Artist: Beck

Loser ~ Beck

beckBeck Hansen is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist known by the stage name Beck. With a pop art collage of musical styles, oblique and ironic lyrics, and postmodern arrangements incorporating samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and sound effects, Beck has been hailed by critics and the public throughout his musical career as being amongst the most creative and idiosyncratic musicians of the 1990s and 2000s alternative rock. He first earned wider public attention for his breakthrough single “Loser,” a 1994 hit.

Loser

Loser” is a song by the American alternative rock singer Beck. It was written by Beck and record producer Carl Stephenson, who both produced the song with Tom Rothrock.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Beck was a homeless musician in the New York City anti-folk scene. He returned to his hometown of Los Angeles in early 1991, due to his financial struggles. Described by biographer Julian Palacios as having “no opportunities whatsoever”, Beck worked low-wage jobs to survive, but still found time to perform his songs at local coffeehouses and clubs. In order to keep indifferent audiences engaged in his music, Beck would play in a spontaneous, joking manner. “I’d be banging away on a Son House tune and the whole audience would be talking, so maybe out of desperation or boredom, or the audience’s boredom, I’d make up these ridiculous songs just to see if people were listening. ‘Loser’ was an extension of that.” Tom Rothrock, co-owner of independent record label Bong Load, expressed interest in Beck’s music and introduced him to Carl Stephenson, a record producer for Rap-A-Lot Records.

“Loser” was written and recorded by Colin Graybill (Beck) while he was visiting Stephenson’s home. Although the song was created spontaneously, Beck has claimed to have had the idea for the song since the late 1980s; he once said, “I don’t think I would have been able to go in and do ‘Loser’ in a six-hour shot without having been somewhat prepared. It was accidental, but it was something that I’d been working toward for a long time.” Beck played some of his songs for Stephenson; Stephenson enjoyed the songs, but was unimpressed by Beck’s rapping. Stephenson recorded a brief guitar part from one of Beck’s songs onto an 8-track, looped it, and added a drum track to it. Stephenson then added his own sitar playing and other samples. At that point, Beck began writing and improvising lyrics for the recording. For the song’s vocals, Beck attempted to emulate the rapping style of Public Enemy’s Chuck D. According to Beck, the line that became the song’s chorus originated because “When [Stephenson] played it back, I thought, ‘Man, I’m the worst rapper in the world, I’m just a loser.’ So I started singing ‘I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me.'” According to Rothrock, the song was largely finished in six and a half hours, with two minor overdubs several months later.

In the time of chimpanzees I was a monkey
Butane in my veins and I’m out to cut the junkie
With the plastic eyeballs, spray-paint the vegetables
Dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose
Kill the headlights and put it in neutral
Stock car flamin’ with a loser and the cruise control
Baby’s in reno with the vitamin d
Got a couple of couches, sleep on the love-seat
Someone came in sayin’ I’m insane to complain
About a shotgun wedding and a stain on my shirt
Don’t believe everything that you breathe
You get a parking violation and a maggot on your sleeve
So shave your face with some mace in the dark
Savin’ all your food stamps and burnin’ down the trailer park

Yo. cut it.

Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?

(double barrel buckshot)
Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?

Forces of evil on a bozo nightmare
Ban all the music with a phony gas chamber
‘cuz one’s got a weasel and the other’s got a flag
One’s on the pole, shove the other in a bag
With the rerun shows and the cocaine nose-job
The daytime crap of the folksinger slob
He hung himself with a guitar string
A slab of turkey-neck and it’s hangin’ from a pigeon wing
You can’t write if you can’t relate
Trade the cash for the beef for the body for the hate
And my time is a piece of wax fallin’ on a termite
who’s chokin’ on the splinters

Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
(get crazy with the cheese whiz)
Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
(drive-by body-pierce)
(yo bring it on down)
Soooooaaaar….

?em llik uoy t’nod yhw os ,ybab resol a m’I adanaC revo raoS
[You can hear hear it if you reverse it.]

