Beck has relied on Greg Kurstin for assistance with some of his most acclaimed works. The two have been collaborators since way back in the Sea Change era and worked together on the Grammy-winning Colors. Heck, the pair even jammed with Dave Grohl at a political fundraiser last year. So when Kurstin and his Bird and the Bee bandmate Inara George asked for Beck’s help with a wild cover of Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher”, he was more than happy to oblige.
And boy, are the results something to behold. Coming from The Bird and the Bee’s forthcoming Interpreting the Masters Volume 2: A Tribute to Van Halen (out August 2nd), the cover is an unexpectedly jazzy synthpop rendition with George’s smooth vocals giving David Lee Roth a legit jump for his money. For his part, Beck comes in for a spoken word cameo at the beginning, voicing a teacher named “Mr. Goodbody” who instructs the class, “We’ll be reviewing the text from Moby Dick, so please turn now to page 69.” He shows up again midway through the track to hand out some detentions.
(Read: Top 50 Cover Songs from Movies)
Said Beck in a statement,
“The Bird and The Bee bring unforeseen angles to the Van Halen song book. Makes sense because, like Eddie Van Halen, Greg is a kind of musical wunderkind in his own right and Inara’s vocals bring a cool counterpart to Diamond Dave’s pyrotechnics. Making a cameo on their version of ‘Hot for Teacher’ felt like an extension of the kind of riffing and fooling around we do in the studio on a normal session.”
Take a listen to the track below, and be prepared to not be prepared.
Beck, meanwhile, teasingly announced a new album called Hyperspace back in April. We haven’t heard much about the record since, though we did get the quirky first single “Saw Lightning” featuring Pharrell.