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Loser

by

Beck



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

The chorus of "Soy un perdedor" is Spanish for "I'm a loser."
Beck got the idea for this song from his friend who always called him "Loser." Beck decided to write it into a chorus of a song as a joke. He didn't think anything would ever come of it.
Beck recorded this in 1993 after the owner of Bongload Records spotted him in Los Angeles and offered him some studio time. Beck was broke at the time and playing local coffeehouses to make a living.
Alternative and college radio stations in the Los Angeles area started playing this, which prompted Geffen Records to sign Beck. They rerecorded it in 1994 and released it as his first single on the label.
This created an image for Beck as strange slacker who went against the establishment.
The sample of "I'm a driver. I'm a winner. Things are gonna change soon, I can feel it." is from the film Kill the Moonlight. Beck is on the soundtrack, and the director Steve Hanft is an old friend of Beck's. He in turn directed the video for "Loser." (thanks, Joel - Chicago, IL)
In the music video, the thing object blurred out on Beck's head is a Star Wars mask. (thanks, Tara - Coquitlam)
This song was recorded on an eight-track machine with the help of Beck's friend Tom Rothrock, who was starting a label called Bong Load. It was written and recorded in a space of six hours. Beck told Option the story of this song: "Tom had called up and said, 'Hey, I know this guy who does hip-hop beats and stuff. I said, 'Oh yeah, well sometimes I rap between songs and get people from the audience to do the beat-box thing into the mike.' So we went to this guy's house and I played him a few of my folk songs. He seemed pretty all-around unimpressed. Then I started playing this slide guitar part and he started taping it. He put a drum track to it and it was, you know, the 'Loser' riff. I started writing these lyrics to the verse part. When he played it back, I thought, 'Man, I'm the worst rapper in the world – I'm just a loser.' So I started singing, 'I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me.' I'm always kinda putting myself down like that." (This interview is available at Rock's Backpages.)
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Comments (42):

I did the rap of this song in my English class for a poem.
- Madden, Seattle, WA
I do like this guy a lot, but I don't find saying that his songs are "about" something to be exactly accurate. Inspired by, yes. The borderline nonsensical lyrics make the songs so much easier to identify with. A strange sort of symmetry.
- Rob, Cleveland, OH
I think the music video to LOSER was shown in an episode of BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD on MTV back in the 90's.
- Don, B G, KY
This song is really cool. Its kinda random which makes it good
- Jacob, Elderwood , CA
this song was used in an Episode of Glee on FOX
- George, Waynesburg, KY
The inspiration for him calling himself a loser was his attempt at trying to fuse rock with rap, and discovering that he was really bad at it, and so he sings "I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me?" And the rest of the song's content floated easily as he keeps moping about how he is an outcast to society. Just like me. :-([. Like the song, though.
- Landon, Winchester, OH
Song is 10 kinds of awesome, but Beck is a scientologist freakboy.
- the internet, Floreat, Bahrain
Why haven't The Biggest Loser used this track. Seriously. I'm a winner, things are going to change, I can feel it".
- Jack, Hollywood, CA
Who cares what the facts are I got this song stuck in my head while trying to shave my legs in the dark. I then thought the lyric " so shave your face with some mace in the dark. " I got a chuckle out of it from myself and I havent been able to get the song out of my head sence then. Thank god that it was just sunday. I love this song and it makes me laugh.
- Julie, dewitt, NE
Ugh I thought this was 'songFACTS'. That part about Beck intentionally writing "Loser" into the chorus is completely untrue. It actually came about accidentally. He was frustrated while recording 'Mellow Gold' and shouted "I'm a loser so why don't you kill me." They liked it and kept it in.
- Cornflakes, BFE, TN
LOL! i lvoe this song, what used to happen to me is ppl would tell me im a loser, and i would start singing this song!
- Catrencella, Mooresboro, NC
My theme song XD
- pk, sedalia, MO
If any major pop hit from 1994 could be described as coming from left field, it would be Beck's "Loser." It's a bit like welding a killer self-deprecating chorus to Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues." In the years to come Beck would prove "Loser" was just a tiny peek at his well of creativity.
- Bertrand, Paris, France
There is a part where the chorus is recorded backwards... It is inserted from time 2:35 if you play song forward
- mikaPL, warsaw, United States
One time when he was writing a song he was trying to rap like Chuck D. of Public Enemy. But after a few tries he began singing I am a loser. He started singing that and finnally wrote some lyrics to it.
- Austin, smallsville, NE
actually it's borrowed from "hats off to roy harper" by led zeppelin
- ben, Cincinnati, OH
Beck's grandfather, Al Hansen was an artist who hung around with Warhol. Al and some friends were going in to the Factory as Valerie Solanis was coming out after shooting Warhol. Al & these few friends were first on the scene.