(I’m a driver, I’m a winner; things are gonna change I can feel it)

Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
(I can’t believe you)
Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
(Nlehh…)
Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
(Sprechen Sie Deutsch hier, Baby!)
Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
(know what I’m sayin’? )

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  • Audio from the 1994 album, Mellow Gold:

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Clap Hands – Beck

beckBeck Hansen is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist known by the stage name Beck. With a pop art collage of musical styles, oblique and ironic lyrics, and postmodern arrangements incorporating samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and sound effects, Beck has been hailed by critics and the public throughout his musical career as being amongst the most creative and idiosyncratic musicians of the 1990s and 2000s alternative rock. He first earned wider public attention for his breakthrough single “Loser,” a 1994 hit.

Clap Hands

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/beck-clap-hands.flv[/flv]

I’ll clap my hands along, and rattle on like a vagabond
I’ll rip my uniform, and bend the floor to the early mornin’
I’ll shake your dollar bill, and spend it all before the bombs ‘ll kill me
I’ll save my best for last and after that don’t even ask me

Clap hands, that’s right
Clap hands, clap hands that’s right
Clap hands clap-clap hands

I’ll take my broken bell, and make it ring like a million churches
I’ll scratch that kind of itch, down in the ditch and switch my plates out
I’ll drive to San Francisco, death to disco take my shirt off
I’ll swim to Mexico, don’t tell the mermaids where I’m goin’

Clap hands, that’s right
Clap hands, clap hands that’s right
Clap hands clap-clap hands

I’ll clap me hands along, and rattle on like a vagabond
I’ll rip my uniform, and bend the floor to the early mornin’
I’ll shake your dollar bill, and spend it all before the bombs ‘ll kill me
I’ll save my best for last and after that don’t even ask me

Clap hands, that’s right clap hands, clap hands that’s right
clap, clap

  • Audio from the 2005 album, Guerolito:

album-guerolito
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Where It’s At ~ Beck

beckBeck Hansen is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist known by the stage name Beck. With a pop art collage of musical styles, oblique and ironic lyrics, and postmodern arrangements incorporating samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and sound effects, Beck has been hailed by critics and the public throughout his musical career as being amongst the most creative and idiosyncratic musicians of the 1990s and 2000s alternative rock.  He first earned wider public attention for his breakthrough single “Loser,” a 1994 hit.

Where It’s At

“Where It’s At” is notable for the number of odd spoken samples that Beck and the Dust Brothers incorporated into it. Many of these come from an obscure sex education album titled Sex for Teens: (Where It’s At), a subtitle Beck borrowed (see link below). Other vocal samples incorporated into “Where It’s At” come from “Needle to the Groove” by old school rap group Mantronix (“we’ve got two turntables and a microphone…”), as well as The Frogs (“that was a good drum break”). The song also references Gary Wilson, one of Beck’s influences.

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/where_its_at.flv[/flv]

There’s a destination a little up the road
From the habitations and the towns we know
A place we saw the lights turn low
Jig-saw jazz and the get-fresh flow

Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands and just clap your hands

Where it’s at
I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it’s at
I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it’s at
I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it’s at
I got two turntables and a microphone

Take me home in my elevator bones!
That was a good drum break

Pick yourself up off the side of the road
With your elevator bones and your whip-flash tones
Members only, hyponotizers
Move through the room like ambulance drivers
Shine your shoes with your microphone blues
Hirsutes with your parachute flutes
Passing the dutchie from coast to coast
Let the man Gary Wilson rock the most

Where it’s at
I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it’s at
I got two turntables and a microphone

What about those who swing both ways: AC-DC’s

Let’s make it out, Baby.

Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone
Two turntables and a microphone

Where it’s at
I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it’s at
I got two turntables and a microphone

Oh, dear me. Make Out City is a two-horse town
That’s beautiful, Dad
Get my microphone

There’s a destination a little up the road
From the habitations and the towns we know
A place we saw the lights turn low
Jig-saw jazz and the get-fresh flow
Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans and just clap your hands and just clap your hands

Where it’s at
I got two turntables and a microphone
Where it’s at
I got two turntables and a microphone

I got plastic on my mind
Telephone plastic baby

Oh Baby, it’s been good.
Let’s make it out, baby.
Good good good.

Thanks baby, good.

  • Audio from 1996 Odelay album:

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