Category: Beck

Beck – One Foot in the Grave

ARTIST: Beck                                        220px-beckonefootinthegrave

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.

Beck – Mellow Gold

ARTIST: Beck                           220px-mellowgold

TITLE:  Mellow Gold

YEAR RELEASED: 1994

CHART ACTION: #12 US, #41 UK

SINGLES: Loser (#10 US, #1 Alternative, #15 UK), Pay No Mind (Snoozer), Beercan (#22 Alternative)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Probably no

LINEUP: Beck, Carl Stephenson, David Harte, DJ Smash and others.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First proper album from Beck (after some screw around independent releases) that launched him into the alternative stratosphere with Loser.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first two albums by Beck were full of experiments, audio collages, and sounded like someone messing with tapes for the first time.

Beck was a neo-folkie with a snarky sense of humor and definite musical gifts in song construction and lyrics. However, there are some tracks here which are more screwing around and no doubt were more fun to record than they were to listen to.

There’s definitely some good stuff here, and some items to exile. But “Loser” may be the song of the 90’s.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: There was a ‘hidden’ track that was just more screwing around on a synthesizer.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: B-:  “Loser” and some decent tracks and tracks to avoid.