
  • Brad Delson
  • Dave "Phoenix" Farrell
  • Joseph Hahn
  • Rob Bourdon

Lyrics

Gallery

References