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Becks Mellow Gold
April 21, 2004 10:22 AM   Subscribe

10th anniversary of Mellow Gold, Beck's first major label release. Marked by streaming of entire album. Over the next two weeks there will be more about the history and making of Mellow Gold, featuring interviews from those associated with Beck and the record.
[Registration required but they are quiet happy with a bogus email address]

Learn how to play along with Beck here and read lyrics to and story behind all his songs, including Loser '....I started the song by writing the verses, and attempting to rap like Chuck D [of Public Enemy]. When [Carl] played it back I thought, ‘Man, I’m the worst rapper in the world—I’m just a loser.’
posted by kenaman (27 comments total)

 
Beck is a sonic genius, great songwriter, and fine dancer.
posted by ghastlyfop at 10:52 AM on April 21, 2004


EVERYONES OUT TO GET YOU MUTHERFUKER!
posted by Satapher at 10:56 AM on April 21, 2004


I came late to the Mellow Gold party - a friend was playing it in late '95 when I came over to his house and he was going, "This album is awesome! No, really, listen!" I had heard "Loser" and liked it all right, but it didn't make me rush out and buy Mellow Gold. But I stood there and listened for a minute - I think "Soul-Sucking Jerk" was on - and said holy shit, you're right!

The good thing is that consequently, I got my dibs in early to write up Odelay in my local paper, and even got to meet Beck on the street on the way to the concert.

When "Loser" comes on the radio today I'm still amazed that unlike a lot of things that have been played to death for ten years, it doesn't sound tired. Maybe it's because it came out sounding so "tired" in the first place?
posted by soyjoy at 10:58 AM on April 21, 2004


I miss fun Beck. "Sea Change" was boring, and "Midnite Vultures" was forced, obvious and lame. It pains me to say these things...I can still remember where I was when I first heard "Mellow Gold" and "Odelay," and still play them all the time.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:00 AM on April 21, 2004


God, I love Beck. I don't know what it is, but his music makes my hips do things they're not supposed to do. Has it really been 10 years? Damn.

As to how to describe him and his music, Futurama, of course, summed it up best, and in Beck's own words, too: "Use the power of mental thinking!! Make it dynamic!!"

Words to live by.

PS -- missed all y'all
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:01 AM on April 21, 2004


Oh, and a hoisted beercan to "Beercan"...."goin' on, feelin' strong!" was a frequent drinking salutation back in the ol' university days...good times, good times. *sigh*
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:02 AM on April 21, 2004


Beck just got married. I was surprised to learn he's a Scientologist.
posted by Nelson at 11:05 AM on April 21, 2004


10 years? I'm gonna start calling resthomes, if you don't mind.

All kidding aside, that record (esp. "Pay No Mind" and "Soul Suckin' Jerk" ) captured the atmosphere of that time in my life perfectly. Come to think of it, not much has changed really....
posted by jonmc at 11:13 AM on April 21, 2004


Beck just got married. I was surprised to learn he's a Scientologist.

Big surprise to me, it seems she is Scientologist too, if her homepage is to be believed.

Does this mean his music will turn shit!
posted by kenaman at 11:16 AM on April 21, 2004


I hate Beck!

I mean I *heart* Beck.

That is to say, Mellow Gold and Odelay are teh roxxors. I bet he got shite about the same time he got into Scientology. /conjecture

On preview - has it already happened, kenaman?
posted by asok at 11:20 AM on April 21, 2004


I think his last album Sea Change is possibly his best ......

It just boggles my mind that someone whom I have so much admiration for could be mixed up in what I assume is a load of shit............based on no knowledge of Scientology other than association with the names Tom Cruise and John Travolta!!!!!!
/conjecture
posted by kenaman at 11:37 AM on April 21, 2004


I was at my mother's wake at my sister's house when I saw the Loser video played on MTV--being the black sheep of the family, I could instantly relate to the chorus. My thought then was this guy is not the next Dylan but he is going to be as big as Dylan for people his age for pretty much the same reasons Dylan was big for people my age. The next Dylan riff appeared a month or two later in a Jon Pareles review in the New York Times.

Man, my mother has been dead for ten years. That's my thought today.
posted by y2karl at 11:41 AM on April 21, 2004


Sorry to hear that y2Karl..
posted by kenaman at 11:43 AM on April 21, 2004


I've read countless times that Beck's father was/is a Scientologist, but that Becks' relationship with the organization/cult/whatever is highly ambiguous.
posted by raysmj at 11:47 AM on April 21, 2004


Well, the Ribisi family is ardently involved with 'em as well, so I'd imagine this was a natural fit, belief system-wise at least.

I wish 'em well. I still like "Where It's At," and while I probably won't buy another Beck record, I probably wasn't going to anyway, so it all works out at my pad.
posted by chicobangs at 12:41 PM on April 21, 2004


And y2k, my condolences.
posted by chicobangs at 12:43 PM on April 21, 2004


I remember when I heard that Ween was going to cover Loser on a One-Hit-Wonders tribute album... then Beck released Odelay. I'm assuming the Ween cover was dropped from the album, but I'd still like to hear it.

Odelay has been in my top 3 albums since it came out; I read Microserfs while listening to it, and the two are now inextricably linked in my mind.
posted by krunk at 1:02 PM on April 21, 2004


Still, my favorite Beck album is the under-appreciated One Foot in the Grave. Probably means I'm a folkie in denial, huh?
posted by stet at 1:41 PM on April 21, 2004


had an idiot coworker who used to always sing "I'm a bluebird, baby, so why don't you kill me," because her wife hated her to sing along to "I'm a loser." Something about self-actualization or some crap. or having no sense of humor. what a loser.

stet, my favorite is Tropicalia, so we can be obscurity freaks together
posted by whatnot at 1:52 PM on April 21, 2004


It just boggles my mind that someone whom I have so much admiration for could be mixed up in what I assume is a load of shit............based on no knowledge of Scientology other than association with the names Tom Cruise and John Travolta!!!!!!

well, there really isn't another way to judge it, unless you are 'in' (which seems to require you to be rich and famous). Stupid secret crazy society. I love Beck but I just found this out and it seems loco. Maybe satan did give him a taco....
posted by dig_duggler at 2:04 PM on April 21, 2004


Perhaps he's a homosexual in denial. Like Cruise and Travolta.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:14 PM on April 21, 2004


Naw, Wolfdaddy, he's in touch with his feelings. He's a full-grown man, and he's not afraid to cry.
posted by soyjoy at 2:18 PM on April 21, 2004


One Foot in the Grave is my favorite as well! =)
posted by Satapher at 2:44 PM on April 21, 2004


Whatever happend to Carl [Stephenson], anyway?
posted by Slothrup at 3:01 PM on April 21, 2004


I saw Beck on his Mellow Gold tour at Bernie's Distillery in Columbus, Ohio - a basement campus dive that holds no more than 200. We were in right up in front of the stage which was just a 4 inch riser. Nothing between us and him but the monitors. It was packed, sweaty and punk as hell (add your own scare quotes).
posted by putzface_dickman at 3:18 PM on April 21, 2004


Whatever happend to Carl [Stephenson], anyway?

Look like no one at ask.me knows for sure.
posted by milovoo at 4:46 PM on April 21, 2004


September 6, 1994: "I'm a ??, baby, so why don't you breakdance?"

Uh, "b-boy," maybe?
posted by abcde at 6:33 PM on April 21, 2004


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