Album: Midnite Vultures, 1999
Justification: “That song doesn’t normally go for three hours, but we got into a serious thing. And then I forgot how it ended.”
Seriously: do you need more justification than that? Beck’s appearance on Futurama was not just hilarious: it was fucking hilarious. The rhyming Becktionary. Cold-lampin’. Hands-in-the-air rhymes with just-don’t-care. Was there a single moment in that episode that wasn’t gold? No, there was not. And it’s important to have those moments with Beck because no matter how great his music – and it’s almost all great, by the way; for someone who first appeared as gimmicky as Dread Zeppelin he’s proved to be a shockingly consistent artist – there’s that whole weird Super-Scientology thing that seems completely at odds with his demeanour as someone who’s not, y’know, nuts. Although if there’s a crazy Beck album, it’s probably Midnite Vultures – his attempt at a Prince-style disco-funk album fails left and right in wildly entertaining ways, and finishes with a remarkably straight-faced slow-jam that Boyz II Men would have been proud to call their own. And the lead single was a killer too. He might believe in some batshit lunacy, but to give the man credit: there aren’t many people who’d go “You know what this brass-drenched dance hit really needs? A slathering of down-home banjo!” – and be completely right.