Friday, August 28, 2009

Beck & Record Club - "The Velvet Underground & Nico" (2009)

Here's another one from the interwebs, specifically beck.com. As he relates there, a bunch of friends and him got together in the studio for a day to record a "classic" album in it's entirety. The choice was this or "Sex Packets". I think you will agree they made the right choice even before you've heard it. They dubbed themselves Record Club (I have listed them as "Beck & Record Club" - a: to keep this organized with Beck in my iTunes and b: cos it sounds nice with the "Velvet Underground & Nico").
The songs were posted as videos, one a week over an eleven week period. You can go there and watch them all now.
These were posted as Vimeo videos. And even though the videos themselves were charmingly old school, with cheesy pixelation effects, etc. we can be glad they were not on Youtube with their horrendous audio quality. These sound great. I captured them with Audacity mainly to play on my weekly radio program, then made 192kbps mp3s of them.

I am not a huge Beck fan, nor am I a hater. I think they have done a good job and not disgraced the original. It's mostly an acoustic-based affair. I think my favorite is Run Run Run which gets a nice arrangement with cheap keyboards, followed closely by Venus In Furs with it's eastern-sounding raga feel. In fact that vibe permeates the whole session. Waiting For the Man is a gloriously detuned jam. All Tomorrow's Parties is appropriately narcoleptic with a female Icelandic singer providing the necessary Nico-ish accent.
The only one I don't really like on this set is Heroin, which is done as a screaming punky romp courtesy the drummer. Oh well, I guess it's hard to provide the gravitas for a straight reading if you're not, um, a junkie. So why not have some fun with it? After all, I think an overabundance of reverence would have rendered this session flat and dull. Artistic freedom!

All in all, a very interesting and entertaining take on one of my (and I suspect, all of our) all-time favorite LPs.
Good on ya, Beck!

Get it HERE

Tracks:
01. Sunday Morning
02. I'm Waiting For the Man
03. Femme Fatale
04. Venus In Furs
05. Run Run Run
06. All Tomorrow's Parties
07. Heroin
08. There She Goes Again
09. I'll Be Your Mirror
10. Black Angel's Death Song
11. European Son
12. Heroin (Alt. Version)

UPDATE 9/07/09:
There's a new track, an alt. version of Heroin. More of a standard reading than the earlier version I poo-pooed above. Beck takes the vocal on this one. Funny thing is, I've grown to like the other one. Oh well, I'm an idiot, what can I say?

The link above now contains all 12 tracks. If you've already gotten the 11 song version, you can get the individual track HERE.

6 comments:

ALTCERF said...

Very interesting..Can't wait to listen to this

Wildean said...

Hey !
Thank you for this one.

I'm excited about the next Record Club project too. The first song from that collaboration sounds pretty fine.

garychching said...

Hi thanks for finding this, I really like it. Always liked VU and strangely I dug out Becks first album not long ago and its one of my most played now (when I bought it years ago I thought it was overrated)

Any plans to rip the Choen sessions?

Peter said...

Working on it...

garychching said...

Good man

NomineDetracto said...

i listened to this on Beck's site and was trying to figure out a way to rip it, now i don't have to. thanks!