Thursday, December 20, 2007

Did you know? Beck & Timbaland

We all know about the Beck/Timbo collabo "Diamond Dogs" off the Moulin Rouge soundtrack which in my opinion was one of the first times Tim really showed that he could work with an artist outside of the Hip Hop/R&B genre and it make a dope track. In addition to the final version which included Timbaland, Beck also made another version of the track without Tim. Beck said "The one I did on my own is sort of 'Al Jolson at the rave tent.' With Kurt Weill playing the pump organ." When the two hit the studio, Tim has unfamiliar with the original David Bowie version so Beck played it for him on the piano. Despite Beck's excitement, Tim was still unconvinced of the song's potential but as the 2 started to work the song gained momentum.

The initial reason why the 2 artists collaborated was out of mutual respect (as is usually the case for most of Tim's "outside" productions) "I met Beck at [a taping of the TV show, 'Jimmy And Doug's]'," Timbaland remembered. "Jay-Z said Beck wanted to meet me, and I came up there with Jay and I hooked up with him there." A few months later, during the first week of September, 2000, Beck went into the studio with Timbaland to work on "Diamond Dogs."

Beck recalled the session: "We got in the studio and we were just foolin' around. Tim wanted it to sound darker. I think we kind of turned it into a completely different song; we just kept the lyrics. There's a coolness in our version that it doesn't release. It just builds and it never lets go. Always holding something back, you know. It doesn't have the big payoff. Which is something I like about Tim's music, that it's always holding something back. It hints at more than it's giving. That minimalism, I really respect, 'cause I tend to go way over the top, and try to do too many things at once, and cram too much in one space."

The chemistry was more than obvious as Beck worked with Tim again on his Indecent Proposal album for the Aaliyah laced track "I Am Music." In the end, more than likely due to the passing of Aaliyah, the version with Beck was not put on the album and is still locked in the vaults of Timmy T. Yet there's more, Tim and Beck also worked on yet another untitled track that has also never seen the light of day. There had been rumors that the track would show up on Beck's latest album The Information but did not. Even the Deluxe Edition Re-Release of Beck's 1996 classic Odelay, coming out January 29th featuring unreleased and rare remixes, will be without Timbaland.

Maybe one day we'll hear it but until then keep adding to that unreleased list!


  1. Tim actually gave Beck a handful of drum loops and programmed melodies to use on one of his albums around 2003. Somewhere in the recording process, Beck scrapped them at the request of Interscope Records.

  2. If I ever met Tim, I would ask to hear the Aaliyah/Beck track.

  3. I would just like to hear all the songs in the timmy t vault that will never see the light of day.


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