Sometime in 2001 or early 2002, William Orbit travelled to Los Angeles to work with Beck on a track for Orbit's upcoming album. MTV.com, in an article promoting Sea Change, revealed the song is called "Real Good" and contains "Latin fuzz guitar over percolating dance beats."
In one interview, Beck explained his collaboration with Orbit, "[Orbit] sent over a bunch of ideas he had, I picked one I liked, he came over and I wrote some lyrics, put some guitar on it. We had a couple of nice chats and his process is fairly similar to the way we recorded Odelay
, using computers and I was able to improvise for an hour or two and then from that we took from that what the song was. So he's a builder, an arranger, a composer."
The song was originally intended for Orbit's solo album, which was moving at a slow pace. Then the Charlie's Angels
people asked to use the song as a big single for the soundtrack. Coming after Sea Change
, this would've been a somewhat awkward move, and Beck doesn't usually do big Hollywood soundtracks like that, so he declined. Orbit then went to work with Pink for the movie. She heard the song, and wanted to cover it. In the end, Beck said OK and now "Feel Good Time" as sung by Pink is the main single for the movie. (It is also on Pink's 2003 album, Try This
It's the exact same track, just with Pink singing. Beck's vocals and wild guitar were removed. The main riff of "Feel Good Time" is from the cool, old Spirit song "Fresh Garbage."
It's kind of too bad Beck didn't give his version to Hollywood. It would've been a cool way to be subversive, confuse people, as in "why the hell is Beck singing the Charlie's Angels song?" It also seems somewhat unique to Beck's own catalogue, as most of his "dance" songs are weird and crazy, not so straightforward. (Update: not true anymore, as of 2015.) But alas, I can't imagine it's likely we'll hear the original now.
UPDATE: It's still probably not gonna be on any Beck album anytime soon, but we do have Beck's version to listen to now! William Orbit was on a radio show on August 17 2003. While there, he played a number of songs in one 40 minute block, which he called "Superchunk." It included two "new" versions of "Feel Good Time." This had Beck's original vocals, and some of his fucked-up guitar and effects seem to have been put back. Pink's vocals are still there in the background, so it's not exactly the original, more a combo remix. There's also a new bassline in there. This version was credited to William Orbit featuring Beck.
(The other version on there was also "reworked," but is just credited to Pink, and I don't think has Beck.) The track was made available via mp3 on William Orbit's website.
UPDATE UPDATE: And somewhere along the way, Beck's original version hit the web too. This original is pretty crazy, Beck really sings it with abandon. It's a great vocal performance, that fits the upbeat and crazy music. Seriously, this is a rad song.
There were also a mess of tracks from the song, shared on William Orbit's website so anyone could remix it. Also I have something called a "Summer Holidays mix" which also combines both their vocals, but doesn't use the same Spirit riff as a beat. It also came from William Orbit's website, so it's somewhat official.