The Diamond Sea
By: Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley, Thurston Moore

Original Performance: Sonic Youth
Written by: Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley, Thurston Moore

Live Versions:
  1. The Diamond Sea
The Diamond Sea [Live version (a)]:

[From January 7, 1996 version:]

[tape cuts in]

Time takes its crazy toll
Mirror falling off the wall
You better look out for the looking glass girl
'Cause she's gonna take you for a fall

Look into his eyes and you shall see
Why everything is quiet and nothing's free
I wonder how he's gonna make her smile
When love is running wild on the diamond sea
The Song:

"The Diamond Sea" is a 20-minute epic recording by Sonic Youth on their album, Washing Machine.

Beck's been friends with Sonic Youth for awhile, touring and playing with them a few times over the years.

Played live 2 times:
Earliest known live version: January 7, 1996
Latest known live version: June 17, 1996

During January of 1996, Beck toured Australia as part of the Summersault Festival. Sonic Youth was another part of the tour. "To segue between the two stages," Beck covered SY's "The Diamond Sea" as a folk song (acoustic guitar and harmonica) at the show on January 7, 1996. I'm not sure who is playing harmonica though...much of Beck's singing is at the same time, so it can't be him! The audience reaction at the singing seems to imply to me that he didn't do much more before when the recording starts.

Then a few months later in June 1996, while appearing on the radio to promote the release of Odelay, Beck and the DJs began talking about Sonic Youth. Beck had also done a short stint touring in Europe with them, opening their shows alone with his guitar. He said that one night, Sonic Youth asked him to join them for their encore on "The Diamond Sea." Beck added harmonica to their amazing 20-minute epic. I'm not sure which date it was when he did this, but Beck toured with them during March of 1996. He also played the riff on his harmonica and guitar for the radio listeners, but it was just for a few seconds.