By: Beck Hansen, John King, Mike Simpson

Written by: Beck Hansen, John King, Mike Simpson

  1. Diskobox (3:34)
    Available on Odelay and 1 other release.
    Jon Spencer: Keychain, Producer
    Beck Hansen: Producer, Vocals
    The Dust Brothers: Producer
Unofficial Versions: [show/hide]
  1. Diskobox Beat (3:58)
    Available on Breaks & Beats.
    Panzah Sandahz: Remix
Diskobox [Version (a)]:

Gotta get it
Gotta get it
Plastic classic
Hey yo! Hey yo!

Can't forget my backstreet get down
Ghost electric telephone bones
Blowin' like horns bound to shout
Nasty distortion, animal slow jams
All my friends got Dixie soul
Rockin' the plastic, takin' the low boat
Rough as a river, cowboy now boy
Biscuit chicken hittin' the wicket
Sandwich soul, a buffalo
Make it back for the finger pointin' down
Ooh got to get it, plastic classic
Totem poles in the briefcase shows
Get that brand new action!
Gonna let me get with the jet effect
Get that brand new action!
Gonna let me get with the jet effect

Lonesome whistle blows, my buckets froze
Last Saturday night, I couldn't find my spice
Sippin' whiskey in the midnight shade
Vandalizing as I have no time
Up the river and round the road
A traveling man with a trick in hand
Soda pop spittin' up slime
Slippin' stoppin' and realize
Get that brand new action!
Gonna let me get with the jet effect
Get that brand new action!
Gonna let me get with the jet effect

The Song:

"Diskobox" is an Odelay outtake, left off of most versions of the album, though some countries got it as a bonus track. It's a spastic, explosive rap, with huge drumming, and some piano decoration.

The song was recorded with The Dust Brothers, and friend Jon Spencer of the Blues Explosion co-produced (what his contribution was beyond "keychain," though, I'm not sure).

Lyrically, Beck is having a blast. He was probably in a sort of cruise control, pulling out unused lyrics from his notebooks and mind. Lines such as "electric telephone bones" seem vaguely left out of "Where It's At." "Rockin' the plastic" would also end up in the chorus of "High 5." The first line of the second verse "Lonesome whistle blows, my sucka froze" reaches back to Hank Williams. Beck's the only artist rapping old-time country lines! He also would use a similar line in "Diamond Bollocks" ("Hear that lonesome whistle blow, no direction to be known. . ."). The "midnight shade" also appears in "Deadweight." Just by looking at all these related songs specifically, you can get a good impression of the fun time "Diskobox" was supposed to be! And even with the grunted vocals, and spazzy music, it's a killer track.

Played live 18 times:
Earliest known live version: June 21, 1995
Latest known live version: April 7, 1997

"Diskobox" showed up in setlists on rare occasions during the Odelay years.

Beck took some time off from recording Odelay to go on tour with Lollapalooza in the summer of 1995, and that summer played "Diskobox" a little bit.

The earliest "Diskobox" I've heard is from June 21 1995. It's pretty strong, though kick-ass piano riff isn't there yet. It almost sounds like Beck was just rapping over a drum solo. He added a new second verse in between the two known ones from the recording. This can also be heard a month later on July 28, which also happened to be the weirdest version of the song ever. A few random lines of this phantom second verse can be made out (something about "all the ladies" which he rhymes with "gravy"), but for the most part I haven't been able to understand anything from it. I wonder what happened to this verse! He played the song throughout the summer of 1995 (Lollapalooza), as at the time, "Diskobox" was still scheduled to appear on Odelay.

Here's another attempt at the second verse, from a different verison (July 15, 1995) (Beck sounds possessed singing this song tonight, very intense):

Radio ??
Diskobox goin' like shopping
?? forcefield blastin ??
?? shavin' the babies
Open up the basement, ooh I'm swingin'
??? stacked solution
Everybody's got ?? music

Some of these 1995 versions had LONG jam endings, of Beck grunting "DISKOBOX!" with all sorts of video game bleeps and pounding drums. Pretty crazy sweet, actually.

Beck had an absolute blast on June 5, 1996, in Toronto. He eventually brings out his "beats," i.e., a Casio drum machine. It sounds like he brought a bunch of people on stage to dance. He gave them names like DJ Powerhouse and DJ Lifeboat and then started rapping over an obnoxious drum beat. He did the first verse of "Diskobox." When he got to the chorus, he riffed off that a bit. The audience was laughing and having a great time. He ended the song by getting them to sing along with the "High 5" jeans jam.

Throughout the actual Odelay tours, most known live "Diskbox"s are medleys, where he sings bits of the song during others (usually "Beercan" or "Where It's At"). There were a few instances in 1997 though where Beck brought someone from the audience to beatbox, and then would rap "Diskobox" over it. He did this on February 13, 1997, for instance. The beatboxing guy he found was quite good! Beck sped through the both verses of "Diskobox," and are perhaps the clearest rendition of the lyrics ever.

On March 25, 1997, a freestyle jam broke out in the middle of the concert. Beck started chanting "Who's gonna throw up their hands? I got to represent!" a bunch of times before he busted out the "lonesome whistle froze" verse of "Diskobox."

The song did not last past the Odelay tours of 1997, however, and has not been performed since. He always did alone (or with audience member beatboxing), I've always wondered what his great funky bands could have done to this groove -- I could imagine them turning into a massive live highlight.