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Beck Recruits Thurston Moore for Yanni Cover Album

Unlikely pick inspired by TV special that "played repeatedly on PBS through the mid-'90s"

July 1, 2010 3:35 PM ET

After taking on Skip Spence's Oar and INXS' Kick, Beck's Record Club — a loose collection of musicians dedicated to recording a covers album in a single day with no rehearsal — is tackling its most surprising choice yet: Yanni's 1994 new age epic Live at the Acropolis. (Check out first track "Santorini" on Beck's website.) Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Tortoise guest on the cover disc, which was recorded at Los Angeles' Sunset Sound Studios on June 13th.

A post on Beck's site explains how the unlikely album came to his attention: he caught a TV special of the show that "was played repeatedly on PBS through the mid-'90s." Moore improvised lyrics for "Santorini," which was an instrumental, giving the track "an added urgency and pathos." Beck and Moore's "Santorini," which vocally could pass for a Sonic Youth song if not for the gleeful "contemporary instrumental" music in the background, also cuts a full four minutes off of Yanni's original version.

This isn't the first time Beck and Sonic Youth have collaborated: For last year's Record Store Day, the two former DGC artists split a 7" on which Beck covered Evol's "Green Light" and Sonic Youth performed Mellow Gold's "Pay No Mind." Beck is also rumored to have recorded a full acoustic version of Sonic Youth's Evol.

As Rolling Stone Beck has reinterpreted Velvet Underground and Niko and Songs of Leonard Cohen with Devendra Banhart and MGMT, Oar with Wilco and Feist and Kick with St. Vincent and Liars.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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