Don't Be Light
By: Beck Hansen, Jean-Benoît Dunckel, Nicolas Godin

Original Performance: Air
Written by: Beck Hansen, Jean-Benoît Dunckel, Nicolas Godin

Versions:
  1. Don't Be Light (6:17)
    Available on 10,000 Hz Legend.
    Credits
    Brian Reitzell: Drums
    Justin Meldal-Johnsen: Drums
    Jean-Benoît Dunckel: Engineer, Producer, Synthesizer, Vocals
    Nicolas Godin: Engineer, Producer, Synthesizer, Vocals
    Tony Hoffer: Producer
    Beck Hansen: Vocals
    Erin Carlson: Vocals
    Jean Croc: Whistle
  2. Don't Be Light (Malibu Remix) (5:21)
    Available on Don't Be Light and 1 other release.
    Credits
    Roger Joseph Manning Jr.: Producer
    Malibu: Remix
  3. Don't Be Light (Mr. Oizo Remix) (4:16)
    Available on Don't Be Light and 1 other release.
    Credits
    Quentin Dupieux: Producer
    Mr. Oizo: Remix
  4. Don't Be Light (Neptunes Remix) (4:10)
    Available on Don't Be Light and 1 other release.
    Credits
    Serban Ghenea: Mix
    Brian Garten: Recording
    The Neptunes: Remix
  5. Don't Be Light (The Hacker Remix) (6:26)
    Available on Don't Be Light and 1 other release.
    Credits
    The Hacker: Remix
  6. Don't Be Light (Thomas Bangalter Edit) (3:17)
    a.k.a. Don't Be Light (Edit)
    Available on Everybody Hertz.
    Credits
    Air: Producer, Remix
    Thomas Bangalter: Remix
  7. Don't Be Light (Tony Hoffer Edit)
    a.k.a. Don't Be Light (Edit)
    Available on Don't Be Light.
    Credits
    Air: Producer
    Tony Hoffer: Remix
  8. Don't Be Light (Promo Version) (6:19)
    Available on 10,000 Hz Legend.
 
Lyrics:
Don't Be Light [Version (a)]:

Don't be light, don't be light
Don't be light, maybe like me
Don't be light, don't be light
Don't be light, maybe like me
Don't be light

Don't don't be light
Don't maybe like me
Don't light don't be light
Don't light maybe like me
Don't light

Don't be light, don't be light oh
Wild life, the grey surprises of our days
Singing in caves, fabricating a new abandon
We don't see the master's hand
We bang on gold tambourines
In the crosshairs of some transient gun
Trading desires on the banquet line
La la la la la la... la la la la la la
La la la la la la... la la la la la la


Don't don't be light
Don't, maybe like me
Don't be light, don't be light
Don't be light, maybe like me
Don't be light
 
The Song:

"Don't Be Light"-a track on 10000 Hz. Legend by Air—is a terrific, interesting recording. There is a lot going on in it, from the gorgeous intro and the campy riff to a heavily distorted electric bass solo that sounds like a guitar and the person whistling during the ending. I think the whole thing is a blast. Beck's contribution is the spoken poem in the middle. Beck's friends, Justin Meldal-Johnsen and Roger Manning Jr., also appear on this track.

Beck talked about his poem for this song while appearing on KCRW on May 26, 2001 (a few days before 10000 Hz. Legend was released). He said that Dunckel and Godin (i.e., Air) asked him to write "some Lizard King-type prose" for their song. Beck did, but was a little embarrassed by it, and Air had to talk him into putting it on the album. Beck felt that it "bordered on the edge of pretentiousness," but that was probably what Air was looking for by asking him to write some Jim Morrison-type poetry. The good thing is that Beck stayed away from cliche (as usual).

Interestingly, Beck does not get a songwriting credit on the song. I guess his poem was considered to be more like a sample, or a bass line, or just another aspect of their tune (unlike Beck's full collaboration on the same album, "The Vagabond"). It is just one part of a much greater whole, which Dunckel admitted when he said, "This is the most important song on the album. Each time someone came into the studio to record a song, they did something for this song before they left. It's a big track on the album. It sums it all up."
 
Live:

Played live once:
September 26, 2004

Anyone ever see Air live?  Do they play a tape of Beck's voice on this song, or what?

Beck did join Air when they were playing in Hollywood, CA on September 26 2004. He and Jason Falkner joined them on "Don't Be Light."
 
Notes: