Trust me #49 Loser by Beck
I remember adverts in the NME and Melody Maker with the line I'm a loser baby so why don't you kill me and a release date. The lyric intrigued me. This was a time where singles were promoted for a good couple of months before their release.
And then I heard it. Loser by Beck was like nothing I had ever heard before. And the video was like nothing I had ever seen before.
Opening with a dirty slide guitar riff over funky hip hop beats, we're then introduced to Beck through the opening line.
In the time of chimpanzees I was a monkey
Beck doesn't let up, letting loose with an incredible flow of stream of conciousness/oddball lyrics.
The chorus begins with soy un perdedor which literally translates (in Spanish and Portuguese if my googling skills are up to scratch) to I'm a loser. The chorus is repeated twice with Beck throwing in ad libs in between - double barrel buckshot / get crazy with the cheese whiz
Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?
I was very fortuantate to see Beck play King Tuts in Glasgow in November 1994 (I have ticket number 4) and I have vague (but fond) memories of being right down the front. Tuts was absolutely rammed. Health and safety wasn't a common phrase back in 1994! People seemed to be literally hanging from the ceiling.
Subsequent trips to Tuts would lead me to discover the bench along the far side that people would use to stand on for a better view. But the 18-year old me was right down in the mix.
Beck danced, breakdanced and generally just looked super cool. I'm not sure if I have experienced anything quite like it since.
I went with my old friend Grant Mitchell who was deeply into American independent music. From memory he had some of Beck's pre Mellow Gold releases. I distinctly remember a mixtape he made me with a great song It's All In Your Mind which came out on his One Foot In The Grave album. It was completely acoustic and raw. Really beautiful. Beck had been around for a while on the anti-folk scene before breaking through. I'm not sure if this was before or after Tuts.
Loser was a complete breakthrough single for Beck. It was everywhere. He just didn't seem to give a flying f**k about things which made him even cooler. One of the b-sides was a song called MTV Makes Me Want To Smoke Crack, but he was on MTV all the time.
It's 30-years since the small label Bong Load had 500 copies of Loser pressed as a 12-inch single for released in Mach 1993. It blew up an major labels were soon chasing Beck's signature.
Re-released in January 94 in the USA and February 94 in the UK and Europe, Loser blew up and things were never the same for Beck again.
Loser live at Reading Festival 1995
MTV Makes Me Want To Smoke Crack
I've also collated them all into a playlist on Spotify that you can find by searching for Everything Flows - Trust Me , or you can CLICK HERE
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