It's hard to believe Beck is just 45 years old, because it seems like he's been around forever. When he burst on to the music scene in 1994, we were all just young pups. Now we're pushing 50, but that doesn't mean we can't still go on and on about how awesome Beck is, even now.
The multi-instrumentalist rocker has released 12 studio albums and 44 singles now over his career, and he probably won't slow down any time soon. We were fortunate enough to meet him at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland last year and then watch him perform at the Induction Ceremony as well.
Beck was in his element there, to be sure. He had a great appreciation for the artifacts and displays in the Rock Hall Museum, and we hope to see him inducted someday for his experimentation and influence upon the industry.
In the meantime, here are his 10 best songs ... so far. Enjoy!
10. "Dreams": A snappy track, it makes us smile every time we hear it. But we don't forget it's still Beck. It's clean and fresh, and it went to No. 2 on the U.S. Alternative chart in 2015. We like to dance to it, and that's a key factor when we decided on some songs for this list.
9. "Girl": Yes, he likes electronica, and this track's beginning really emphasizes that. But Beck has always been brilliant at mixing genres in his compositions most effectively and most entertainingly. This is from 2005's Guero album, which also spawned two other songs on our list (No. 5 and No. 2 below). This song is a clapping-hands number that also makes us want to find our own "girl".
8. "Gamma Ray": One of the more recent songs on our list, it does highlight a certain acoustic direction Beck has merged into his songwriting over the last decade. Again, his ability to mix different styles together is really fun and really underrated as a talent. We all have different influences, and Beck does very good work making sure all his work together at once in the same song. This 2008 track is no exception.
7. "New Pollution": After one of the more random intros in his catalog, a typical Beck song breaks out and relaxes us. Odelay was really the album where Beck began to reveal his true greatness. He wasn't just a one-hit wonder; he could actually deliver good music consistently. Note the horns here and on the other two songs from this album to make our list below (No. 6 and No. 1).
6. "Devils Haircut": A lyrical mystery, this 1996 song spins words like some other Beck songs without the overall obviousness, however. The track mixes jazz with typical Beck beats and rhythms to create a smooth, enjoyable pop tune everyone can enjoy.
5. "E-Pro": We wanted to put this fun 2005 single a bit higher, but it was hard to do so. After all, at this point, it's just about personal preference. But we really love this song's beats and harmonies. We can dance to it all day, and sometimes that's all that matters. This was a No. 1 song on the U.S. Alternative, by the way, and deservedly so.
4. "Blue Moon": Just an amazingly beautiful song, it's a track you may never expect from Beck. But it works in a harmonious, floating-melody way that takes the audience somewhere else. That's power in song, right there, that ability to transport. Released in 2014, it only went to No. 31 on the alternative charts here in America.
3. "Loser": Who didn't wander around in 1994 singing this song out loud? The lyrics are just a puzzling, stream of consciousness that inspire laughter: "Get crazy with the Cheese Whiz!" One of the last culturally resonant songs before the Internet age, we can never forget this track. Ever. It's part of us, really.
2. "Hell Yes": What makes Beck fun is the mixing of different sounds and effects to create music unlike anything you hear on the radio. Thus, this 2005 fits the bill. Don't forget the fun remix for this song, too ("Ghettochip Malfunction"). It is a must-have track for your MP3 player, and it's actually better than the original track—an extension of the brilliance promised by the No. 1 song on this list, almost a decade later.
1. "Where It's At": The organ hook always takes us back to a great place. This is where Beck's maturity and sophistication finally caught up with his raw talent, back in 1996, believe it or not. This is a smooth, jazzy expression of being a DJ, and it makes us all feel like we could turn two tables with a microphone. The organ work alone is priceless.
Our No. 10 pick above allegedly is going to be a part of Beck's next studio album release, so keep following all the latest news and information on Beck here at AXS. You don't want to miss a thing!