Beat Happening – Dreamy: #651 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Beat Happening - Dreamy

Why is Beat Happening’s Dreamy on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

Heed what this wise man says: stay away from redheads.

Some stats & info about Beat Happening – Dreamy  

Beat Happening’s Dreamy on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.

What does Beat Happening’s Dreamy mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

It took me a little while to recall when I first heard of Beat Happening, and then I realized it was by way of a rather great* compilation album put out by Sub Pop Records called The Grunge Years. The album cover of that album still makes me chuckle to this day: under the banner of The Grunge Years is a picture of two corporate (and very ‘90s) dudes sitting in the back of a car doing corporate-ish stuff with for the era cutting edge technologies (like a car phone!).

* It’s so good, in fact, that it would have merited strong consideration on the best 1,000 albums ever list except that so many of the songs included – such as by Nirvana, L7, and The Walkabouts – are covered by other albums on the list.

The dripping with irony message is clear: the “grunge” movement has been fully exploited, so might as well monetize. The Gen X ethos at its best!

Anyway, I’m so glad that I did discover Beat Happening, because they’re great. Dreamy is my favorite album of theirs, capturing them at their rock-meets-lo-fi, kind of ironic yet kind of sincere best.

And “Red Head Walking” is still my favorite of them all. There’s something just so catchy and nearly mesmerizing about that almost jangle pop guitar riff and that lower than low voice (also: see note above about kind of ironic yet kind of sincere) from singer Calvin Johnson.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include R.E.M.’s absolutely stunning cover of “Red Head Walking.” This is R.E.M. in their loosest, rocking out-est mode that is recognizable to anyone who knows the band well and/or has seen them live – but may not be as familiar to those who think of them as the guys who do “Everybody Hurts” and “Losing My Religion.”

I absolutely love the guitar tone on the more whimsical indie rock song, “Fortune Cookie Prize,” and it’s so great to get a very different (and good and pretty both) vocal tone from Heather Lewis.

“Me Untamed” almost sounds like a slowed down, stripped down Misfits song, revealing a slightly menacing, slightly haunting yet nonetheless catchy and rocking track.