Odelay is the fifth studio album by American alternative rock artist Beck, originally released on June 18, 1996 by Geffen Records. After the mainstream success of "Loser", Odelay featured several hit singles, including "Where It's At", "Devils Haircut," and "The New Pollution." The album peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200 chart and eventually sold over 2 million copies in the United States. It was also Beck's first hit album in the United Kingdom, making #17; it has since gone platinum in the UK.
On January 29, 2008, Odelay was reissued as a two-disc package featuring a number of bonus tracks, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the album's original release. As of July 2008, the album has sold 2.3 million copies in the United States.
The sessions for what would become Odelay originally began as a subdued, acoustic affair. In 1994, Beck started to record tracks for his follow-up to Mellow Gold with Bong Load producers Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf. Hansen had recently experienced a number of personal tragedies (including the death of his grandfather, Al Hansen), and the tone of the songs as well as their production were considerably somber. Only a handful of tracks from these sessions have been released: "Ramshackle", "Feather in Your Cap", and "Brother". All three of these songs are acoustic, sparse, and melancholic, and have a haunting sound very different from the more upbeat, "party" style of Odelay. Beck would eventually return to this downbeat style with his 1998 album, Mutations.
He would eventually abandon work with Rothrock and Schnapf, opting to work with the Dust Brothers instead. The Dust Brothers' production style was notably more upbeat and R&B/hip-hop-focused; their resumé included work with The Beastie Boys and Tone Lōc.
Title and artworkEdit
The title is a phonetic English rendering of the Mexican slang interjection "órale." The phrase "odelay" is repeated in the lyrics during the outroof the song "Lord Only Knows".
The album's unusual cover photo, which has been misinterpreted as a mop head jumping over a hurdle,is actually a real photo of a Komondor, a rare Hungarian breed of dog with thick matted hair. The image was chosen at the last minute after Beck failed to decide on an album cover. The image was presented to him by his girlfriend and was chosen almost out of desperation. The typeface was chosen by a record company worker.