Beck - Song Reader

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.

Comments (5)
  1. I hope he invited Portland Cello Project to play on he record. Their take on the Song Reader project is great.

  2. While I would like to hear his recordings, I can’t help but kinda wish he’d keep the song reader as it is and preserve it’s ‘integrity’.

  3. yep! apparently his dad’s organizing it (from a recent interview: ) :

    “It’s Beck that inspired Campbell to finally get around to recording his own album, based on his son’s Song Reader sheet music project.

    ‘We did a concert of Beck’s music back in November called Song Reader with the L.A. Philharmonic,’ says Campbell. ‘We had Childish Gambino and Jarvis Cocker and a bunch of actors — Jack Black, Anne Hathaway and John C. Reilly — who sang songs from the book.

    ‘The orchestra was the band, which was a new thing for all the performers. It was really beautiful, so I’ve recorded these arrangements and we’re in the process of making an album of it. There was way too much work to confine it to 2,000 people in a concert hall.’”

  4. Here’s my version of the Song Reader, including the first ‘fan recorded’ version of Do We? We Do that Beck himself called “great”. Enjoy!

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