He may be one of those weird Scientologists but Beck’s music is ace.
Golden Feelings – Beck’s first album (an unofficial release, only available on cassette but then re-released without Beck’s permission on CD), from 1993, and one of two Beck albums I’d never heard before (the other being Song Reader – which is not really a Beck record proper but sheet music he wrote for his fans to record songs with). This is not as experimental as you’d think, quite lo-fi but there are some good tunes on here.
Stereopathetic Soulmanure – Researching Beck’s discography has been interesting, this album, his second was released one week before major label debut ‘Mellow Gold’, but this is actually his third recording, the second being the EP A Western Harvest Field by Moonlight, which consists of 12 songs. So do I listen to the EPs as well? I’m thinking I’ll stick to the albums. He certainly was proficient in 1994, releasing a third album (after this and Mellow Gold) that year called ‘One Foot in the Grave’. Anyway, this is great stuff, very uncommercial and good fun. Johnny Cash even covered a song off this.
Mellow Gold – This is still a great record, opening with Beck’s most well known song Loser. When I saw Beck live in London, he opened with this song, but instead of the band and him on stage they were replaced by puppets, who looked like the band, it was brilliant. They just played that one song then Beck and co came on (they had been playing the song behind the scenes) and rocked out. Anyway, this record is timeless.
One Foot in the Grave – Album number three for 1994, a very nice acoustic set, Calvin Johnson of the great Beat Happening helped him out.
Odelay – My favourite and probably his most successful record to date, Jack-Ass is a tops tune, as are the rest. There is quite a good deluxe edition of this, has 20 bonus tunes. Beck intended to create intentionally disposable pop songs, he succeeded there.
Mutations – Nigel Godrich (producer of Radiohead) produced this excellent record, quite different to Odelay, as there are pretty no samples like that album. Beck was wanting to release this on a smaller label, his major label, Geffen, agreed but once they heard it reneged on that deal. Top stuff, one of my favourite albums.
Midnite Vultures – I never really got into this when it was released way back in 1999, but must say I enjoy it now, it was quite different to Odelay, more funky. And is quite funny.
Sea Change – Beck’s break-up record, it’s really sad. Poor Beck. Good for us though, it’s ace.
Guero – This is my new favourite Beck record, so ace. And his best selling to date, also worth a listen is his remix album Guerolito.
The Information – Top stuff again, featuring a doodle your own record cover on the album artwork.
Modern Guilt – This is a pretty good toe-tapping record, short and sweet.
Morning Phase – This is tops, very similar to Sea Change, but probably better. Every record this guy makes is a total winner, I’m looking forward to what he does next.
So, a thoroughly enjoyable discography listen from Mr Beck. He gets extra points for excellent visuals (Sexx Laws video is worth a watch) and artwork too. He has also released Song Reader, which is sheet music of original music. There is some recordings of this stuff (from fans and proper musicians) knocking around so check that out.