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

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 still hear its legacy today.


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"

Other featured tracks

  • Basehead: "Brand New Day" from Play With Toys
  • Ween: "Push Th' Little Daisies" from Pure Guava
  • King Missile: "Detachable Penis" from Happy HourPussy 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 And 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