Guided by Voices Starter Pack Vol. 1 (1986-1993)

When my Vanity Plate bandmate, Zach, asked what Guided by Voices album he should start with, of course my first thought was Bee Thousand. But then - maybe Alien Lanes? What about Propeller? Or maybe even the Bears for Lunch. Probably not Vampire on Titus, despite it being in my top five.

I realized that it's impossible to choose one album. All of the eras are great. 

So I condensed everything down to four STARTER PACKS. This is the first. Because of licensing reasons surrounding mixes that contain only one band, Mixcloud won't allow me to post my radio-ready version of this playlist. But hey check it out on Spotify! And while you're at it, follow me eh ;)

Between 1986 and 1993, Guided by Voices released six LPs and three EPs:

  • Forever Since Breakfast (1986) [EP]
  • Devil Between My Toes (1987)
  • Sandbox (1987)
  • Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia (1989)
  • Same Place the Fly Got Smashed (1990)
  • Propeller (1992)
  • Vampire on Titus (1993)
  • The Grand Hour (1993) [EP]

(thx wikipedia)

I go back and forth depending on the day, but of that list, Vampire on Titus and Propeller are my favorites. But here's what I mean when I say that it's impossible to pick: GbV's first release, the Forever Since Breakfast EP, is mostly pretty unremarkable — but "The Other Place"? Are you kidding me? Robert Pollard (icymi, Bob pretty much is GbV) at age like 30, pre-fake British accent, full-Ohioan R.E.M.ish-sounding Guided by Voices, pulling off one of their most (I feel) political & rockin' tunes. Check it out:

by the way, pretty much the only spot to pick up this EP (I don't think you can even snag it on streaming services) is by throwing large $$$ at an old vinyl copy, or by picking up their CD box set, Hardcore UFOs, which is a rippin' collection.

don't miss those lyrics though

Change has got to come and I’ll be the first to admit it / When pushin’ comes to shovin’ I’ll be the first one to get it / Don’t you understand anything? / You won’t like it at all / When the fire that burns in the predator’s eyes / Takes another disguise with a different face / and it all gets down to the people in our town / they don’t wanna be found in the other place
— Robert Pollard, "The Other Place"

Guided by Voices Starter Pack, Vol. 1 (1986-1993)

  1. Radio Show
  2. Over the Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox
  3. Long Distance Man
  4. Pendulum
  5. Old Battery
  6. Gleemer
  7. Adverse Wind
  8. Quality of Armor
  9. Jar of Cardinals
  10. Discussing Wallace Chambers
  11. Perhaps Now the Vultures
  12. 14 Cheerleader Coldfront
  13. Shocker in Gloomtown
  14. Dying to Try This
  15. Non-Absorbing
  16. Exit Flagger
  17. Wondering Boy Poet
  18. The Tumblers
  19. Dusted
  20. If We Wait
  21. Red Gas Circle
  22. What About It?
  23. When She Turns 50
  24. Unleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy
  25. Liar's Tale
  26. "Wished I Was a Giant"
  27. On the Tundra
  28. How Loft I Am?

I designed the mix's artwork using imagery from the New York Public Library, including this and this. I love you, NYPL, thanks for releasing your archives into the public domain!