Got It Covered – Beck’s Record Club

Every week, we’ve been trying to feature a cover song.  Today, I want to tell you about a cover song project, one that you may have heard about when it first started, but you may not know that it’s still going strong.

Back in June of 2009, Beck announced on beck.com that he was starting a Record Club, a project where he and a group of musicians would cover one of their favorite albums in its entirety. They would then release one song at a time, along with an accompanying video, until they finished that album and moved on to the next.

Here is the Record Club description from Beck’s site:

Record Club is an informal meeting of various musicians to record an album in a day. The album chosen to be reinterpreted is used as a framework. Nothing is rehearsed or arranged ahead of time. A track is put up here once a week. The songs are rough renditions, often first takes that document what happened over the course of a day as opposed to a polished rendering. There is no intention to ‘add to’ the original work or attempt to recreate the power of the original recording. Only to play music and document what happens.

The first album that was covered by the Record Club was The Velvet Underground & Nico, and songs from the project started being posted on the site in June.  Beck recorded the album with members of his backing band, along with brother-in-law Giovanni Ribisi.


The Velvet Underground  & Nico – Sunday Morning

By September, Beck had moved on to the second album in the project.  Along with MGMT,  Devendra Barnhart, and members of Wolfmother and Little Joy, they officially announced that they had covered The Songs Of Leonard Cohen.


The Songs Of Leonard Cohen – Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye

In November, Beck started posting songs from the third album in the project, a cover of Skip Spence’s album Oar.  The project features Wilco, Feist, Jamie Lidell and James Gadson.


Skip Spence’s Oar – Little Hands

All of the songs have been released for free on Beck’s website.  Because of that, people have compiled the complete cover albums and they can now be found on various music blogs and torrent sites.

It’s hard to say how long the Record Club project will last, but it’s been great to have some new music by Beck.  I don’t know what album will be covered next, but I’ve really been enjoying it so far.

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