Thursday, March 13, 2008


recordings, represented polar opposites in style. Odelay was awarded the title Album of the Year by Rolling Stone in the USA and by NME Magazine and Mojo Magazine in the UK. It was also nominated for the award of Best Album at the Grammys.

Recording career
In 1988, Beck recorded a cassette entitled Banjo Story, which has since become available in bootleg form.

(1988–1993) Independent releases
In 1994, Geffen's official debut release of Mellow Gold, culled from sessions with Rothrock, Schnapf, and Stephenson, made Beck a mainstream smash success.
At the same time, he released Stereopathetic Soulmanure on Flipside Records and One Foot in the Grave on independent K Records. Beck took his act on the road in 1994 with a worldwide tour, followed by a spot on the main stage of the 1995 Lollapalooza tour. Still, some critics panned him as a one-hit wonder. Audiences' (especially at Lollapalooza) familiarity with "Loser," and their general disinterest in his other work only reinforced his image as such.
When the time came to record his follow-up to Mellow Gold, he enlisted Rothrock and Schnapf as producers and began recording an album of moody, low-key acoustic numbers to showcase his songwriting. The songs were melancholy due to several close deaths in Beck's life, including one of his greatest inspirations, his grandfather. Eventually, Beck shelved the album and pursued a more upbeat approach. Beck was introduced to the Dust Brothers, producers of the Beastie Boys' album Paul's Boutique, whose cut-and-paste, sample-heavy production suited Beck's vision of a more fun, accessible album.
What resulted, 1996's Odelay, would finally put the one-hit wonder label to rest. The lead single, "Where It's At," received heavy airplay, and its video was in constant rotation on MTV. Within the year, Odelay had received good reviews in Rolling Stone and Spin magazines, having been listed on countless "Best of" lists (it topped the Pazz & Jop Critics Poll for "Album of the Year"), receiving double-platinum status and earning a number of industry awards, including two Grammys.
Also, beginning in 1993, "Loser" co-writer and Mellow Gold co-producer Carl Stephenson embarked on a experimental trip hop project which eventually resulted in Forest for the Trees, releasing a self-titled album in 1997, followed by an EP in 1999. Beck contributed to both records, providing spoken word, harmonica, and assorted instruments.

(1994–1997) Mellow Gold and Odelay
Odelay was followed in 1998 by Mutations. Though the album was originally supposed to be released on Bong Load Records, Geffen intervened and issued the record against Beck's wishes. The show toured from the Santa Monica Museum of Art to galleries in New York City and Winnipeg, Canada. A catalogue of the show was published by Plug In Editions/Smart Art Press.
In 1999, Geffen released the much-anticipated Midnite Vultures, an orgy of sexual and culinary innuendo supported by a world tour. For Beck, it was a return to the high-energy performances that had been his trademark as far back as Lollapalooza. The live stage set included a red bed that descended from the ceiling for the song "Debra" and the touring band was supplemented by a brass section. Midnite Vultures was nominated for Best Album at the Grammys.
Beck has a number of B-sides and soundtrack-only songs as well, including "Midnite Vultures" (curiously, not on the album of the same name), a cover of The Korgis' "Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime" which appeared in the 2004 movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and David Bowie's "Diamond Dogs" from Moulin Rouge!. He is also credited on the French band Air's 2001 album 10 000 Hz Legend for vocals on the songs "Don't Be Light" and "The Vagabond" (as well as harmonica on the latter).

(1998–2000) Mutations and Midnite Vultures
After Midnite Vultures, Beck released Sea Change (2002), another airy and emotional album with Godrich, which became Beck's first U.S. Top 10 album, reaching #8. The album was also met with critical acclaim, earning five stars from Rolling Stone, the magazine's rarely awarded highest-rating and later placing second in the Pazz & Jop Critics Poll for 2002. Sea Change was conceptualized as an album with one unifying theme—the stages following the end of a relationship. The album also featured string arrangements by Beck's father David Campbell and a sonically dense mix reminiscent of Mutations. Although some radio singles were released, no commercial singles were made available to the public. Beck embarked on a solo acoustic tour of small theaters and halls prior to the release of Sea Change, during which he played several songs from the forthcoming album. The post-album release Sea Change electric tour featured The Flaming Lips as Beck's opening and backing band. Since then Wayne Coyne, their lead singer, has criticized Beck for his behavior on the tour.
A song Beck co-wrote with William Orbit, "Feel Good Time", was recorded by pop singer Pink and included on the soundtrack of the 2003 film Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.

