Beck's 'Loser' at 30 : All Songs Considered Nothing on mainstream radio sounded like Beck's "Loser" when it dropped in 1994. Thirty years later, we explain why, look at its impact on the rise of slacker rock and how we still hear it today.

With KEXP's Cheryl Waters, NPR's Stephen Thompson and host Robin Hilton.

Beck tracks featured in this episode:
From 'Mellow Gold':
"Loser"
"Truck Driving Neighbor Downstairs (Yellow Sweat)"
"Beercan"
"Black Hole"
From 'Stereopathetic Soulmanure':
"Satan Gave Me A Taco"
"Rowboat"
From 'One Foot in the Grave':
"One Foot in the Grave"
Also featured:
Basehead: "Brand New Day" from 'Play with Toys'
Ween: "Push Th' Little Daisies" from 'Pure Guava'
King Missile: "Detachable Penis" from 'Happy Hour'
Pussy Galore: "Brick" from 'Sugars*** Sharp'
The Lemonheads: "Half The Time" from 'Lovey'
Guided By Voices: "#2 in the Model Home Series" from 'Vampire on Titus'
Sebadoh: "Soul and Fire" from 'Bubble & Scrape'
Pavement: "Cut Your Hair" from 'Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain'
Alex G: "Runner" from 'God Save the Animals'
Courtney Barnett: "History Eraser" from 'The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas'
Frankie Cosmos: "Apathy" from 'Vessel'
Beck: "F**** With My Head (Mountain Dew Rock)" from 'Mellow Gold'

Beck's 'Loser' at 30 and the golden age of slacker rock

Beck's 'Loser' at 30 and the golden age of slacker rock

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Beck as seen in his 1994 video for the song "Loser." Youtube screen grab by NPR hide caption

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Youtube screen grab by NPR

When Beck's "Loser" dropped in March of 1994, nothing on mainstream radio sounded like it. While the seeds of slacker rock had already been planted by bands like Pavement and Guided By Voices, Beck's wildly infectious mix of DIY hip-hop and ramshackle folk, with seemingly nonsensical lyrics, upended an entire industry. On this episode of All Songs Considered, KEXP's Cheryl Waters joins NPR's Stephen Thompson and host Robin Hilton to look back at 30 years of "Loser," its impact on the rise of slacker rock and how we're still hearing its legacy today.

Beck tracks featured in this episode:

From Mellow Gold:

  • "Loser"
  • "Truckdrivin Neighbors Downstairs (Yellow Sweat)"
  • "Beercan"
  • "Blackhole"

From Stereopathetic Soulmanure:

  • "Satan Gave Me A Taco"
  • "Rowboat"

From One Foot In The Grave:

  • "One Foot In The Grave"

Also featured:

  • Basehead: "Brand New Day" from Play with Toys
  • Ween: "Push th' Little Daisies" from Pure Guava
  • King Missile: "Detachable Penis" from Happy Hour
  • Pussy Galore: "Brick" from Sugars*** Sharp
  • The Lemonheads: "Half the Time" from Lovey
  • Guided by Voices: "#2 in the Model Home Series" from Vampire on Titus
  • Sebadoh: "Soul and Fire" from Bubble & Scrape
  • Pavement: "Cut Your Hair" from Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
  • Alex G: "Runner" from God Save the Animals
  • Courtney Barnett: "History Eraser" from The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
  • Frankie Cosmos: "Apathy" from Vessel
  • Beck: "F**** With My Head (Mountain Dew Rock)" from Mellow Gold