Beck Says He's 'Really Sad' He Didn't Let 'Weird Al' Yankovic Record a 'Loser' Parody

·2 min read
Beck and Weird Al
Beck and Weird Al

Lester Cohen/Getty, Neilson Barnard/Getty Beck, "Weird Al" Yankovic

Beck's unlikely hit "Loser" almost got the parody treatment from "Weird Al" Yankovic.

Beck dug deep into the song's origins in Dear Life, a new edition of Audible Original's Words + Music series — and revealed that he regrets not letting Yankovic record his own version called "Schmoozer."

"'Weird Al' Yankovic tried to do a version of it. It was going to be called 'Schmoozer,'" Beck said in an excerpt published by Billboard. "Which I regret denying him permission to do; I think it would have been an amazing video. I'm actually really sad that it didn't happen."

The singer, 51, wrote the song with Carl Stephenson and recorded it in 1992, though it wasn't released until the following year. The breakthrough hit eventually peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and topped the Alternative Airplay chart.

Yankovic, meanwhile, has been known for his clever parodies of popular songs since the 1970s. Though "Schmoozer" never saw the light of day, Yankovic, 62, did incorporate "Loser" into his 1996 song "The Alternative Polka," which includes new arrangements of nearly a dozen popular songs.

In the excerpt, Beck recalled writing "Loser" "on the spot," and struggling to get it accepted by record companies.

"It got rejected by everybody," he said. "So after a couple of years of this, they ended up putting that song out. Five-hundred copies. And somehow, on its own, it just got on the radio and it went straight to No. 1 and was in the top five for a year. And so all these labels were coming back like, 'Hey, we said that song would never go anywhere, and it was this and that, but hey, can we talk?'"

RELATED: Daniel Radcliffe to Portray 'Weird Al' Yankovic in Roku Original Movie About Parody Musician

Despite the song's eventual success, Beck said he still struggled to find his footing in the music industry, and was told that his songs were "not real songs" and that he should consider going back to school instead of pursuing a career in music.

"It wasn't really taken seriously at all. And when it came out and it was popular, it still wasn't taken that serious at all," he said. "I mean, you can go back to the press of the day. I just remember myriad articles and headlines of one-hit wonder, joke band, Beck novelty act. I remember there was a review in a big paper in L.A. once and it was not a lot of kindness. I felt very dismissed and kind of like a bit of a footnote."

Dear Life will be released on Friday.