On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Beck – Loser (1993)
” Loser” is a song by American musician Beck. It was written by Beck and record producer Carl Stephenson, who both produced the song with Tom Rothrock. “Loser” was initially released as Beck’s second single by independent record label Bong Load Custom Records on 12″ vinyl format with catalogue number BL5 on March 8, 1993.
We’re leaving Spain today, dear reader, and making our way back to the US and to California. Beck began pursuing a career in music in the mid-1980s but it was a struggle, working low paid jobs, snatching small gigs in coffee shops and looking wherever he could for a break. When we join Beck in 1993 he is still searching for success but the limelight is not far away as he has a new song by the name of Loser.
Loser is considered to be a typical track about a down on his luck guy who is drifting through life. Many of the lyrics here are nonsensical with Beck referring to everything from chimpanzees and trailer parks to cocaine nose jobs and termites. It is certainly a song you could sit down and analyse line by line and have long debates into the night about what it all means. In the chorus, Beck sings about being the loser of the title and insists that someone really should kill him. Hopefully, there are no takers. Beck seems a nice enough young man.
Beck would finally achieve the long pursued success he had dreamed of with Loser. A big hit in the US and across the globe, it is now regarded as one of the great tracks of the 1990s. Beck has blended a range of genres in his experimental approach including folk, rock, hip hop and psychedelia. He continues to perform to this day but it is here at the beginning with Loser that he is best remembered.
Favourite songs so far: