Guided By Robert Pollard

Robert Pollard
Let It Beard Boombox Demos

2011
by Propellerless

Growing up as a Beatles fan, I use to search for rare bootleg albums.
My favorites were the demo recordings.
There were two in particular,
one had about 20 different versions of “Strawberry Fields Forever,”
leading up to the finished version.
And another with acoustic demos of songs that ended up on “The White Album”
which were recorded after the band returned from India.

Bob’s “Suitcase” series of box sets has made it easy for fans,
such as myself, who are not happy just to have the regular albums.
I enjoy seeing the different stages a song may go through,
even if it’s just Bob and one guitar.

Which is exactly what “Let It Beard Boombox Demos” is,
one guitar and Bob singing into a boombox.
Nothing fancy or even well edited.
To me it’s Pure Gold.

“Let It Beard” is Bob’s band, Boston Spaceship’s monumental double album,
Bob broke the band up soon after, figuring they could never out-do this album.
but of course they could, but anyway.

On “Let It Beard Boombox Demos,”
Bob performs each song in the same order as the finished record,
because unlike most of his other albums,
the song order never changed from the planning stage to the finished album.

“Let It Beard Boombox Demos,” shows that Bob really worked out the music,
even changes that I just figured the band would work out during the
recording sessions.

One song in particular, “A Hair In Every Square Inch Of The House,”
which I always thought was perhaps made up at the time of the recording,
because it sounds so haphazard, was actually really worked out,
which the demo here shows.

The songs, even for how rough they are here,
are really not that different than the final recordings.

Some of the songs have multiple edits, where Bob stops the tape deck
then starts it again to add to the song.
the edits are not smooth and the beginning and ends of songs
have loud clicks like when you hit stop on a tape deck.

But that is the beauty of this recording,
This is Bob’s songwriting Genius in it’s rawest form.

Sure there are those who would rather have the finished product,
but myself, I really enjoy this kind of stuff.

I always thought Bob was a great songwriter,
but to hear these songs at such an early stage,
only enforces that opinion.

Hopefully Bob will continue to release stuff like this,
I’ll be there.

Release notes:
“Let It Beard Boombox Demos,” was limited to 500 copies
which sold out in one day, and was available free digitally for a limited time.

I got mine from Discogs and paid a pretty penny,
but worth every cent.

Required Listening for Mr. Pollard’s Advanced Students.