Title: Steve Threw Up
Format: 7" Single (Brown Vinyl)
Catalogue Number: BL11
Year of Release: 1993
Limited Edition Number 816/1000 & sticker
A1 Steve Threw Up (3:35)
B1 Muthafucka (2:03)
B2 Cupcake (0:46)
I have Stereopathetic Soul Manure on CD. It's a collection of early Beck stuff, some folk-y country ballads, some noise experiments, a lot of lo-fi nonsense, and it's very enjoyable. Recommended even.
The A-side of this single resembles Satan Gave Me a Taco from that compilation, and was indeed lumped with that song when Beck talked of some of his earlier, jokier songs on a 2002 tour. He apparently used to play these songs in bars to keep people interested. And they are jokey, interesting songs, both of them.
Steve Threw Up is the simple tale (lyrics at the huge Beck resource whiskeyclone.net [although I dispute the line "The street fair was an ocean", as I heard "Street fare was a notion", as in, he thought to get some food from street vendors]) of a friend "off his melting jaw" on a combination of alcohol and proscribed drugs, throwing up on the ferris wheel at a fairground. The beauty and comedy arises from the song being played largely straight, rather than for laughs. Over plucked banjo and slow acoustic Beck lists the identifiable contents of Steve's stomach, as (I imagine) they drip off the ferris wheel on to the crowds below:
There must have been some pizza
And there must have been some fries
And there must have been some tequila
There must have been some wine
There must have been some falafels
There must have been some beer
And there must have been some bagels
You could see it so clear!
And it's the little touches like that last line that make it so good. Also when the girl is mentioned that his friend is with, a female backing vocal joins the song. Just makes me want to nod and go, "nice".
Violins play over the last part, and some light drumming, as the list gets bigger and bigger and harder to comprehend how it would be possible to pick these items out in the dripping chunks of vomit, "Kool-aid, Spam, egg rolls, sushi, rice cakes, oatmeal, cucumbers, biscuits, beef jerky, Pop Tarts" and then it descends in to a 45 second barrage of overdriven noise, meant to resemble the sound of someone being sick, you would think. Satan Gave Me a Taco is even better, by the way.
The B-sides have much more in common with tracks like Cut 1/2 Blues and Rollins Power Sauce from the previously mentioned compilation. They're shout-y songs, the first a kind of grunge parody, the second a more throwaway noise thing that was probably created by messing with the tapes of the two prior songs. Not bad, and only available on this release. Unlike Steve Threw Up, which has been banged on a good few compilations since.
According to whiskeyclone, I have a year 2000 reissue of this 1993 single, which confused me a little as to where to place the review, chronologically. I've stuck with 1993, a policy I will employ in future when the reissue in question retains the original tracklisting. If a reissue has bonus tracks, then it will count as being released in year of (re)issue.