Beck’s major label debut, Mellow Gold, introduced him to the world in 1994 but it was 1996’s Odelay that became a bellwether for the alternative rock movement. Now, a dozen years after its original release, Odelay has been expanded into a two-CD Deluxe Edition with the addition of two never-before-released tracks from the original sessions, a soundtrack contribution, and 16 b-sides and compilation tracks never-before-released in the U.S.
Odelay – Deluxe Edition (Geffen/UMe), released January 29, 2008, celebrates the album ranked among Rolling Stone’s "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time," Spin’s "100 Greatest Albums, 1985-2005,"
Pitchfork’s "Top 100 Favorite Records of the 1990’s," MOJO’s "The 100 Greatest Albums of Our Lifetime 1993-2006" and NME’s "Albums of the Year 1963-99." In addition to Grammy awards for Best Alternative Music Performance and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance (for "Where It’s At"), Odelay was voted Best Album of the Year in The 1996 Village Voice Jazz & Pop Critics Poll, reaching double-platinum sales status along the way.
Forging a sound from the roots of folk, blues, rock and hip hop with the sensibilities of D.I.Y, noise, experimental music and the possibilities of modern technology, Odelay stands (as discussed in the All-Music Guide) as "a dense, endlessly intriguing album overflowing with ideas…a fluid, creative, and startlingly original work."
Disc One of Odelay – Deluxe Edition adds to that original album two never before heard Dust Brothers-produced tracks from the Odelay sessions, "Inferno" and "Gold Chains," and "Deadweight" from the film A Life Less Ordinary. Disc Two’s 16 selections include "Thunder Peel," co-produced by Mario Caldato Jr.; the U.N.K.L.E. (featuring James Lavelle) remix of "Where It’s At," and Aphex Twin and Mickey P. remixes of "Devil’s Haircut" (titled "Richard’s Hairpiece" and "American Wasteland," respectively). Also heard are the once international-only b-sides "Clock," "Electric Music and The Summer People," "Lemonade," "SA-5," "Feather In Your Cap," "Erase The Sun," "000.000," "Brother," "Trouble All My Days," "Strange Invitation," "Devil Got My Woman,"(a cover of the Skip James classic recorded at the original Sun Studios in Memphis before they closed their doors) and "Burro" — a Spanish language version of Jackass recorded with a mariachi band.
As noted by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke in his 1996 review of the album: "For his unaffected exuberance, fervent eclecticism, precocious ingenuity and stubborn refusal to take himself too seriously, Beck Hansen is rock & roll’s Man of the Year."