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Beck is an American musician who topped the charts in 1993 with the hit single "Loser." Known for fusing folk, rap and hip-hop, his albums include Mellow Gold, Odelay and Morning Phase.
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Born into an artistic, Scientologist family in Los Angeles, California, in 1970, Beck began playing music in local coffeehouses around 1990, and has been astounding and delighting critics with his unique output ever since. Beck released his first hit single, "Loser," from his debut album, Golden Feelings, in 1993. The following year, he released his third studio album, Mellow Gold, which was a hit. Later albums include Odelay (1996),
"I think you have to keep a childlike quality to play music or make a record."
"I think trying to be offbeat is the most boring thing possible."
"I think my whole generation's mission is to kill the cliche."
Guero (2005) and Morning Phase (2014). Beck's music has been deemed a witty fusion of rock, folk, rap and hip-hop.
Beck was born Beck David Campbell on July 8, 1970, in Los Angeles, California, into an artistic, Scientologist family. His father was a conductor and string arranger, and his mother was an ex-Warholian actress. His grandfather, Alfred Earl "Al" Hansen, was a key Fluxus artist.
After dropping out of school when he was in the 10th grade, Beck began playing acoustic blues and folk music in local coffeehouses and as a street busker in the early 1990s. He also dabbled in poetry slams during this time.
After trying to make it in New York, Beck was discovered in 1991 by the independent lable Bong Load Custom Records, and while working with representatives from the label, he was persuaded to work hip-hop beats into his rock music. Recording with Karl Stephenson and Calvin Johnson, he released the single "MTV Makes Me Want To Smoke Crack" in 1992.
Beck followed this with "Loser," a 12-inch single, from his debut album, Golden Feelings (1993). The song instantly became a local radio hit. It was so popular, in fact, that Bong Load had trouble printing enough copies to meet the demand.
Signing to Geffen Records on a non-exclusive basis, Beck continued to release independently, with both his first EP, A Western Harvest Field By Moonlight, and second studio album, Stereopathetic Soulmanure, dropping in 1994. That same year, "Loser" was released nationally, becoming a generational anthem, and Beck released his Geffen debut and third studio album, Mellow Gold, which went platinum. Before the year's end, he released One Foot in the Grave (1994), his fourth studio project, on the independent label K Records. Stereopathetic Soul Manure and One Foot in the Grave saw Beck switch between lo-fi noise and acoustic folk. In 1995, the artist embarked upon his first major tour.
Beck went on to release Odelay, made with Grammy Award-winning producers the Dust Brothers, in 1996 to massive acclaim. The album, which included such hits as "Where It's At," "Devil's Haircut," "Jack-Ass" and "The New Pollution," garnered two Grammy Awards for the performer in 1997—for best male rock vocal performance ("Where It's At") and best alternative music album (Odelay was also nominated for album of the year).
Beck's mellow follow-up, Mutations (1998), disappointed some and his next, Midnite Vultures (1999), divided opinion with its Prince-style party funk.
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