Midnight Vultures Take Many by Surprise

By Rob Minor
Staff Writer

The best suited word that can be used to describe the music Beck recorded on his “Midnight Vultures” album is creative, yet creative doesn‘t even begin to depict the exceptional music Beck has laid on this album.  Released in November of 1999 by Geffen records, “Midnight Vultures” is Beck’s seventh studio album.  A far cry from previous albums released by Beck, it took many fans by complete surprise.  It is difficult to classify this album into one genre of music as it incorporates a wide variety of styles.  Many people place Beck’s work in the alternative category and some in the indie category, but with this album Beck is far beyond those two genres.  In my own personal experience, I had given up on Beck at an early age.  It was very difficult for me to believe this was the same band I had heard a few years prior, but indeed it was, and Beck went over the top with this album.  “Midnight Vultures” contains strong beats and interesting sounds strategically placed throughout the album.  The tracks on this album are very far out, placing Beck’s creativity on a separate playing field from many other musicians.  “Midnight Vultures,” which was nominated for best album at the 43rd annual Grammy Awards, is an extremely entertaining album packed with lots of energy and can be played for a variety of occasions.  Coming from a non-Beck fan, this album is truly amazing and deserves a chance from everyone.

Beck David Campbell was born in Los Angeles, CA on July 8, 1970 into an artistically inclined family.  Beck was born unto David Campbell, a conductor and string arranger, and Bibbe Hansen, a visual artist who often worked with Andy Warhol.  His maternal grandfather, Al Hansen, was also involved in the art scene and even helped to launch the career of Yoko Ono.  With an early introduction into an artistic lifestyle, Beck left his family early on and adopted his mothers last name Hansen in pursuit of his own career.  By his mid teens, Mr. Hansen had moved to New York to involve himself with the East Village anti-folk scene which began in the mid 1980’s.  Eventually Mr. Hansen returned to L.A. playing gigs at parties and bars.  Discovered by Bong Load record company owners at two of his many performances, Beck was given his first opportunity to record for a major record label, spinning tracks like “Loser” which would eventually skyrocket him to fame.
Since his musical career began, Beck has recorded and produced a variety of albums, including “Midnight Vultures.”  He is currently working on an upcoming album with singer/actress Charlotte Gainsbourg which is due to be released sometime in January.  Although it is rumored that Gainsbourg’s name will be highlighted on the front cover of the album in bold print, Beck’s influence cannot be overlooked.  The multi-talented Beck has composed the music, co-wrote the lyrics, mixed, and produced the upcoming album titled “IRM” (French for MRI).  Beck’s loyal fans and many other music buffs are highly anticipative of this album and once again expect only pure genius from Beck.