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Beck Biography


Home > Music > B > Beck > Biography


Birth Name: Bek David Campbell
Born: 1970/07/08
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, United States
Years Active: 1988–present
Genres: Alternative Rock, Antifolk


Beck Hansen (born Bek David Campbell; July 8, 1970) is an American musician, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, known by the stage name Beck. With a pop art collage of musical styles, oblique and ironic lyrics, and postmodern arrangements incorporating samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and sound effects, Beck has been hailed by critics and the public throughout his musical career as being amongst the most creative and idiosyncratic musicians of 1990s and 2000s alternative rock.

He first earned wider public attention for his breakthrough single “Loser,” a 1994 hit from the album “Mellow Gold,” which peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. “Mellow Gold” reached #13 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and was later certified platinum.

Beck followed with “One Foot in the Grave” which was actually recorded prior to “Mellow Gold” but not released until after that album met with critical and commercial success.

In 1996 he released “Odelay” which featured several hit singles, including “Where It's At,” “Devils Haircut” and “The New Pollution.” The album peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200 chart and eventually sold over 2 million copies in the United States and has since gone 2× platinum.

“Mutations” was released in 1998 and peaked at #13 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album at the 42nd Awards in 2000.

Beck released “Midnight Vultures” in 1999 and was nominated in 2001 for Album of the Year at the 43rd Grammy Awards. The album reached #34 on the Billboard 200 and went gold.

After the breakup with his long-term girlfriend Beck recorded 2002’s “Sea Change” where much of Beck's trademark recondite, ironic lyrics were replaced by more sincere, simpler lyrical content. “Sea Change” peaked at #8 on the Billboard 200 chart and was eventually certified gold in March 2005.

“Guero,” released in 2005, debuted on the Billboard 200 at #2 and later was certified gold. To date, this is Beck's highest charting album.

In 2006 “The Information” was released and reached #7 on the Billboard 200 giving Beck his third straight Top 10 studio album. It also reached #3 on the Rock Albums chart and #7 on the Digital Albums chart.

“Modern Guilt,” was released in 2008 and reached #4 on Billboard 200 while also reaching #2 on the Rock Albums and Alternative Albums charts and #4 on the Digital Albums chart.

In 2009, Beck announced that he was starting an experiment called Record Club, in which he and other musicians would record cover versions of entire albums in one day. Albums covered by Beck's Record Club include The Velvet Underground’s “The Velvet Underground & Nico,” Leonard Cohen’s “Songs of Leonard Cohen,” Skip Spence's “Oar,” INXS’ “Kick” and Yanni’s “Yanni Live at the Acropolis.”