Ever since Beck first released his popular hit “Loser,” he was catching people’s attention, including major record labels. Since that time, with his odd collaborations and eclectic style, he’s been able to successfully surprise and delight his fans with wonderful songs from almost every genre you could think of. Here’s my top ten favorite songs by him.
10. “Cyanide Breath Mint” off of One Foot in the Grave
This short and out-of-tune folk song was released by Beck through an indie label but its wonderful charm and oddness helps it make a spot on this list. A band called Islands, who toured with Beck recently, have also made a neat cover of this song.
9. “The New Pollution” off of Odelay
This song has a catchy bassline and some wonderful touches like a saxophone and piano organ solo. It was another single off of Odelay, which likely helped the album sell over two million copies in the United States alone.
8. “Nicotine & Gravy” off of Midnite Vultures
With a rather funky vibe and some wonderful horns, “Nicotine & Gravy” sounds like it came straight out of the 1970s. It’s one of my personal favorites because I find it to be one of Beck’s most catchy and upbeat songs.
7. “The Golden Age” off of Sea Change
This song was a rather sudden change in style of Beck’s songwriting, as it featured soft guitar and wonderful string arrangements. The song’s rather simple and doesn’t feature any of the crazy beats Beck fans are usually accustomed to, but that doesn’t mean the song is any less good.
6. “E-Pro” off of Guero
The first single off of Beck’s latest album has him collaborating with the Dust Brothers once again. With a powerful beat and a simple yet catchy “na-na-na” chorus, the song was a hit and helped made Guero Beck’s highest charting album.
5. “Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime” off of the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Soundtrack
Although this song is a cover and was originally written by The Korgis, it’s still one of my favorite Beck songs. Beck’s vocals are not really easily recognizable in this song, but it still sounds great and has a nice guitar solo.
4. “Lost Cause” off of Sea Change
Although it’s a rather normal song for somebody like Beck, it still has a wonderful melody and some wonderful acoustic guitar. It was a rather popular single off of Sea Change, which still got great reviews despite its difference from earlier works.
3. “Devils Haircut” off of Odelay
Backed by Beck’s most popular music video, this catchy song has some awesome beats and a catchy guitar riff. Unsurprisingly for Beck, it also has some unexpected instruments like a dirty-sounding harmonica.
2. “Where It’s At” off of Odelay
“Where It’s At” was likely the song that proved to the world that Beck was not just a one-hit wonder that was merely having his fifteen minutes of fame. Featuring tons of samples, catchy lyrics, and a jazzy keyboard riff, this one is a must for anyone who wants to hear the unique Beck sound.
1. “Loser” off of Mellow Gold
This song is what made really Beck popular. With some of my favorite lyrics in any song, this freestyle rap song sounded like nothing else at the time. It’s got a ton of instruments in it, but they all sound great. The song almost alone defined a new kind of slacker individual.
Beck’s next album, The Information, will be released in October and will come with a DVD which features a video that goes along with each track on the album. Beck has said that the new album brings together a hip-hop sound and his introspective sound found on albums such as Sea Change.