Beck's mother, Bebe, started acting in Warhol films when she was around 13.
- Madison, Norway, ME
The song's opening riff (actually the main riff) was ripped (pardon the pun) from Allman Brother's "Midnight Rider". Awesome result though, was a compliment really.
- Law, Singapore, Singapore
I saw Beck in concert not too long ago. He opened with Loser and everybody went nuts. It was amazing. He really knows how to have a good time when he does a concert. At one point, his percussion section played the beat to Clap Hands with their dinner utensils and it was spectacular. Beck is the man.
- Jed, Orwigsburg, PA
Beck's surname is Hansen; three years after "Loser", the fact that he looked a lot like Isaac Hanson had many people wondering if the three Hanson brothers (of "MMM-Bop" fame) were related to Beck! Silly question really coz Beck has more talent in one eyelash than those teeny-boppers will have in all their miserable career...
- Dave, Cardiff, Wales
At one time or another, I heard a rumor that the chorus lyrics were an apology along the lines of "Yes, I know this song isn't very good." ...

I could have sworn the "I'm a driver, I'm a winner" soundclip was Bush Senior. In the video, I would be interested in knowing who the cemetery cheerleaders and the little girl drummer were.
- Ekristheh, Halath, United States
Way to go Sammy from NY. I wholeheartedly concur there, chief. Beck and Henry Rollins for Prez and Vice Prez.
- Rick, McAllen, TX
well actually i think anyone could relate to this song..you know...its sortof weird but it totally puts your life right there
- Andy, Hamilton, Canada
the videos great, i beleive its budget was at $300
- Andy, Hamilton, Canada
this song is *bleeping* awsome...my brother put it on my iTunes and made me listen to it, and I loved it!!
- joey, Nowhere Land, CA
The remix to this song by Fatboy slim is one of my favourites.
- James, Whangarei
To second everyone else, Beck is awesome.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
I luv Beck!!! He is awesome:)
- Whitney, Hazelhurst, GA
This song is like the soundtrack to boredom(and my life). I love it.
- Whitney, Hazelhurst, GA
Agreed. Beck is awesome. 'My time is a piece of wax falling on a termite that's choking on the splinters.' Who comes up with that? Listen to his lyrics, people. He is still one of the best lyricists out today. Not only that, but he is also an accomplished musician who blends musical styles with ease and creativity. May he continue to make wonderful music for years to come.
- Sammy, New York, NY
That makes sense that the chorus would say that. I know a little Spanish.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
Oh, that's what the chorus says!
- Ashley, Moncton, Canada
Haha, this song is cool! I remember listening to it when I was um six or so. I was born in 1988, and the song came out in 1994, so I was probably five or six years old.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
This song was used as theme music by ECW/indy wrestler Mikey Whipwreck. Anyone familiar with Mikey knows that the little guy could take a serious beating, and the song fit him perfectly.
- Adam, Pickering, Canada
Actually "Soy un perdedor" translates to "I'm a loser."
Soy = I am Un = a Perdedor = loser

"I am the one who loses" translates to "yo soy el que pierde."

yo = I soy = am el = the one que = who
pierde = loses
- Luis, Arlington, TX
Odd that Beck became popular by singing about how uncool he was. Beck is about ten times as cool any rapper attempts to be.
- Nathan, Defiance, OH
This was Beck's only Top 40 hit.
- Axel Titus, Lake Forest, CA
the song loser I like a lot because I like the word loser and It doesn't make any sense and i dont either and beck in the music lookes like this cool kid I know called Mark I also like beck's song called E-pro even though i only understand one word
- zach, Kerrville, TX
this song TOTALLY relates to me.. the first line saying that 'in the time of chimpanzees i was a monkey' is basically saying that when one thing was in he was out... i absoultly love the lyrics in this song they're so different from any other songs out there
- Kaylene, Moore, OR
i am the one who loses = yo soy el que pierde. :)
- sylvia, dddddd, MD
Actually, the words "soy un perdedor" means "I am the one who loses" but it is close enough.
- AndrÃ?s, Baton Rouge, LA
the part that goes "i'm a driver. i'm a winner. things are goin' change, i can feel it" is not from bush's campaign but the movie "kill the moonlight" done by beck's friend (which he also did the soundtrack for)
- magoo, chicago, IL
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