Ten years ago, Beck paid his first respects to Oar – the 1969 solo album by Moby Grape singer-guitarist Alexander "Skip" Spence – by covering "Halo of Gold" on the tribute compilation, More Oar. This version of "Little Hands," Oar's opening happiness prayer, is the first installment of Beck's remake of the entire LP, with guests Wilco and Feist, for his online Record Club. Beck's vocal is an eerie double of Spence's jaunty-ghost delivery, and the arrangement stays close to Spence's original echo-laden strum and rhythmic wobble. But the warmth of Beck's performance reflects his love of Spence's final rock & roll testament. (Spence, who died in 1999, never made another album.) Stay tuned to find out how Beck wrestles with the loony "Lawrence of Euphoria" and the tribal drama of "Grey/Afro."
From The Archives Issue 1093: December 10, 2009