Here’s a phantom blast from the past you’ve probably never heard.
Beck’s Beside Variety Pack is a b-side and unreleased compilation from the Midnite Vultures era. Posted by one of the most detail-oriented and comprehensive music blogs there is: The Unheard Music. (Do I even need to say investigate this blog fully,…Prince Homemade Editions anyone?!….)
For me, Midnite Vultures was a fun record, but it really didn’t age that well. The white-boy
hip-hop-Prince thing was really fresh for about 4 months but quickly receded. It sounded like Beck was far too comfortable operating this ramshackle style. Don’t get me wrong, there were some very memorable moments (particularly Debra and Peaches and Cream), but overall I still stand by Beck favorites as: One Foot in the Grave, Mutations, and Sea Change. Beck is a very talented guy, but I think he does his best work outside his comfort zone (don’t even get me started on his awesome record club thing, Yanni, INXS?!?)
But what about this? Well, it’s definitely rooted in the same electro-funk stew as Midnite
Vultures, but varies a wee bit more. Unheard Music has a great track-by-track breakdown that is required reading for this assembled concoction. Basically if you even have a passing interest in Beck (pre 2005), this is a must……