Guided By Voices- “Do the Collapse” LP (TVT Records, 1999)

Guided By Voices– “Do the Collapse” LP (TVT Records, 1999)

As previously reported: I purchased Do the Collapse by Guided by Voices this past weekend (the first time I have owned an actual copy of the record), and while making the post I realized that Pitchfork, back in 1999, gave the album a 4.7. While I realize this may not be the most well known or liked GBV albums…the review was harsh….here is a quote:

“The release of a new Guided by Voices album is cause for great celebration in certain camps. Among music critics I’ve observed, raucous and unfettered rejoicing, unmitigated praising, and numerous rounds of circle-jerking mark the occasion… Granted, this is still Bob Pollard we’re talking about, and tunes like “Surgical Focus” and “An Unmarketed Product” could probably teach the vast majority of songwriters a thing or two about the game. But judging only a few songs successful is a failure for Pollard— as he went up, he went down. And ultimately, Do the Collapse is a Guided by Voices album that will gather dust as it’s passed over for its companions. Circle jerk canceled.”

To get a taste of the album you could watch the “Teen Age FBI” (above), or non-official video for “Surgical Focus” which I discovered while making this post (or watch the ultimately better video for “Bulldog Skin” …or dig even deeper to “I am a Scientist” neither of which are on Do the Collapse).

While Do the Collapes is no Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes, or Under the Bushes Under the Stars it still has some really great tracks (and in my opinion may be better than some of the other GBV albums as a whole). I will admit that I do have very fond memories of this album after dubbing a tape of it (oh the days when people thought home taping was a threat to the music industry), and listening to it in my car while I was in high school in Charleston, South Carolina. But overall this is classic GBV, including the tracks listed above (see videos), and oddly enough produced by Ric Ocasek of the Cars. While cleaner and more polished than earlier works I still find myself very pleased with my purchase, and especially at $10 (thank you Generation).

The record itself is a little disappointing packaging wise…this is probably something to do with TVT Records (as far as I know this is my first LP from the label). It is just your typical LP sleeve with a glossy cover, and a photo of the band with song information on the back. The LP itself, black vinyl, lives in a plain white dust jacket, and has GBV’s name, album title, and the songs printed on the center label (black print/white label). There is no insert or even a lyrics sheet. I don’t know if it is just that Matador has spoiled me with the gatefold press of Alien Lanes, the beautify issued Under the Bushes… with an extra LP of music, or Bee Thousand- The Director’s Cut from Scat (and my memories of the original Bee Thousand that is no longer in my possession) that leaves me underwhelmed by the packaging. But at least the music is how I remembered it (and ultimately what I bought it for). Enjoy the videos…This turned out to be a rant and a packaging review rather than a record review, but whatever… Do The Collapse has been spinning on my turntable all week.

(Tom)

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