Listen to every beck album: done

Yesterday I listened to all 12 Beck albums in a row, in order of release date. They are, for the uninitiated:

  1. Golden Feelings
  2. A Western Harvest FIeld by Moonlight
  3. Stereopathetic Soulmanure
  4. Mellow Gold
  5. One Foot in the Grave
  6. Odelay
  7. Mutations
  8. Midnite Vultures
  9. Sea Change
  10. Guero
  11. The Information
  12. Modern Guilt

It was about 9.5 hours of music that took about 12.5 hours to listen to, including all my breaks. It was epic. A couple people asked me if doing this gave me any special insight into Beck’s music and career. The answer, I told them, is yes. Here are those insights:

  1. The first three albums form a pretty harsh block. It’s not bad exactly, but it’s hard to listen to. Word of warning: these albums may drive your girlfriend out of the apartment in anger.
  2. Midnite Vultures is probably my favourite Beck album. It’s brilliant.
  3. One Foot in the Grave -> Odelay is a crazy weird transition.
  4. The worst Beck album tracks are ‘Round the Bend’ off Sea Change and ‘Earthquake Weather’ off Guero.
  5. Doing this won’t make you as sick of Beck as you would expect.

That’s it! Nothing terribly profound, but it did alter how I perceive the albums and a bunch of the tracks. If you have the time, I definitely recommend it.

23 Responses to “Listen to every beck album: done”

  1. Marco says:

    How can you not like ”Round The Bend”?, listening to it is like being high (In a rather peaceful way, not like Nicotine & Gravy)

  2. newt says:

    @some guy: right back at ya!

    @marco: i’m not the biggest sea change fan to begin with, and round the bend just seemed like the longest, most boring song i’d ever listened to. within the context of the whole day’s worth of music, it just really stuck out as a low point.

  3. mikeC says:

    Ha! Earthquake weather is the song i relisten to the most on Guero. I think the new album is pretty stale, it’s like the Information but remixed with a bland sound.
    That’s the best thing about beck at least pre-sea change, just a wide variety of sounds, always something to listen to even if there is some stuff you cant stand (#7 on modern guilt? what’s the point of that BS?) there’s 5 other songs you really really dig.

  4. Thakmere says:

    beck needs to change his voice more.

    listen to the early stuff, and ya hes young and stuff, but he always doing something fun and whatnot. but like, on info its kind of all the same, very dull and sad kind of. but i do like the new album MUCH better than info. its not super great, but its better than green day atleast. :D! ?

    just saying. oh and the modern guilt vinyl mp3 DLs sounds fun, haha. i hope odeluxe vinyl will be released soon, and hopefully have extra stuff.

  5. Acheloos says:

    I’m one of those people who like the early stuff, Stereopathetic Soulmanure is one of my favorites. It seems that he’s becoming less and less experimental both in sound and in lyrics. But doesn’t that happen to all musicians? Especially when they turn 27 they either die or become less creative. What to do about it?

  6. newt says:

    ok, i should clarify my comments. i really do like those three albums, and i love certain tracks on them. my point was simply that, played back to back, as a whole, they can be a little overwhelming. but that’s just me. :)

    @mikeC you’re crazy for not liking mogu, i think it’s awesome. i really dig both it and info, though i think mogu is better.

  7. mellow says:



  8. duck says:

    Hehe, I dit the same but not in the order. Odelay, Mutations and Midnite Vultures are my favorites. They’re juste perfect! And now, I listen to my b-sides collection and this is incredible too.

    The worst Beck’s song is Broken Drum for me. And the best? DIAMOND BOLLOCKS.

  9. eugene says:

    Any info on the new tour dates?

  10. mervelousMEGUMI says:

    I simply must try this little experiment of yours. “Odelay” is and will always be my favorite of all time, but the rest of his discography shuffles around all the time in spots two through 12, depending on which album happens to click with me on any given day. I will say, however, that “Sing it Again” from “Mutations” is my favorite Beck song ever — it gets me every time.

    As for “Modern Guilt,” I have been listening to it nonstop since it came out, absorbing every track like a sponge. My favorites so far are “Gamma Ray,” “Youthless,” “Walls,” “Soul of a Man” and “Profanity Prayers.” It’s one of his best in years, but of course I think all his albums are fantastic in their own way.

    On a side note, I realized Beck now has two albums with the initials “MG.” Interesting bit of trivia …

    Oh, and no “Guerolito” in the lineup? I could see how that would be a little redundant and overwhelming, but in your opinion do any of the ‘Lito remixes outshine the originals? This may not count since it was on the “Hell Yes” EP, but I think the Paza remix of “Girl” is effing amazing.

    That is all.

  11. newt says:

    @mervelousMEGUMI: about the MG thing, we’ve started abbreviating them mego and mogu to avoid confusion. feel free to use that. :)

    i don’t consider guerolito an album, so i left it out. in my opinion it’s kind of a mixed bag — some of the songs definitely outshine their album counterparts, others really stink up the join. that’s just me, though.

  12. RockMeDiabeetus says:

    Earthquake Weather is one of the best on Guero. Much better than Broken Drum.

  13. Rando says:

    Beck has a 60s-funk-groove-psychedelic trilogy:

    1. Nicotine & Gravy
    2. Earthquake Weather
    3. Chemtrails

    All three have Jason Falkner and Joey Waronker. Hmmmmmmmm …

    After another 10 albums or so, I can make a whole disc with this music. SEACREST OUT

  14. Flying Threw the Air with Breeze says:

    great project. I’ll have to do the same. Totally agree with you on Midnite Vultures.

  15. Nikolaz Rble2 says:

    Round The Bend, Earthquake weather, his worst tracks? i don’t think so!

  16. Steve says:

    I’ve done this before, but never in a full day. I think I often miss Western Harvest Field also since it’s vinyl. I have to listen to that one out of order. I did it when I was driving to and from Chicago over a three day venture. I do love round the bend. Earthquake weather is nice because it’s always there for me! I hate it 95% of the time, but that 5% that it works out perfectly is all I need.

  17. Channing Hansen says:

    Indeed, Round the Bend is horrible.

  18. Kate says:

    Awesome. A friend and I started this two weeks ago when Modern Guilt came out. Every week, starting with Modern Guilt and working our way backwards, we listen to one Beck album in its entirety and rate each song and the album as a whole. We’re tracking his progression as a songwriter and lyricist. So much fun. Next up is Sea Change…in the park!

  19. Inafinus says:

    I love Round The Bend personally. I think it’s a beautiful song…

    I would really like to try this, but I need to obtain the vinyl’s of Golden and Moonlight Harvest.

    Maybe next time with all the singles as well :P

  20. Pedro says:

    “Midnite Vultures is probably my favourite Beck album. It’s brilliant.”

    Yes! Yes! A thousand times Yes! He mah nun!

  21. Jackinthebox says:

    I have done this on several occasions: before Beck shows, on release dates, and on his B-day. I try to stick to vinyl, where available (so not the information or golden feelings) and usually throw in the b-sides albums as well (stray blues and the one). good times. always an eye-opener.

  22. Michael says:

    Are you high?? I agree with the Midnite Vultures bit, but “Round the Bend” is one of the most profoundly beautiful and moving pieces of music to grace my ears. It’s absolutely stunning. And “Earthquake Weather” is easily one of the highlights from Guero. To each his own, but damn, c’mon.

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