During the early 90’s alternative music broke loose, it was magical time when you would hear indie influenced music–even on pop radio. As much as Grunge defined the decade, too many forget how important Beck was to the music scene. His musical collages were unlike anything else and while most from that period have fallen by the wayside, he is still making great music.
1. Where It’s At- Who knows what’s exactly happening here, but it’s all inspired. To think that you couldn’t escape this one on the radio during 1996 speaks to how much more experimental rock radio was at the time.
2. Loser- This kicked off for him. I remember hearing it on my monthly CMJ cd I got in the mail and from the first time I was a huge fan. The mix of country blues, with dance beats was very influential. The message was a perfect mantra for the 90’s indie rock scene.
3. Que Onda Guero- This latin-flavored jam is from the most underrated record of his career…Guero. It just feels like a hot day in East LA.
4. Dreams- I have to admit I hadn’t been taken that much by Beck’s latest releases, but this one is a homerun. Slammin’ beats with his falsetto on top of it.
5. Devils Haircut- Odelay mixed computer beats, with samples and live music. The distorted vocals here fit beautifully.
6. Black Tambourine- Beck meets Prince as the rhythmic drummer and funky guitar riffs drive the song.
7. Sex Laws- As you can tell from my rankings, I’m a bigger fan of Beck, the upbeat fun music guy. This sounds like it should be the theme of an Austin Powers soundtrack, as the 60’s horns and keyboards rule it.
8. Fuckin with My Head- Country blues comes to the 90’s.
9. Bottle of Blues- This is the Beck song that has fallen through the cracks, as his bluesy Kinks-like tune should’ve been more celebrated.
10. E-Pro- Grungy guitar attached to a latin beat was a perfect shot out of the gate on Guero.
11. New Pollution- While this one didn’t hold up as well as the other 2 big singles from Odelay, I still love it’s groovy style and acid jazz beats.
12. Cold Brains- My favorite slower jam of Becks. Love the Donovan-like spacy effects.
13. Orphans- Danger Mouse brings his 60’s production effects to this more recent release.
14. The Golden Age- Most critics loved Sea Change, but I never felt Beck was as good at this as other artists are, but the dreamy country feel of this one is beautiful.
15. Novacaine- Beck does the Beasties, all while keeping his folk-jazz flavor among the hip hop distortion.