Until the moment Kanye did Kanye and made the Grammys about Kanye, it seemed the question to be answered the following morning was “Who is Beck?” In the moments following Beck’s record of the year win for Morning Phase, Twitter predictably lit up with a number of tweets asking exactly this question. One assumes those pondering this unheard-of artist were of the younger cohort, so it hardly seems worth deriding them. After all, Beck’s height of fame came somewhere between 15 and 20 years ago, and the last time he had anything near what you might call a hit on the radio was probably July, 1996, with “Where It’s At”, the first single from Odelay.
But if we were to explain to one of these Twitter users who Beck is and how it is a lot of people do know who he is, we’d have to start with “Loser”, Beck’s first major single. And if we have to explain what “Loser” is (or was), then we’d have to play “Loser”. And when you play “Loser” now, an entirely different question arises: If it had been released in 2014, would “Loser” have been a hit? More specifically, would it have the same cultural impact?Read More