Table of Contents
- 1. “Where It’s At”
- 2. “Guess I’m Doing Fine”
- 3. “Loser”
- 4. “Lonesome Tears”
- 5. “Think I’m In Love”
- 6. “Jack-Ass”
- 7. “The New Pollution”
- 8. “Dark Star”
- 9. “Beercan”
- 10. “Devils Haircut”
- 11. “Blackhole”
- 12. “It’s All in Your Mind”
- 13. “Hotwax”
- 14. “Get Real Paid”
- 15. “Hell Yes”
- 16. “Nicotine & Gravy”
- 17. “Tropicalia”
- 18. “Defriended”
- 19. “Girl”
- 20. “Blue Moon”
Beck Hansen, known simply as Beck, is a multi-talented musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer who has been entertaining audiences for over three decades. Throughout his career, Beck has explored various genres and styles, creating a unique sound that is difficult to define. From his debut album “Mellow Gold” in 1994 to his latest release “Hyperspace” in 2019, Beck has delivered countless hits that have earned him critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. His music is characterized by a blend of rock, folk, hip-hop, electronic, and experimental sounds, often incorporating samples, live instrumentation, and quirky lyrics. In this article, we will explore some of the best Beck songs of all time. These songs showcase the artist’s versatility and range, from upbeat and funky tracks to introspective ballads. Whether you’re a longtime fan or just discovering his music, this list is sure to have something for everyone. So sit back, relax, and let’s take a journey through some of the best songs that Beck has to offer.
1. “Where It’s At”
“Where It’s At” is a song by American musician Beck, released as the lead single from his 1996 album, Odelay. The song features an eclectic mix of genres, including rock, hip-hop, country, and electronic music. The opening sample, “Where it’s at, I got two turntables and a microphone,” sets the tone for the song, which features a combination of live instrumentation and samples. The lyrics of “Where It’s At” are a blend of social commentary and stream-of-consciousness musings. Beck sings about everything from the media to consumer culture to the music industry itself. The song’s chorus, “I got two turntables and a microphone,” is a nod to Beck’s roots as a DJ and serves as a statement of independence and creativity. “Where It’s At” was a critical and commercial success, earning Beck a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. The song’s music video, directed by Beck and Steve Hanft, features surreal imagery and references to pop culture icons like Andy Warhol and the Beach Boys. The song’s enduring popularity has made it a staple of ’90s alternative rock and helped establish Beck as one of the most innovative and influential musicians of his generation.
2. “Guess I’m Doing Fine”
“Guess I’m Doing Fine” is a song by American singer-songwriter Beck, released in 2002 as the second single from his fifth studio album, “Sea Change.” The song is a slow and melancholic ballad, with simple yet effective instrumentation consisting of acoustic guitar, piano, and strings. Beck’s vocals are emotive, conveying a sense of heartbreak and vulnerability as he sings about the pain of a broken relationship. The lyrics of “Guess I’m Doing Fine” are introspective and reflective, with Beck acknowledging the hurt and sadness he feels, but also expressing a sense of acceptance and resilience. The song has been praised for its raw and honest portrayal of emotional pain, as well as for its understated and stripped-down production. “Guess I’m Doing Fine” has become one of Beck’s most beloved songs, and is often cited as a standout track from “Sea Change,” which is widely regarded as one of his best albums. The song’s poignant lyrics and haunting melody have resonated with many listeners, making it a timeless and enduring piece of music.
“Loser” is a song by American musician Beck, released in 1993. The song combines elements of folk, rock, and hip-hop, and is notable for its ironic and self-deprecating lyrics. The song became Beck’s breakthrough hit, reaching the top 10 in several countries and earning him a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. The song’s lyrics revolve around the theme of feeling like a “loser” in society and the struggles of finding one’s place in the world. The verses are filled with absurdist imagery and references to pop culture, while the chorus is an infectious sing-along that repeats the phrase “I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me?” The song’s production is characterized by its use of sampling and layering of different instruments and sounds, including slide guitar, harmonica, and a drum loop sampled from the song “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin. The result is a unique and catchy sound that helped to define the alternative rock genre of the 1990s. Overall, “Loser” is a classic song that has stood the test of time, and continues to be a favorite among fans of alternative rock and hip-hop.