Beck (2001–2003) Sea Change
In 2004, Beck returned to the studio to work on his sixth major-label album. The record, Guero, was produced by the Dust Brothers and Tony Hoffer and features a collaboration with Jack White of The White Stripes; it marked a return to Odelay-era sound. The album was released in March 2005 and enjoyed critical acclaim from most mainstream press, earning four stars from Playboy and Rolling Stone, as well as a "Critic's Choice" recognition from The New York Times. However, the album received a less enthusiastic response from Beck's indie-oriented fanbase and a relatively low 6.6 (out of 10) score given by Pitchfork. Nonetheless, the album debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts, pushing 162,000 copies in the first week and giving Beck his best week ever in terms of commercial sales and chart position. Since the release of Guero, the first single, "E-Pro", has been well received by the mainstream rock community, and has seen a large amount of play time. The second single, titled simply "Girl", is a bright, upbeat song appearing at first to be about summer love; however, a closer look at the lyrics reveals a darker side to the song. "Girl" received heavy airplay on various college radio stations. The third and final single was "Hell Yes".
On February 1, 2005, Beck released an EP featuring four remixes of songs from Guero by independent artists who use sounds from various video game devices like the Nintendo Game Boy. The EP, titled GameBoy Variations, featured "Ghettochip Malfunction" [Hell Yes] and "GameBoy/Homeboy" [Que' Onda Guero], both remixed by the band 8-Bit, and also had "Bad Cartridge" [E-Pro] and "Bit Rate Variation in B-Flat" [Girl], the last two being remixed by Paza {The X-Dump}. The EP cover art shows a long-haired person headbanging to his Game Boy, which is plugged into an amplifier like an electric guitar. This EP was featured in an issue of Nintendo Power. Also, a music video for "Gameboy/Homeboy" was also produced by Wyld File.
Beck performed at the music and arts festival Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee on June 17, 2006. He performed many songs from his album Guero. In addition to his band, Beck was accompanied onstage by a group of puppets, dressed as him and members of his band. Live video feed of the puppets' performance was broadcast on video screens to the audience. The puppets were part of his 2006 world tour.
Beck's seventh major label studio album, The Information, which again reunited him with Nigel Godrich, was released on October 3, 2006. The album reportedly took more than three years to make and was described as "quasi hip-hop." It came with a sheet of stickers, which were to be used to "make your own album cover." Because of its inclusion of free stickers, The Information was disqualified by the Official Chart Company from entering the UK albums chart, but in the U.S. the album gave Beck his third straight Top 10 studio album peak on the Billboard 200, reaching #7.
His latest single, "Timebomb", was released on iTunes on August 21, 2007.

(2004–present) Guero and The Information
Beck married Marissa Ribisi, the twin sister of actor Giovanni Ribisi, in April 2004, shortly before the birth of their son, Cosimo Henri Hansen. Ribisi gave birth to another child in 2007. [4]
Beck has been involved in Scientology for most of his life. His name appears in Scientology literature in 2003, showing that he is a member and a donor. His wife, Marissa, is also a second-generation Scientologist. Beck publicly acknowledged his affiliation with the Church of Scientology for the first time in an interview published in the New York Times Magazine on March 6, 2005. Further confirmation came in an interview with the Irish Sunday Tribune newspaper's i Magazine on June 11, 2005, where he was quoted as saying, "Yeah, I'm a Scientologist. My father has been a Scientologist for about 35 years, so I grew up in and around it." When questioned by the interviewer about Scientology's core beliefs, he replied, "What it actually is is just sort of, uh, you know, I think it's about philosophy and sort of, uh, all these kinds of, you know, ideals that are common to a lot of religions. . . . There's nothing fantastical . . . just a real deep grassroots concerted effort for humanitarian causes. I don't know if you know the stuff they have. It's unbelievable the stuff they are doing. Education . . . they have free centres all over the place for poor kids. They have the number one drug rehabilitation programme in the entire world (called Narconon). It has a 90-something % success rate . . . When you look at the actual facts and not what's conjured in people's minds that's all bullshit to me because I've actually seen stuff first hand."

Personal life

Main article: Beck discographyBeck Discography

Other media appearances
Beck has performed on Saturday Night Live six times; these shows were respectively hosted by Kevin Spacey, Bill Paxton, Christina Ricci, Jennifer Garner, Tom Brady and Hugh Laurie. He has made two cameo appearances as himself on Saturday Night Live: one in a sketch about medical marijuana, and one in a VH1 Behind the Music parody that featured "Fat Albert & the Junkyard Gang".
He has also performed a guest voice in an episode of Matt Groening's animated show Futurama, playing himself.
He performed in episode 10 of the fourth season of The Larry Sanders Show, in which the producer character Artie (Rip Torn) referred to him as a "hillbilly from outer space".
He also made a very brief voice appearance in 1998 cartoon feature film, The Rugrats Movie' and guest starred as himself in a 1997 episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, entitled "Edelweiss".

Television

Beck has made cameo appearances in music videos for The White Stripes' "The Hardest Button to Button" and The Stone Roses' "Love Spreads".
He contributed an infamous "phoned-in" rap and appeared in the music video for the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion song "Flavor".
A version of Windows Media Player comes with a sample of Beck's song "Beautiful Way."
Beck is featured as one of the artists performing in the North American Halloween Prevention, Inc. song, "Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?"
Beck contributed vocals to the original version of "I Am Music," a collaboration with the late Aaliyah and Timbaland.
Beck makes an uncredited cameo on Macy Gray's album The Trouble With Being Myself, on the song "It Ain't the Money."
Beck performed vocals on the tracks "Don't Be Light" and "The Vagabond" as well as harmonica on the latter, for the third studio album, 10 000 Hz Legend, by the French electro band Air.
Beck did a remix to Björk's song "Alarm Call", for this song, he put his name as the 'Bjeck Mix'.
Beck is referenced in the New Radicals hit song You Get What You Give.
Beck duets with Emmylou Harris on the Gram Parsons tribute album, Return of the Grievous Angel, performing Parsons' classic "Sin City."
Beck appears on the tribute album More Oar: A Tribute to Alexander "Skip" Spence, performing the song "Halo of Gold."
Grandaddy's song Jed's Other Poem (Beautiful Ground) has the lyrics "I try to sing it funny like Beck..." Filmography

List of alternative music artists
List of one-word stage names
List of popular music performers

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