From the massive success of his very first single, the slacker-anthem Loser
in 1994, to the release of albums such as Mutations
and Midnite Vultures
, Beck has consistently produced some of the most inventive and influential music of recent years. Despite significant critical and commercial success, however, little is known of the man himself. Rob Jovanovic's beautifully presented book seeks to rectify this omission.
In attempting to "closely examine the man behind the music", Jovanovic's chief obstacle has been his lack of access to Beck himself, this determining that the majority of the information given is well-arranged but essentially second-hand extracts from past media pieces. However, while the results of such cut-and-paste biographies are often disappointing, the combination of Beck's often inspired responses to standard music journalist's questions(such as his description of his debut album as "a satanic K-Tel record that's been found in a trash dumpster") and the attention to detail displayed throughout ensure an interesting, often amusing read. Details are given of every song Beck has recorded, along with analyses of his artwork, videos and TV performances, all accompanied by illuminating though brief interviews with fellow musicians and producers.
Ultimately, it could be said that Beck's music may well be deserving of amore incisive investigation, of the kind Ian MacDonald's Revolution in the Head afforded the Beatles. In the meantime, though, Jovanovic's book provides an excellent overview of a fine artist. --Steve Price
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.