Outcome
By: Beck Hansen

Written by: Beck Hansen

Versions:
  1. Outcome (2:09)
    Available on One Foot In The Grave.
    Credits
    James Betram: Bass
    Beck Hansen: Guitar, Producer, Vocals
    Calvin Johnson: Producer
    Sam Jayne: Vocals
 
Lyrics:
Outcome [Version (a)]:

Seventeen years in the city
Static clinging to the ceiling
Never did I think it would come to this
Outcome is different than I expected
Never did I think it would come to this
Outcome is different than I expected

Riot cops and cheerleaders
Eyebrows painted on their heads
A mouth full of rotting cavities
Drinking coca-cola in the street
Never did I think it would come to this
Outcome is different than I expected
No, never did I think it would come to this
Outcome is different than I expected

Shot in the leg, shot in the leg
My leg is a bone, nobody home
My hand is a wire, the sky is on fire
The drums are beating, pistols and jeans
Left for dead, left for dead
Left for dead, dead as a fly
 
The Song:

"Outcome" is a subtle, pretty song from Beck's album, One Foot In The Grave. It is a fine example of Beck's spur-of-the-moment surreal lyrics, and a fairly tight band performance. The slide guitar is well-done, and the bass melody smooth. Over it, Beck and Calvin Johnson duet.

It is hard to look too deep into some of the images here (it was probably cobbled together from Beck's notebooks/memory), but the chorus does lean toward a simple poignancy ("Never did I think it would come to this / Outcome is different than I expected").
 
Live:

Played live 3 times:
Earliest known live version: October 26, 1994
Latest known live version: November 5, 1994

A surprise live performance of the song appears on November 5 1994 in Madrid. I think it is an improvement on the album version. It sounds a bit more uptempo, though the sublime slide guitar of the recording on One Foot is missed. They play it as a nice calm bluesy rock performance. The final verse is mumbled by Beck, and it sounds different from the record, but it is too difficult to decipher.