4. “Lonesome Tears”
“Lonesome Tears” is a song by Beck, released on his 2002 album “Sea Change.” The song is a melancholic ballad that showcases Beck’s introspective and emotive side. The instrumentation is primarily acoustic guitar and piano, with subtle touches of strings and slide guitar adding to the atmospheric texture. The lyrics of “Lonesome Tears” reflect on a failed relationship and the emotions that come with it. Beck sings about feeling lost, hurt, and alone, while also acknowledging his own role in the breakup. The chorus repeats the line “All these lonesome tears,” driving home the sense of sadness and isolation that permeates the song. Despite its mournful tone, “Lonesome Tears” is widely regarded as one of Beck’s most beautiful and powerful compositions. Its stripped-down arrangement and heartfelt lyrics showcase the depth and range of Beck’s songwriting ability, while also revealing his vulnerable and sensitive side. The song has been covered by numerous artists and has become a fan favorite in Beck’s extensive catalog.
5. “Think I’m In Love”
“Think I’m In Love” is a song by Beck, released in 2006 as part of his album “The Information.” The song is a catchy, upbeat pop rock tune that showcases Beck’s talent for crafting infectious hooks and grooves. The lyrics tell the story of a person who is falling in love and is unsure if their feelings are reciprocated, with the chorus repeating the title phrase “Think I’m in love, but I’m just working on a case.” The song features a driving drum beat, funky guitar riffs, and Beck’s distinctive vocals. The music video for “Think I’m In Love” was directed by Beck himself and features a colorful, animated depiction of a city street, with various characters dancing and interacting with each other. The video is a playful and imaginative accompaniment to the song, adding to its overall fun and carefree vibe. Overall, “Think I’m In Love” is a standout track from Beck’s extensive catalog, showcasing his ability to blend different genres and styles to create something fresh and unique. It is a fun and infectious song that is sure to get listeners moving and singing along.
“Jack-Ass” is a song by Beck, which was released in 1996 as a single from his album “Odelay”. The song is a mix of genres, including alternative rock, folk rock, and hip hop, and features a sample from the song “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” by Them. The lyrics are cryptic and poetic, with a theme of trying to escape from something that is dragging you down. The song starts with a mellow acoustic guitar riff and a catchy drum beat, which is gradually layered with other instruments like the harmonica and slide guitar. Beck’s vocals are laid-back and drawled, creating a sense of detachment and irony that is characteristic of his style. The chorus features a group of backing vocalists who chant “Jack-ass, jack-ass, keep it all up” in a catchy and repetitive melody. Overall, “Jack-Ass” is a prime example of Beck’s eclectic and innovative approach to music-making. The song seamlessly blends together different styles and sounds, creating a unique and unforgettable sonic experience. The lyrics are open to interpretation, but they touch on themes of alienation, disillusionment, and the desire to break free from societal constraints.
7. “The New Pollution”
“The New Pollution” is a song by American singer-songwriter Beck, released in 1997 as a single from his second studio album, “Odelay”. The song is a fusion of various musical styles, including rock, funk, and electronic music, with a distinct retro sound that combines elements of 60s pop music and 70s funk. The track features a catchy, upbeat melody, with layered vocals and a prominent bassline that propels the song forward. The lyrics describe the media’s obsession with image and appearance, with Beck singing lines like “She’s got a cigarette on each arm” and “She’s got a velvet glove on her lizard skin”. The song’s music video, directed by Beck himself, features a kaleidoscope of images, including dancing women in 60s-style dresses, a mannequin being smashed to pieces, and Beck himself dressed in various costumes. The video won several awards, including Best Art Direction at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards. “The New Pollution” has been praised for its inventive production, clever lyrics, and catchy melody, and is considered one of Beck’s most iconic songs. It helped to establish Beck as a major force in alternative rock, and remains a fan favorite to this day.
