Beck - Song Reader Covers CD

As previously speculated, Beck is finally releasing an official version of his 2012 sheet music album Song Reader at the end of the month. Beck will only be performing one song (“Heaven’s Ladder”) himself and the rest of the songs will be interpreted by other artists, including Jack White, Jarvis Cocker, Fun., father/son team Tweedy, Laura Marling, Eleanor Friedberger, and even Jack Black. Here’s what Beck has to say about the Randall Poster-produced compilation:

“Like a kid getting a special package in the mail and opening it up with anticipation, these interpretations of songs from the Song Reader book have surpassed what I could have imagined when putting the book together. The book addressed the idea of a song in its most elemental form, letting others give it a voice. It amazes me to hear how these musicians have made the songs their own and in the process revealed that the interpretation is the living breathing soul of the piece. These interpretations have made the book something new— something better.”

This announcement comes on Beck’s birthday so … happy birthday, Beck! Check out the whole tracklist below.

Song Reader tracklist:
01. Moses Sumney – “Title of This Song”
02. Fun. – “Please Leave A Light On When You Go”
03. Tweedy – “The Wolf Is On The Hill”
04. Norah Jones – “Just Noise”
05. Lord Huron – “Last Night You Were A Dream”
06. Bob Forrest – “Saint Dude”
07. Jack White – “I’m Down”
08. Beck – “Heaven’s Ladder”
09. Juanes – “Don’t Act Like Your Heart Isn’t Hard”
10. Laura Marling – “Sorry”
11. Jarvis Cocker – “Eyes That Say ’I Love You’”
12. David Johansen – “Rough On Rats”
13. Jason Isbell – “Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings”
14. The Last Polka – “Marc Ribot”
15. Eleanor Friedberger – “Old Shanghai”
16. Sparks – “Why Did You Make Me Care?”
17. Swamp Dogg – “America, Here’s My Boy”
18. Jack Black – “We All Wear Cloaks”
19. Loudon Wainwright III – “Do We? We Do”
20. Gabriel Kahane with Ymusic – “Mutilation Rag”

The album will be released on 7/29 by Capitol Records and, weirdly enough, glasses manufacturer Warby Parker, who previously released a pair of Beck frames. Warby Parker and artists’ proceeds from sales will go to 826 National.

Comments (17)
  1. This is exactly what I was hoping for from this album. Although I do more of the various interpretations would have been from no-name artists. Seems like Beck probably picked the biggest artists, and not his favorite versions. But I don’t know, maybe these ARE his favorite versions.

  2. Juanes?! That’s an inspired choice. I remember listing to his music in high school Spanish class.

  3. Oh no, why is Fun. in the tracklist ?
    The line-up was almost perfect :(

  4. Ahh dammit. I remember hearing that Ledisi performed at one of the concerts and I was hoping she’d sing on the record. Still looks pretty good though. Fingers crossed.

  5. The prospect of Fun. doing ‘Please Leave a Light On When You Go’ is exactly why I’m against this album. It’s a nice little number, one of the few songs I figured out how to play, I’m not excited about Fun. getting the ‘official’ version. Oh well. You know what would be great, to keep in the spirit of the original project is to release a second album of different performers.

  6. I would’ve preferred it if he used fan versions, instead of just famous people, I thought that was meant to be the point of song reader, not recording the songs so anyone could interpret them and put them up somewhere…

  7. Sparks and, of course, Beck are the only names on this thing that have my attention.

  8. Is there anything more predictable than Norah Jones on this thing? Actually, the only thing surprising about this thing is that it’s not being released by Starbucks.

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