Beck – Debra (Live on Sessions At West 54th in 1999)

I was already a Beck fan when he did Sessions At West 54th with his band. They were touring behind Odelay and Mutations, and Midnite Vultures was in the bag and scheduled for a November release. This set presented, to me, a whole new Beck. Not the grungy folky you see on his first records, but an accomplished bandleader, vocalist, and stage presence. It was when Beck really grabbed my attention, and he’s had it ever since.

“Debra” is from Midnite Vultures. The version in this video is incredible – miles ahead of the studio version. That falsetto has more soul in it than I would have believed possible from the grungy, folky Beck we’d already met. I still have a great memory of cranking this version at a stereo store in Brooklyn while I was testing out a new amp/receiver combo. I still have that stereo. Now you have the video.