Morning Phase, the gorgeous bum-out of an album that Beck released earlier this year, was the first album he’d recorded in six years, but it’s not the first one he wrote. In 2012, Beck published Song Reader, a sheet music “album.” The idea was that Beck had written the songs, but other people would decide how they sounded, playing and maybe even recording their own versions. For a long time, Beck refused to sing any of its songs in public. Eventually, he relented, throwing a couple of grand Song Reader events, with famous people helping him bring the songs to live. (We posted video of him playing with Jarvis Cocker and Franz Ferdinand in London, and with Jenny Lewis and Anne Hathaway in L.A.) More recently, Beck has talked about the idea of putting some versions of his Song Reader songs on a record, and now it looks like that’ll happen. As Future Heart points out, there’s a Song Reader album up for pre-order on Amazon, and it has a release date listed: 7/29, via Capitol. We don’t know what form it will take, or even if it’s real, but it’s an encouraging sign. And given that there’s still talk of Beck releasing another, funkier album this fall, 2014 looks to be a huge year for him.
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