8. “Dark Star”
“Dark Star” is a song by the American rock musician Beck, released on his 1998 album “Mutations”. The song is a departure from Beck’s usual style, incorporating elements of country music and featuring a prominent pedal steel guitar. The lyrics are enigmatic, evoking a sense of mystery and surrealism, with Beck singing lines like “The sky was stitched with diamonds / I’ll pin them to your ears” and “In a dream I watched the city fall / There was a wave and then the sea came over all”. The song’s title “Dark Star” is likely a reference to the Grateful Dead song of the same name, which is itself named after a science fiction film from 1974. However, Beck’s song is not a cover or a direct homage to the Dead, and has a distinct sound and atmosphere. The use of the pedal steel guitar, a staple of country music, gives the song a melancholic, wistful quality, while the lyrics create a vivid sense of imagery and emotion. “Dark Star” is often cited as one of Beck’s best songs and a standout track on “Mutations”, which is itself considered one of his strongest albums. The song’s blend of different genres and moods, along with its memorable lyrics and instrumentation, make it a favorite among fans of Beck’s music.
“Beercan” is a song by American musician and singer-songwriter Beck, released in 1994 as the second single from his debut studio album “Mellow Gold”. The song features Beck’s signature blend of lo-fi rock, hip hop, and folk influences with off-kilter lyrics. The song’s title, “Beercan”, is a play on words, with Beck repeating the phrase “I’m so tired of being alone / So hurry up and get on the beercan” in the chorus. The song’s verses include references to Beck’s hometown of Los Angeles, with lines like “My hopes are so high that your kiss might kill me / So won’t you kill me / So I die happy.” The song also features a sample from Them’s “Gloria”. Musically, “Beercan” is driven by a catchy guitar riff and a heavy drum beat, with a distorted bassline and a brass section adding to the song’s energetic and eclectic sound. Beck’s distinct vocal delivery, which combines rapping and singing, gives the song a unique and memorable edge. “Beercan” received critical acclaim upon its release, with many praising its irreverent and playful nature. The song helped to establish Beck as a rising star in the alternative rock scene, and remains a fan favorite and a staple of his live performances.
10. “Devils Haircut”
“Devils Haircut” is a song by American musician Beck, released as the lead single from his 1996 album, “Odelay”. The song features a unique fusion of various genres, including rock, hip hop, and electronic music. The distorted guitar riff, electronic beats, and Beck’s rap-like vocals create a dynamic and energetic sound that became a defining track of the alternative rock era. The lyrics of “Devils Haircut” are open to interpretation, but many have suggested that the song is a commentary on the commodification of popular culture and the media’s obsession with image. Beck sings about a character who is trying to keep up with the latest fashion trends, but is ultimately consumed by the superficiality and emptiness of it all. The song’s music video, directed by Mark Romanek, features Beck and a group of dancers in a surreal, urban setting, dancing to the beat of the song. The video’s aesthetic and choreography perfectly capture the song’s mix of rock, hip hop, and electronic music. Overall, “Devils Haircut” is a standout track from Beck’s influential and critically acclaimed “Odelay” album, showcasing his unique style and ability to blend various genres into something fresh and exciting.
“Blackhole” is a song by English rock band Muse, released as a single from their eighth studio album, “Simulation Theory” in 2018. The song features a combination of classic rock, electronic, and symphonic elements. It opens with a strong bass line and features lead singer Matt Bellamy’s signature falsetto vocals. The song is also characterized by its use of electronic beats and synths, which create a futuristic and otherworldly vibe. Lyrically, “Blackhole” explores themes of isolation and feeling trapped, drawing a parallel to the idea of being sucked into a black hole. Bellamy sings about being lost in his own mind and feeling disconnected from the world around him, with lines such as “I’m trapped and my back’s up against the wall” and “Lost in the void, lost in the silence.” The song has been praised for its combination of classic rock and modern electronic elements, as well as its emotive and introspective lyrics. It showcases Muse’s ability to push the boundaries of their sound while still maintaining their distinctive style. Overall, “Blackhole” is a haunting and powerful track that demonstrates the band’s evolution and growth as artists.
