Beck - reaching for new things
Beck - reaching for new things

Beck is one of the coolest artists in the last 20 years. Constantly evolving and trying new things, and charming til the end, it’s easy to love the guy even if you don’t warm to his music. He’s now wrapped up his contract with Geffen records and a free agent, and has announced a new project that is just as ambitious, clever and whack as you expect. Every so often, Beck (and select friends) will cover a classic album in it’s entirety, and put it on his website. The first track is up at now, as part of a new thing he’s calling Record Club.

The first album to get the Beck-ord Club (sorry) treatment is The Velvet Underground‘s 1967 debut – The Velvet Underground & Nico. It’s one of the greatest albums of all time, and we’ve heard too many terrible cover versions of the songs to not by a bit scared walking into the Beck version. But he pulls it off on the one track that’s on the site – the elegant opener Sunday Morning. It has a modern wooziness to it, with a deeper, darker, more dramatic overtones.

So OK Beck. We’re listening.

Best part of this experiment is the entire record is recorded in a day. Nothing is rehearsed or arranged before hand. Beck’s list of collaborators include the likes of Devendra Banhart, MGMT, producer extraordinaire Nigel Godrich and Icelandic singer Thorunn Magnusdottir. Apparently Digital Underground’s rap classic Sex Packets was apparently on the cards, but maybe later. Beck has some extraordinarily great and obscure tastes. We personally would love to hear him tackle Odessey And Oracle, an album that he’s said to love.

An interesting experiment. We’re not sure if you’re going to have to one day pay for the downloads. But you can find an mp3 of Sunday Morning on the web if you know where to look. We’ll be checking back in next week to hear their take on I’m Waiting For the Man, and see if it improves on the 700 other versions we’ve heard.

That number again –