Beck Discusses Atmospheric Duet With Beth Orton

Beck Hansen will return to the charts next week as his new LP, "Midnite Vultures," debuts at number 34 on the "Billboard" album chart after selling more than 82,000 copies in its first week in stores, according to SoundScan.

The curious curator of cool worked on his album for 14 months, huddling in the studio with old friends The Dust Brothers as well as such new accomplices as ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, rapper Kool Keith, and British singer-songwriter Beth Orton.

Orton and Beck deliver a sensuous duet on the ballad "Beautiful Way," and Beck says that the collaboration came right around the time he opened for Orton at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles last year (see "Beck Plays Surprise Opening Set For Beth Orton").

"Beth was going out with a friend of mine," Beck said, "so she was living in L.A. at the time, and she'd come by [the studio]

and visit. We talked about writing some songs together, but it never really happened. One of the times she was hanging out, I got her to go in and lay down some vocals, and it really just took ten minutes."

"We also played a few shows together,"
he continued, "just some impromptu shows, about a year ago. I love her voice, she's just got that blues thing, she just understands that traditional thing. Plus, I don't know, I love the lonesomeness of her music." [RealVideo]

For more from our interview with Beck, be sure to check out the MTV News Online feature, "Midnite Cowboy," debuting on Friday, December 3.

-- David Basham