12. “It’s All in Your Mind”
“It’s All in Your Mind” is a song by Beck, released on his 2005 album “Guero”. The song is a fusion of different musical styles such as funk, hip-hop, and rock. It starts with a groovy bassline and soon incorporates scratchy guitar riffs and Beck’s unique vocal style. The lyrics are cryptic and poetic, with Beck exploring themes of self-doubt, confusion, and personal struggle. The chorus of the song is catchy and features a repetitive phrase “It’s all in your mind”, which is a reminder to the listener that their thoughts and perceptions shape their reality. The song received critical acclaim for its innovative sound and strong songwriting. It showcases Beck’s ability to seamlessly blend different genres of music and experiment with new sounds while still maintaining his signature style. “It’s All in Your Mind” is a standout track on the album and a fan favorite. Its funky groove and introspective lyrics make it a great addition to any Beck playlist.
“Hotwax” is a song by the American musician Beck, which was released in 1996 as part of his album “Odelay”. The song has a unique and eclectic sound, blending together elements of funk, rock, and hip-hop. The track is driven by a funky bassline and features samples of old soul and R&B songs, as well as various sound effects and snippets of conversation. Lyrically, “Hotwax” is a somewhat surreal and abstract song, with Beck singing about various disconnected images and ideas. The chorus features the repeated refrain, “Get crazy with the Cheeze Whiz,” which has become one of the song’s most memorable lines. Despite its nonsensical lyrics, “Hotwax” has a catchy and infectious energy that makes it a standout track on “Odelay”. “Hotwax” was well-received by both critics and fans, and helped solidify Beck’s reputation as one of the most innovative and eclectic musicians of the 1990s. The song has been praised for its unique sound and creative use of sampling, and has become a fan favorite in Beck’s discography.
14. “Get Real Paid”
“Get Real Paid” is a song by American singer-songwriter Beck, released in 1999 as the second single from his album “Midnite Vultures”. The song features Beck’s trademark mix of funk, soul, and hip-hop, with a driving beat, catchy guitar riffs, and playful lyrics. The song was produced by Beck and the Dust Brothers, and features a sample from the 1972 song “Happiness Is Just Around the Bend” by Brazilian jazz-funk band Azymuth. The lyrics of “Get Real Paid” are a tongue-in-cheek celebration of materialism and consumer culture, with Beck playfully name-checking various luxury brands and indulgences. The song’s chorus, “Get real paid, ooh, ooh, with the quickness,” is a nod to the rap trope of celebrating wealth and success. Despite its somewhat cynical subject matter, “Get Real Paid” is a fun and infectious song that showcases Beck’s eclectic musical style and irreverent sense of humor. The song was well-received by critics and helped to cement Beck’s reputation as one of the most innovative and idiosyncratic musicians of his generation.
15. “Hell Yes”
“Hell Yes” is a song by American musician Beck, released in 2005 as a single from his album “Guero.” The song features a high-energy, upbeat rhythm, with a mix of funk, hip-hop, and rock influences. The lyrics of the song focus on themes of confidence, self-assurance, and taking action. The track opens with a sample from the 1971 German film “Wanda Rostowvsky,” and is built around a driving beat and a catchy guitar riff. The song also features Beck’s signature use of sampling and layering, with elements such as handclaps, vocal harmonies, and synthesizer lines added to the mix. The music video for “Hell Yes” features an animated Beck walking through a surreal landscape, interacting with various objects and characters along the way. The video was directed by Shynola, who also created the videos for Beck’s songs “E-Pro” and “Girl.” Overall, “Hell Yes” is a high-energy, catchy song that showcases Beck’s eclectic musical style and innovative approach to production. It remains a fan favorite and a highlight of his discography.
16. “Nicotine & Gravy”
“Nicotine & Gravy” is a song by Beck, an American singer-songwriter and musician. It was released in 1999 as the second single from his seventh studio album, “Midnite Vultures.” The song was written by Beck and produced by him, along with The Dust Brothers. The song features a funky and groovy sound, with a prominent bass line, horns, and a catchy chorus. Beck’s vocals are smooth and seductive, matching the sultry vibe of the track. Lyrically, the song is a metaphor for addiction, with “nicotine” and “gravy” representing the highs and lows of life. The song’s title is a play on words, as “Nicotine & Gravy” can sound like “Nick at Night and Gravey.” “Nicotine & Gravy” received critical acclaim and was praised for its unique sound and catchy chorus. The song was also popular among fans, and it charted in several countries. The music video, directed by Roman Coppola, features Beck in a variety of surreal and humorous situations, including a dance-off with a giant rooster. Overall, “Nicotine & Gravy” is a standout track from Beck’s eclectic and experimental discography.
