Guided by Voices – Propeller

ARTIST: Guided by Voices              220px-prop14-front

TITLE:  Propeller


CHART ACTION: No, originally this was a 500 copy run



LINEUP: Robert Pollard, Tobin Sprout, Mitch Mitchell, Greg Demos, Jim Pollard, Don Thrasher

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT:  Conceived as the final album for the group, there was a buzz created thanks to college radio and some well-placed fans that allowed the band to continue.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This was their fifth release (the first four records are streaming, but were very limited in distribution and I may get to them later but the story kinda starts here), and it was going to be goodbye. Robert Pollard had written a bunch of songs, but they didn’t play live and didn’t have many prospects. They gave each copy a hand-made cover and that was supposedly it.

However, college radio caught on to this album, despite the limited production values (this was the first real lo-fi album of their career, by necessity for the most part). The songs spoke for themselves – tuneful melodies, short by sweet in length, and a great pop and rock sensibility.

I don’t think everyone will appreciate this, mainly because of the production (at times, the sonic quality shifts and one medley cuts several songs together – cuts is the right word), but those who can get by the hiss and dirt will be rewarded.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The first four albums, plus this, was added to a set called Box, which when I get to the GBV compilations, I’ll review it.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but when it was first released on CD it was appended to Vampire on Titus.

GRADE: B+: So tuneful, and so low-fi.


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