When I was 15, Beck’s “Midnight Vultures” album blew my mind. There’s a bunch of great tracks on there, but “Mixed Bizness” was my ringtone in the days when you could first set mp3s as your ringtone. We used to sit out on a football pitch near my house and blow up cans of deodorant. I missed so many phone calls because it was essential to dance whenever my phone rang. I think the fact that the whole album was so focused on sex was a bit of a novelty as a teenager. It added a real element of mystery to the songs because it was hard to tell what was erotic nonsense and what were real things that I just didn’t understand. “Mixed Bizness” itself is Crash Bandicoot music and I mean that as a compliment of the highest order. It’s funky and speedy. I has loads of little fills and turn arounds. The surf guitar sound is pure gold throughout. The whole song is a general good time.
You can listen to “Mixed Bizness” by Beck here.
E-Pro was the first time I had ever heard of Beck. For some reason, I had money to spend and I was getting an album and I was evaluating my options based on highlights from one of the big summer festivals that were on TV and I saw Beck perform E-Pro. I then, and this now seems like an insane thing to do, went on iTunes and listened to the short samples of all the songs on the album that E-Pro is from, Guero, and decided that it was a sound investment. I then went and bought a physical copy of the album, probably in HMV.
E-Pro is probably a perfect big crowd song so it makes sense that I was roped in by live footage. It’s a great guitar riff and a good old na na na football chant chorus with quieter verses for the crowd to catch their breath. It also has a lot of what you expect from Beck, mad lyrics that could be deep but could be nonsense and the beat sampled from the Beastie Boys hiding in plain site.
I’m not sure if it’s my favourite Beck song, or even my favourite song on the album, but E-Pro was my introduction and I’ll always have a soft spot for it. In these Covid times, I’d give anything to see it played live again and join in the sing-a-long.
You can listen to E-Pro by Beck here.