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Loser by Beck
Album: Mellow GoldReleased: 1994Charted:
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."