I’m not saying there will ever be another Tom Petty, but may I posit that the closest we have is one Beck Hansen?
I’ve been listening to the new album, “Colors,” which is awesome. The album before that, “Morning Phase,” was totally different and also awesome (so awesome it won Best Album at the Grammys). And as I’m thinking back on the dozen-plus albums he’s put out since the late 80s, early 90s (some of which I only had exposure to after he hit it big with “Mellow Gold” in the mid-90s), it’s just chock-full of awesome.
This is a guy who clearly has a lot of fun with his craft. This is a guy who has led an interesting life with a dazzling array of influences. This is a guy whose music sounds as vital at age 47 as it did 20 years earlier. That’s pretty rare, y’all.
Beck’s catalog hasn’t produced as many universal mega-hits as Tom Petty, it’s true. And remember, I’m not saying there will even ever be another Tom Petty! I’m just saying, for my money, Beck is as close as we’ve got. I’m just going to enjoy him as much as I can.
Thanks to my friend Gregg Gethard for posting one of Beck’s super deep cuts from his early years on Facebook this morning and triggering this nostalgia trip/musical realization. I’ve loved Beck since I was literally a child, and that’s worth recognizing and cherishing.