Novacane
by Beck

Songfacts®:

  • Beck explained to Rolling Stone magazine February 21, 2008, that the lyrical inspiration for this song came from the film and video director Spike Jonze. Said Beck: "Spike and I talked about doing a video together for ten years before we actually ever did one. One of our first conversations was about the movie Convoy - he was obsessed with it. He wanted to do a video where I was in a convoy, so I wrote all this truckers-going-into-oblivion imagery."
  • In the same Rolling Stone interview, Beck explained the 1970s styled blasts of brass on this track: "We needed to subvert the aggro posturing, so we put in disco horns."
  • Odelay was produced by the Dust Brothers, Michael Simpson and John King, known as the architects behind other memorable '90s fare like the Beastie Boys' sample-laden second album, Paul's Boutique, Hanson's smash hit "MMMbop," and the score to David Fincher's acclaimed Fight Club.

    For "Novacane," the duo wanted to capture the frenetic, rock star energy of the otherwise calm Beck. Simpson told MusicRadar: "It's interesting, when you become friends with Beck and you're working with him in the studio he's such a mild-mannered, super mellow, very gentle guy. But when he gets on stage he has these explosive qualities like Mick Jagger and punk rock, you know?

    On 'Novacane' we just tried to harness some of that energy and capture it on record. It's interesting, on a lot of other projects we'd want to push to go crazy to get really weird unexpected things on record, and a lot of artists just don't want to go that far. Other times other artists would have to rein us in and go, 'Yeah I like the way that sounds, but I don't know if it's right for the record.'

    With Beck it was like you couldn't throw something too crazy at him. He'd push us. He was like, 'What can we do to this song to make it more f--ked up?' and I feel like we achieved it on 'Novacane.'"
  • This was used on the TV show Roswell in the 1999 episode "Missing."

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