Colors
By: Beck Hansen, Greg Kurstin

Written by: Beck Hansen, Greg Kurstin

Versions:
  1. Colors
    Available on Colors.
    Credits
    Serban Ghenea: Mix
    Beck Hansen: Producer, Vocals
    Greg Kurstin: Producer
    Roger Joseph Manning Jr.: Vocals (Background)
  2. Colors (Picard Brothers remix) (4:58)
    Credits
    Clement Picard: Remix
    Maxine Picard: Remix
    Beck Hansen: Vocals
 
Lyrics:
Colors [Version (a)]:

I'll find you and go right through walls we made
I see you, I need you every day
It's nothing, it's your life
I don't know why I can't get what I want
But I keep, I keep trying

Found our way through the lost years
Now the day brings it all here

All the colors
See the colors
Feel the colors
She says, see it in your eyes
All the colors
See the colors
Feel the colors
Tell me, do you feel alive?
All the colors
See the colors
Feel the colors
She said nothing's in your eyes
All the colors
See the colors
Feel the colors
Tell me, do you feel alive?

Do you feel alive?
Do you feel alive?

I've got all the love you need
I've got all the love you need
I'll keep it with you
I don't have the time to wait
I don't have the time to wait
I need to see you
Got it all under control
Got it all under control
You can't hear me
Now it only hurts to know
Now it only hurts to know
When you don't need me
You don't need me

Found our way through the lost years
Now the day brings it all here

All the colors
See the colors
Feel the colors
She says, see it in your eyes
All the colors
See the colors
Feel the colors
Tell me, do you feel alive?

Do you feel alive?
Do you feel alive?

Na na na na na...

All the colors
See the colors
Feel the colors
She says, see it in your eyes
All the colors
See the colors
Feel the colors
Tell me, do you feel alive?
All the colors
See the colors
Feel the colors
She said nothing's in your eyes
All the colors
See the colors
Feel the colors
Tell me, do you feel alive?
Colors (Picard Brothers remix) [Version (b)]:

Do you feel alive?
Do you feel alive?
Do you feel alive?

I'll find you and go right through the walls we made
I see you, I need you every day
It's nothing, it's your life
I don't know why I can't get what I want
I keep, I keep trying

Do you feel alive?
See it in your eyes
Do you feel alive?
Do you feel alive?

I'll find you and go right through the walls we made
I see you, I need you every day
It's nothing, it's your life
Don't know why I can't get what I want
I keep, I keep trying

Do you feel alive?
See it in your eyes
Do you feel alive?
Do you feel alive?

I've got all the love you need
I've got all the love you need
I've got all the love you need
I've got all the love you need
I've got all the love you need
I've got all the love you need
I've got all the love you need
I'll keep it with you
I've got all the love you need
I've got all the love you need
I've got all the love you need
I've got all the love you need
I've got all the love you need
I've got all the love you need
I've got all the love you need
I'll keep it with you with you with you...

Do you feel alive?
Do you feel alive?
Do you feel alive?
See it in your eyes
Do you feel alive?
Do you feel alive?
Do you feel alive?
Do you feel alive?
 
The Song:

This is the title track for Beck's 2017 album, Colors.

Beck has talked about the creation of the song a few times, mostly noting the complex nature of it and how much time it took. He told The Sun that there was "no easy way" to make a song like this. "We could have made 20 other songs in the time it took, but I am glad we made it," he added.

On Sirius radio, Beck referred to the creation of "Colors" as a "labyrinth," calling it "a lot of failed ideas brought together." He told All Songs Considered that not only was the song itself complex, but every section of the song went through multiple versions and attempts before arriving at the final track. Beck also elaborated to Matt Pinfield:


At one point, it was something like 'The Clash doing a dance track'... it then evolved into Earth, Wind & Fire... then suddenly a psych rock fuzz guitar thing happened... then we found these gospel chords that ended up in the chorus. "Colors" was very roundabout coming into existence."


And since the album was worked on over such a long period of time, he explained how, for example, the intro was from one year and the pre-chorus was from a few years later.

The song is a spectacularly groovy disco track, with two different verses sandwiching a bridge, chorus, and some sort of windpipes/recorder/ocarina jam. It is definitely one of the more successful songs on Colors, the heavy construction and years-long construction still feeling natural as everything flows together, all the while maintaining a feeling of simplicity, as perhaps the best songs usually do.

The reason "Colors" was the opening track was that it was the song that best let you in, as a representation of trying to bring elements of dance music and mix with harmony and jazzy/Beach Boys-style chords. He also has referred to early-era Michael Jackson, and the idea of mixing Jackson with something a bit psychedelic.

Lyrically, the song is not particularly complex, sort of a love song. Maybe more accurately, a hope song. Getting through all the walls that block, or lost years, love can be waiting for you on the other side (represented by the colors in his lover's eyes).

"Tell me, do you feel alive?" seems to be a question that will get answered throughout the rest of the album, as well.

-

An official remix of "Colors" by French producers, The Picard Brothers, was released on Spotify.
 
Live:

Played live 49 times:
Earliest known live version: October 12, 2017
Latest known live version: September 24, 2018

2017-2018 Colors tour

Beck played "Colors" most nights of the Colors tour, 48 of the 59 shows, not counting the one TV appearance (which is below). Beck doesn't experiment on stage much with his new songs, and "Colors" was no exception, a fairly basic recreation of what you hear on record. It is still a very fun song, and the band certainly improved their performances over the course of the tour. Still, I would love for it to become more of a centerpiece in the future. We shall see! Here is that version from The Tonight Show:



There were a couple of notable other versions, in which Beck had his opening acts come out during "Colors" to sing harmony. Twin Shadow did this at a show in Atlanta, and Kimbra did it in Alabama. Most interestingly, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band joined on "Colors" in Nashville. I know of no recording, but am very curious what jazz horns sound like on this song!