Everyone who loves 90’s music is familiar with Beck’s surrealistic debut single, “Loser.” This iconic piece of alternative rock nostalgia was arranged, written and recorded in about six and a half hours with only minor studio polish months later.
Born Bek David Campbell, Beck’s talent as a multi-instrumentalist blended with his eclectic taste and willingness to mix genres not only on an album, but within the same song, have resulted in one of the most arguably diverse music catalogues of any single artist in history, save only the likes of Frank Zappa.
Since this is a blog which focuses on religion, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it when it comes to Beck. Raised as a scientologist, Beck has been very private about his beliefs, and began his career by focusing on his Jewish heritage on his mother’s side (though he never practiced Judaism). His religion came to the forefront in the 2000s, when his 9 year relationship to designer Leigh Limon ended in 2000.
Beck then wrote most of the songs for his amazing 2002 album, Sea Change, within a week of the break-up. Not longer after, he began dating the twin sister of actor Giovanni Ribisi, Marissa, who was a fellow Scientologist. They were married in early 2004, just before the birth of the couple’s first child.
Subsequent releases by Beck contained much more obvious references to Scientology and it’s teaching, particularly 2006’s The Information and 2008’s Modern Guilt (for example, the song “Volcano”).
Recently, Beck has embarked on an ambitious project called “Beck’s Record Club,” which organizes single-day recording sessions with other musicians where the goal is to sit down in the morning and record an entire classic album in new and imaginative ways by nightfall. The first albums to get this treatment were The Velvet Underground & Nico and Songs of Leonard Cohen. They have also covered entire albums by Skip Spence, INXS, and Yanni. [A video from the INXS recording session has been at the bottom of my blog for the past month.]