39. Beck – “One Foot in the Grave”

I am getting quite doddery with age. I completely forgot I owned this earlier pre-major label effort from the world’s only cool Scientologist.

beck-one-foot-in-the-grave-album-coverThis is Beck as folkster – before he discovered music-making equipment beyond a guitar, some crude percussion and a microphone – and thus showcases his songwriting at its rawest, revealing an endearing sensitivity.

Beck as busker is fun. Sounding like a more relaxed (and talented) Will Oldham, he rattles off a series of short ditties, each overflowing with lyrics that are more coherent than much on Mellow Gold or even Odelay.

I am impressed and engaged. Bereft of the trickery and gimmickry of his subsequent star version, I get a stronger sense of his underlying abilities and (dare I say it?) soul.

Of course, given the choice of who to see on stage, I’d still take the much more entertaining showman option. But, if I were to stumble into a little folk club and this dude was on stage, I’d be rapt.

As an aside, this is the 19-track Aussie pressing with a weird 1 minute gap at the end of Hollow Log, which is on all accounts rare and perhaps worth gazillions. All bids welcome 🙂

File under: Lo-fi folk fun

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