Album: Mellow Gold
Year: 1994 (album re-release)
Don't front like "Loser" wasn't your introduction to Beck.
Originally released as a 12" single in 1993, "Loser" was re-released on Beck's third album, Mellow Gold, after becoming popular on alternative rock radio, and to this day remains his most widely known song. It's incredible, when you think about it, that a weird mish-mash of folk, slacker rock, and hip-hop with surreal, semi-mumbled lyrics and a chorus of "I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?" ever got popular, let alone reached No. 10 on the Billboard charts. But it did, and that is a testament to the skill of Beck and producer Carl Stephenson.
Stephenson's sitar playing and the drum track (sampled from a cover of Dr. John's "I Walk on Gilded Splinters") helps the song be so memorable, but most credit must go to Beck for managing to sing such a catchy chorus while sounding so thoroughly disinterested. "Loser" tapped into a growing sense of disillusionment and helplessness, but was also just damn fun to sing along to, a singular stitching together of musical odds and ends by a singular talent.