To cut to the chase, my generation firmly places our experience with singles into the visual media of music videos. I was a year old when MTV premiered, and I can't say that I remember a time when it's original manifesto wasn't there. Pre-reality TV overload, it was as important to me and my friends as the radio or the albums, for that matter. It was the truest form of immersion in a song, and it's hard to think of many of the classics of those times without visualizing the promotional film that came with them. Over the years, we could gradually watch an artist grow through their videos. I think that's what I'm trying to do in creating this new series: create a video biography, like those VHS and DVD collections us music geeks used to salivate over. Thanks to youtube, most artist's entire collections are only a few clicks away.
I'll start us off with a man who has never seen videos as simply a marketing ploy. Since the beginning of his career Beck Hansen has used the art form to showcase where he is on a certain album. The videos from an individual disc, like his latest (Modern Guilt), also match up visually, and seem one of the same project. Hell, on The Information album, he released a DVD featuring a homemade clip for every song along with the CD. This is clearly a man with a love and respect for the art of putting moving images to music. With the exception of a few tracks (which I will include at the bottom of this post), you can now watch his complete oeuvre in one, concise embedded two hour and 51 minute video...ENJOY!
Here's the missing pieces not available on youtube:
Odelay's Them-sampling "Jack-Ass"
Sea Change's gorgeous "Guess I'm Doing Fine", directed by Spike Jonze, no less!
Beck - Guess I'm Doing Fineby mellow1_nate2