Few artist warrant the term ‘transcendiary’ like Beck. Though many regard 1996 album Odelay as the definitive Beck work, the only real defining feature of Beck’s work is that it escapes all labels.
1994 debut LP Mellow Gold took Beck to mainstream radio, mainly on the strength of hit single Loser. Though many saw Loser as cheap and wrote Beck off as a novelty act, Mellow Gold’s original blend of pop, alternative rock and country made it the surprise hit of 1994.
After releasing Stereopathetic Soulmanure and One Foot in the Grave through independents, Beck returned in 1996 to silence his critics with Odelay, which easily eclipsed the efforts of Mellow Gold. Linking up with production team The Dust Brothers (Beastie Boys), Beck expanded even further from his already eclectic sound, with electronic and hip-hop tangents making Odelay a unique album that achieved double-platinum sales and two Grammy Awards.
Though fans and critics alike were waiting for an equally impressive follow-up album, Mutations was anything but. The album was a laid-back folksy stopgap release designed to keep Beck occupied until the next album proper. That album came in the form of Midnight Vultures, a collection of warped pop songs dripping with innuendo. Sexx Laws and Mixed Bizness were the big hits of the album, which was nominated for Best Album at the 2000 Grammys.
When Beck returned, he once again defied expectation and released a record completely unlike all of his others. Sea Change, a dreamy, melancholy breakup album. No singles were released from the album and sales didn’t come close to the achievements of Odelay, but to fans and critics, it sits right next to Beck’s 1996 effort as one of his best.
2005 brought Guero, Beck’s sixth major label album, which hit number two on the US albums chart, his best result yet. Though it struggled to break any new ground, it fell back on Beck’s most prominent influence: Beck. After remix album Guerolito, 2006’s The Information continued that trend, pulling together the best of his previous albums into an hour-long cross-section of his career.
Wayne Coyne is naked, again. Keith Richards watches Wayne Coyne play Pictionary. Beck and his all-star mates announce a 'Song Book' gig. Ozzy Osbourne doesn't remember stuff. And Diddy reveals that he's a liar.
Beck is back with an acoustic album, Kelis brings TV On the Radio's Dave Sitek to the yard, Fleetwood Mac join the long list of 2013 comebacks, and the Beastie Boys get animated in a "lost" interview from 1985.
Beck hints at new material, Queens of the Stone Age drop no hints at all, My Bloody Valentine finish a record – all this, and more, in our weekend round-up of international news.
This month Beck is releasing his new album in the unexpected form of sheet music, but if you’d like to hear the songs from Beck Hansen’s Song Reader performed on a stage you’re in luck.
Beck set to release the album he recorded in 2008 before it becomes a record from a lost era.
“A few visiting luminaries” set to appear on stage at Harvest festival?
JODY MACGREGOR picks out the best bits of music this week – from Melodie Nelson’s murder ballad to Beck’s 20-minute Philip Glass odyssey.
Beck + Flying Lotus = dark, fucked-up krautrock.
Check out the set lists, live footage and what to expect when the likes of Beck, Sigur Ros and Ben Folds Five when they arrive in November.
AJ Maddah has already started confirming which bands will be performing sideshows this November.
After months of speculation the 2012 Harvest Festival lineup has arrived.
The wait is over - looks like we'll finally be getting some new Beck in 2012!
You might also like: