Beck Is In the Studio, Recording 'Midnite Vultures'

The new disc is downright scandalous

October 14, 1999
Beck, Rolling Stone, Magazine, Beck Hansen, guitar, loser, 90s, rock
Beck Hansen during an interview at the MTV Times Square studio on November 3rd, 2013 in New York City.
Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect/Getty

Beck is back, and he wants to sex you up. "This album is sex-capades in the biosphere," says Beck Hansen of his new Midnite Vultures. "A lot of music was inspired by the R&B world. People like Silk." He begins to sing: "I wanna lick you up and down, make you real hot." Ooh, baby. The disc is full of salacious talk and even more salacious grooves. Recorded with the touring band that brought Odelay to the stage, parts of the album sound like slow-grinding R. Kelly, parts like space-age country soul and all of it like Parliament Beckadelic.

The eleven-song disc, recorded at Beck's home studio in Silver Lake, was a year in the making. "I tried to start the record before [1998's] Mutations," he says, "but the computer destroyed one of the songs, so I took that as a sign." Guests include Beth Orton, who sings backup on the countryish "Beautiful Way," and ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. "I had him do a Lynyrd Skynyrd guitar lead on 'Milk and Honey,'" Beck says. "It was fairly surreal watching Johnny Marr play Skynyrd riffs. I don't think he was too enthused, but he said he would do it, but only for me."

This story is from the October 14th, 1999 issue of Rolling Stone.

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