TITLE: One Foot in the Grave
YEAR RELEASED: 1994
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: It’s All in Your Mind
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Don’t think so.
LINEUP: Beck, Calvin Johnson, Chris Ballew, James Bertram, Scott Plouf
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Recorded before “Loser” but released after, this neo-folk Beck album has some highlights and shows Beck isn’t just a novelty act.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Before Mellow Gold was released, Beck and Calvin Johnson from K records recorded this album which shows that he’s just a folkie at heart.
Some tracks feature just a guitar and vocals, others a full band sound. Beck shows that he’s studied folk and country blues standards and covers “He’s a Mighty Good Leader” and other songs show an adherence to that tradition.
Obviously, this may not interest everyone – it’s a niche record. I didn’t keep all of it in my catalog. But I know that it’s better than what I expected – it’s raw and real and heartfelt.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Tom Petty would later cover the song “Asshole”, which isn’t what you may think it is.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. Originally there was a Japanese version, but now there’s a hugely expanded re-issue that’s streaming.
GRADE: B: Not for everyone, but even if you don’t really like folk or country blues you have to notice the innate talent of Beck.