Beck's New Album To Be Released As Unrecorded Sheet Music

Beck is set to release his brand new album "Song Reader" in the form of 20 individual pieces of sheet music.

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Beck is set to release his brand new album in the form of individual pieces of sheet music.

"Song Reader" will be put out by publishers Faber and Faber in December, and will consist of the notation for 20 unrecorded and unreleased songs.

The sheet music will come with full colour art works for each song as well as a hardcover carrying case. Two of the 20 songs are instrumentals. The "album" features the tracks "Do We? We Do" and "Don't Act Like Your Heart Isn't Hard". The idea behind the release is for fans to play the songs and "bring them to life" themselves.

"Song Reader" is made up of 108 pages, featuring 20 individual song booklets. The illustrations come courtesy of Marcel Dzama, Leanne Shapton, Josh Cochran, Jessica Hische and more.

Of "Song Reader", Faber and Faber's Publishing Director, Lee Brackstone said: "Beck is one of the great maverick pop stars of this, or any age, and as soon as I saw "Song Reader" the relevance of the concept struck me. It is thrilling to welcome Beck onto a music list at Faber that is already home to Julian Cope, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Jarvis Cocker, Nicky Wire and others. "Song Reader" makes a radical statement about the value and importance of performed and recorded music at a time when these very things are under threat."

Beck's last, more traditional album release was 2008's "Modern Guilt".

Thanks to NME for the report.

37 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Agent 00Awesome
    This is a pretty interesting idea. He should release a tab book too for us losers who can't read sheet music, haha.
    milanio
    I like it, Beck is wonderful and he's now inspiring more people to become musical artists, to learn an instrument or to read music. Beck forever
    travislausch
    But if he does this, he should hold some kind of contest for fans to record their interpretations of it, and release the one that's closest to his own. That'd be kinda neat.
    joe4020
    Too bad that people with no musical knowledge and skill OR people who don't have equipment to record themselves playing will have no chance of hearing his new album... That is why it is Genius. It might inspire kids to pick an instrument and become musicians.
    ns9977a
    But if he does this, he should hold some kind of contest for fans to record their interpretations of it, and release the one that's closest to his own. That'd be kinda neat.
    On that note, anyone in the NYC area want to put together a recording of this when it comes out?
    TheNameOfNoone
    Too bad that people with no musical knowledge and skill OR people who don't have equipment to record themselves playing will have no chance of hearing his new album...
    carlosferrao
    Good for him. I expect within a week for the whole album to be covered on YT by musicians anyway.
    13thorderbass
    Just2Rusty wrote: goremetal22 wrote: Who the hell is going to go out and buy instruments and equipment with the intent of listening to the new Beck album? Who really wants to hear new Beck material that badly? I bet this "new record" sells under 5,000 copies You are very ignorant.
    What makes him ignorant? I think he's right. I think this is kind of a stupid idea but everyone has their own opinion.
    jrodgers
    This is either gonna be the coolest thing ever, or the dumbest thing ever. Either way, its a fascinating idea. I'd really have to see the music itself to judge #1. How accesible is it?, What level of musician is it geared towards? #2. What all instrumentation is included? Does it have every snare and rim shot mapped out?, or is it left more sparse and open to interpretation? If this does ends up being good stuff, I can't wait to see the youtube cult thats gonna surface of people posting their own versions
    zeroceid
    It's not a record then, If a film came out on paper,it would be a script! If you ordered a pizza and you were given the ingredients, it would be ingredients! If you bought a toaster and were given electrical parts, it would be electrical parts! So an album on paper is a music book. Nothing creative about releasing a music book, its just belittling and sidelining non-musical fans. Im all for creative ideas like releasing an album a song at a time (Smashing Pumpkins), an awesome peice of cover art (Tool), a book to accompany it (Coheed & Cambria), one long song split into parts (Porcupine Tree) or even just for free over the internet (Nine Inch Nails), etc, but this is beyond ridiculous.
    nailsarecruel
    TheNameOfNoone wrote: Too bad that people with no musical knowledge and skill OR people who don't have equipment to record themselves playing will have no chance of hearing his new album...
    That's why you wait a few months then check Youtube. A short time after that, check UG tabs.Problem solved. I can't read sheet music either btw.
    PGilbert
    joe4020 wrote: Too bad that people with no musical knowledge and skill OR people who don't have equipment to record themselves playing will have no chance of hearing his new album... That is why it is Genius. It might inspire kids to pick an instrument and become musicians.
    It's Beck. Not the Beatles. Don't kid yourself.
    travislausch
    grungeaholic91 wrote: Hipster nonsense. I love Beck, but this is ridiculous.
    I know right. He's also just clearly ripping off every classical composer ever with this ridiculous publicity stunt! [/sarcasm] Okay, so I think this isn't the smartest idea ever. But it is kind of cool. It would make an even cooler addendum to a recording, or "bonus tracks", but not as a proper album. I've always thought of releasing sheet music for unreleased material with my albums one day.
    PGilbert
    Just2Rusty wrote: goremetal22 wrote: Who the hell is going to go out and buy instruments and equipment with the intent of listening to the new Beck album? Who really wants to hear new Beck material that badly? I bet this "new record" sells under 5,000 copies You are very ignorant.
    This isn't ignorance, this is a reality check. Don't flame this guy for talking sense. As a musician, i find beck's idea pretentious. The only who like this are "musicians" who are happy to be 30k in debt for a Music degree.
    joe4020
    This was the reality check I needed. HAHA. Glad I'm not 30,000 in debt. just saying kids might get inspired to play some other music from some other composer based off of something in the mainstream. Kids seem to pay attention to what's popular if you didn't know.
    NIN1993
    TheNameOfNoone wrote: Too bad that people with no musical knowledge and skill OR people who don't have equipment to record themselves playing will have no chance of hearing his new album...
    I sure some people with skill will record it and post it on youtube
    PGilbert
    Zeppelin2400 wrote: Incubus basically did this with a single on their last album (which is not a great album). They released the sheet music and had a contest where people would send in their own videos, performing the song. Some did piano covers, strings covers, etc. It was pretty awesome in my opinion
    This isn't ignorance, this is a reality check. Don't flame this guy for talking sense. As a musician, i find beck's idea pretentious. The only who like this are "musicians" who are happy to be 30k in debt for a Music degree.
    Zeppelin2400
    Incubus basically did this with a single on their last album (which is not a great album). They released the sheet music and had a contest where people would send in their own videos, performing the song. Some did piano covers, strings covers, etc. It was pretty awesome in my opinion
    goremetal22
    Who the hell is going to go out and buy instruments and equipment with the intent of listening to the new Beck album? Who really wants to hear new Beck material that badly? I bet this "new record" sells under 5,000 copies
    joe4020
    I guess every musician that put out sheet music are egomaniacs. We should all keep our music to ourselves.
    strat0blaster
    Stupid. What about the people who aren't musicians that like his music? What the hell's wrong with musicians anymore that they can't just play their music and be happy doing that? Isn't that the point?
    Just2Rusty
    goremetal22 wrote: Who the hell is going to go out and buy instruments and equipment with the intent of listening to the new Beck album? Who really wants to hear new Beck material that badly? I bet this "new record" sells under 5,000 copies
    You are very ignorant.
    scrymusic
    I cant read sheet music but is will be fun to try and piece it together. It would be nice if he were to put the album out later to have reference.