4 of the Best Collaborations Featuring Beck

Beck celebrated his 54th birthday on July 8, 2024. Born Bek David Campbell and later known as Beck Hansen, the eclectic, talented, and prolific singer/songwriter and producer burst onto the music scene with “Loser,” an infectious, lo-fi tune that quirkily combined hip-hop, folk-blues, and alternative rock.

Videos by American Songwriter

The song became Beck’s biggest hit, reaching No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and topping the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart in 1994.

[Buy Beck Concert Tickets]

Beck soon developed a reputation for his humorous and inventive music that combined various musical genres and made clever use of samples. Over the years, he’s won eight Grammys for his work, including Album of the Year honors in 2001 for Midnite Vultures and 2015 for Morning Phase.

Since the early part of in his career, Beck also has regularly collaborated on recordings by other artists, including lending his talents as a singer, musician, songwriter, and producer.

[RELATED: Beck Announces Orchestral Tour in 2024]

In honor of Beck’s birthday, here are four interesting songs by various artists that feature guest appearances by him:

“Flavor” – The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (1994)

Beck contributed a rap section to “Flavor,” a funky song from punk-blues band The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s fourth album, Orange. Frontman Jon Spencer read interviews with Beck in which he said he was a big fan of Spencer’s pre-Blues Explosion group Pussy Galore, and he decided to call Beck and ask him if he’d do a rap on the song.

Beck agreed, and Spencer wound up recording his part over the phone.

As Spencer recalled in a 2015 Rolling Stone article, “We got a Radio Shack suction-cup microphone, put it up to the phone and called [Beck] back and said, ‘OK, we’re just gonna play the song really loud in the control room.’ Beck freestyled and I think that’s his first take.”

At the end of the track, you can hear Beck ask Spencer if the rap was OK or if he should record a second take. Spencer responds, “You got it! You got the flavor! You got the flavor!”

“Nobody’s Fault but My Own” – Marianne Faithfull (2002)

Beck worked on three tracks with veteran British chanteuse Marianne Faithfull on her 2002 album Kissin Time. One of the songs was a version of Beck’s own “Nobody’s Fault but My Own,” a standout track from his 1998 album Mutations.

Beck produced famously raspy-voiced singer’s version of the downbeat song. The track also features contributions from guitarist Smokey Hormel and bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen, who also played on Beck’s original rendition. In addition, Jon Brion played drums and keyboards on the track.

“Academia” – Sia (2008)

Several years before Sia began scoring major hits with songs like her David Guetta collaboration “Titanium” and her own “Chandelier,” Beck lent backing vocals to two tunes on the Australian singer/songwriter’s 2008 album, Some People Have Real Problems. One of the tunes featuring Beck is a melodic indie-pop song titled “Academia.”

Beck sings low harmonies during the choruses on the song, which features Sia playfully using intellectual concepts to illustrate the complexities of romantic relationships.

Heaven Can Wait” – Charlotte Gainsbourg (2009)

Beck produced and wrote almost all of the songs on actress/singer Charlotte Gainsbourg’s third studio album, IRM, which was released in 2009.

The album’s lead single was “Heaven Can Wait,” a bouncy indie-pop tune featuring enigmatic lyrics. Beck duets with Gainsbourg on the track, and also appears in the song’s surreal music video.

Beck also played a variety of instruments on the song, including guitar, bass, piano, and percussion.

Beck’s 2024 Tour Plans

Beck recently launched a series of U.S. summer tour dates featuring him performing with orchestral accompaniment. His next concert takes place on July 10 at The Greek Theatre Berkeley in Berkeley, California. The run of shows winds down on July 30 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Beck also has several U.S. festival appearances lined up in September, and a concert in Mexico City on November 17.

Tickets for Beck’s shows are available now via various outlets, including StubHub.

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Leave a Reply

Willie Nelson Triumphantly Returns to the Stage With Spirited "Roll Me Up" Performance

Watch Willie Nelson Unleash Vintage “Roll Me Up” Performance in Highly-Anticipated Return

Vince Gill and Paul Franklin members of The Time Jumpers perform at The Music City Center Grand Opening Celebration on May 20, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Watch Vince Gill and Paul Franklin’s Tribute Performance of Buck Owens’ 1964 No. 1 Hit at the Grand Ole Opry