A Sea of Heroes, Part 4: Beck – Gamma Ray

 

   I’ve followed Beck since ’Loser’, some times more closely than other times. But what I find so remarkable about him – as many others do as well – is the journey he’s taken and all the while keeping so prolific. Added to that he’s been a huge inspiration to me in my own album project when it came time for me to decide to either not do it at all or to do it on my own. He was one of the main artists to encourage me to just try and play every instrument myself on the record. So after a bit of getting used to the idea, I decided to do it. Thanks Beck! 

    Now as ’Mutations’ is one of my favourite records of all time I’d initially decided to cover my favourite song off that record ’Nobody’s Fault But My Own’. But then I found this marvelous live version of it that he’d done himself and immediately knew the world didn’t need my version on top of that. Adding to that I was aware of the fact that the songs I was considering for ’A Sea of Heroes’ were starting to pile high on the slower ballady side. I mean, for myself I could do hours and hours of slow, airy and moody covers, but I guess most people lose interest after about 15 minutes in that sort of thing. So I settled on doing another style that Beck does so well: a quirky uptempo number that sounds so easy but for some reason nobody else is able to do quite like Mr. Hansen. 

    Anyway, my favourite record for those uptempo and quirky numbers is my second most listened to Beck album, ’Modern Guilt’. So when I decided against ’Nobody’s Fault But My Own’ I immediately started humming the guitar riff to ’Gamma Ray’ and figured it out on the guitar. Still haven’t listened back to the original version so I’m not sure f.ex. if the original’s actually in E like I play it with my ”brothers”. Also didn’t have a clue what happened in the song after the second chorus. I just had the lyrics infront of me and remembered that there was some part between the second and the last chorus but couldn’t remember for the life of me what it was. So sticking to true ’A Sea of Heroes’ dogma I didn’t listen back to the original and instead went with something spontaneous I’d played after the second chorus. And yeah, there’s also a nod to the Foo Fighters’ ’Learn to Fly’ in there. The Foos are definitely a band that have been a huge influence on me, and if The Fisherman & The Sea was the only band I had they’d definitely have been part of ’A Sea of Heroes’, but actually they’re more of an influence on other stuff I’ll someday hopefully get to share with you, so I left them out this time. 

    I hope you enjoy ”our” take on this Beck song. It’s certainly a whole lot of fun to do and it’s a nice kick in the butt at this point of our cover series. Here’s to kicking it up a notch! 

    Have a nice weekend everybody, 

    Jon

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