Beck, currently at the receiving end of lawsuits from both Geffen and Bong Load record labels for failing to deliver new material to them, has issued a counter-suit against Geffen, claiming copyright infringement of material from his 1998 album ‘Mutations’.
According to US trade magazine Billboard, the suit – filed on Monday May 10 in a Los Angeles US District Court – alleges that ‘Mutations’ was released on Geffen without Beck‘s permission after he had originally delivered the album to indie label Bong Load. The suit also alleges that Beck – who paid for ‘Mutations’ himself – has not been paid for the record. He is seeking to stop Geffen from distributing the album.
Bong Load released ‘Loser’ and still had the vinyl-rights to all Beck‘s albums. Beck had intended to release other material exclusively on the label despite being signed to Geffen. Then in October last year NME reported that Geffen were releasing the record, produced by Nigel Godrich, although they were not treating it as the ‘official’ follow up to ‘Odelay’.
Speaking to NME‘s John Mulvey in December, Beck said that Bong Load could have released ‘Mutations’ if they had wanted to.
“They got a shitload of money, so it worked out for everybody,” he said. “Well, they were gonna put it out in June and it was all going ahead. We had it mastered, all the artwork’s done, and then I was about to go over to Europe to do these shows in May when Geffen called and said, ‘Y’know, we’d really like to put this out, we really like this record’. And I was surprised. I thought it would be too mellow for them: to me, making it, it wasn’t even an album that I planned on performing live, that contributed much to where I’m going in a bigger musical sense. It’s nothing like the next record I’m working on now, which I started in the spring,” he said. “So I was a little surprised. I just thought it would be a record that people could gravitate towards and discover on their own. Anyway, they really wanted it and they ended up buying it.”
Beck even responded to accusations of ‘sell out’ over the album’s major label release.
“It’s the same record, it doesn’t matter. I record my albums and mix them and I send them to the record company. It doesn’t matter who they’re for. To me that whole debate is just so absurd.”
Meanwhile, Beck has just released a single in Japan that includes two new tracks: ‘Nobody’s Fault But My Own’ is backed with ‘One Of These Days’ and ‘Diamond In The Sleaze’.