Rewind: Beck - Tropicalia

20 years ago this week, the monolithic Beck released his third studio album Mutations. From it came this excellent track, which delivers some strange, infectious Samba stoner crossover. This and the other tracks from Mutations represent a significant departure from the hip hop, lo-fi sounds of it's predecessor 'Odelay'. Read more about the album and listen to it in full HERE.

"I've always loved a lot of different exotic music," Beck commented. "I've been listening to Brazilian music since I was a kid, but I haven't really felt it was something that would come naturally until the last few years. I think for something like 'Tropicalia' I needed to go to places where that music existed in order to get to the point where I could do it myself. I wrote it in the back of the bus on tour, and then later I put lyrics to it. A lot of times I write the melody and the chords of the songs sometimes years before I ever get around it writing lyrics, so it just sits there incubating."

The song was released as a single the following month on 8 December 1998, reaching number 39 in the UK single charts. The CD contains the interesting analogue lo fi flavours of B side 'Black Balloon', which was exclusive to this single release.


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