“Tropicalia” is a song by Beck, released in 1998 as a single from his album “Mutations.” The track was produced by Nigel Godrich, who had previously worked with Radiohead, and was heavily influenced by Brazilian music and the “Tropicalia” movement that emerged in the late 1960s. The song features a lively and upbeat rhythm, driven by a catchy guitar riff and infectious percussion, and Beck’s lyrics touch on themes of revolution and cultural change, drawing on the legacy of the “Tropicalia” movement. The track also incorporates elements of psychedelic rock and folk music, creating a unique and eclectic sound that epitomizes Beck’s genre-bending style. Critics praised “Tropicalia” for its inventive fusion of musical styles and its evocation of the vibrant spirit of Brazilian culture. The song was also noted for its sophisticated production and intricate arrangements, showcasing Beck’s talent for crafting complex and layered compositions. Overall, “Tropicalia” is a standout track in Beck’s discography and a testament to his ability to blend disparate musical influences into a cohesive and compelling whole.
“Defriended” is a song by Beck, released in 2013 as a standalone single. The song features a minimalistic and dreamy electronic sound, with haunting vocals and ethereal synth sounds. The lyrics are ambiguous and abstract, with phrases that can be interpreted in different ways, like “sitting at the edge of the world” and “never coming back again.” The song was well-received by critics, who praised its experimental sound and eerie atmosphere. Some interpreted the song as a reflection on social media and the impact it has on our relationships, with the title “Defriended” referring to the act of unfriending someone on Facebook. Others saw it as a meditation on loneliness and isolation in the modern world. Overall, “Defriended” is a departure from Beck’s usual folk and rock-oriented sound, showcasing his willingness to experiment with different genres and sounds. The song is a testament to Beck’s versatility as an artist, and his ability to create music that is both innovative and emotionally resonant.
“Girl” is a track from Beck’s seventh studio album, “Guero” which was released in 2005. The song features a mixture of folk, blues, and rock genres with a groovy, danceable beat. The lyrics revolve around a girl who is constantly on the move and the narrator’s longing for her. The verses are filled with vivid descriptions of different locations, such as “The subway through the city goes a-ghostin’ / I’m on a balcony, I’m a-lookin’ in / She’s on the street below, a-struttin’ and a-strayin’ / Free with the world, the glowin’ city’s the world.” The chorus repeats the phrase “I don’t know what I’m gonna do / But I’m gonna miss you.” “Girl” was well-received by critics and is considered one of the standout tracks from the album. It was also released as a single and reached #35 on the US Modern Rock chart. The song’s music video, directed by Motion Theory, features an animated version of Beck traversing a colorful, surreal landscape filled with strange creatures and objects. Overall, “Girl” showcases Beck’s ability to blend various genres and create a unique sound that is both catchy and introspective.
20. “Blue Moon”
“Blue Moon” is a classic pop song originally written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1934. The song has been covered by many artists over the years, including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Billie Holiday. The version of “Blue Moon” that is perhaps best known today is the one recorded by The Marcels in 1961, which reached the top of the charts in the US and the UK. The Marcels’ version of “Blue Moon” features a doo-wop style, with vocal harmonies and a catchy beat. The group’s arrangement also includes a distinctive “bomp-baba-bomp” bass line, which has become one of the song’s most recognizable features. The lyrics of “Blue Moon” are romantic and nostalgic, with the singer expressing a longing for a lost love. The song has remained popular over the years, with numerous covers and appearances in films and TV shows. In addition to its musical qualities, “Blue Moon” has also been analyzed for its cultural and historical significance, particularly in relation to the development of popular music and the role of race in music history. Overall, “Blue Moon” is a timeless classic that continues to capture the hearts of music lovers around the world.