Guided By Robert Pollard

Guided By Voices
The Best Of Guided By Voices: Human Amusements At Hourly Rates

by Propellerless

My friend Mike from all the way back in Junior High School, lives in Tennessee.
I live in Hawaii, but we grew up in California.

When we met I was sitting at the park and he walked up with someone I knew.

For some reason, either he or I mentioned an Alice Cooper special called, “The Nightmare,”
that was recently on late night TV, and which we had both seen.
We’ve been friends ever since, that was over 40 years ago.

We still talk pretty much every day,
and we still talk about music.

When we got into Progressive Rock a couple years after we met,
I burned out on it pretty fast, while Mike being a musician, got more into it
and even into Progressive Jazz.

While I moved into the whole Punk/New Wave thing,
which Mike later got into, especially when Hard Core Punk came along.
He even joined a Gothic Punk band called Dogma Probe,
which he played bass.

In the past year or so,
Mike decided, that he wanted to start a cd collection,
he was separated and moved out into his own place
and wanted to start listening to music again.
and perhaps listen to stuff he probably missed.

I sent him a bunch of cds that I had doubles of,
because sometimes I replace old copies for new remasters.
and he started going to used cd stores in his area.

He would call me while at the used cd store and asked me what I thought
of certain CDs he saw and if he should get them or not.

Once when he was there, I asked him if they had a Guided By Voices section.
Almost 20 years earlier I sent him “Alien Lanes”,
but I don’t even know if he listened to it.

He said they had a used copy of
“The Best Of Guided By Voices: Human Amusements At Hourly Rates”
for three dollars.

He, for some reason was hesitant to buy it.
I told him to buy it and if he finds he doesn’t like it, I’ll buy it off of him,
even though I had it because it was included in the GBV box set “Hardcore UFOs.”

I actually talked to Mike today,
I told him that I was going to write my latest review about this album,
“The Best Of Guided By Voices: Human Amusements At Hourly Rates”,
and I wanted his opinion of the album.

He had told me, that he only bought the cd, because I felt so strongly about it.
and when he bought the cd, he also bought a few others,
which he listen to first.

A couple weeks later he finally gave it a listen.
He thought it was great,
much better than most of the compact discs he was buying.

He said the cd was a great introduction to Guided By Voices,
kind of like a “Beginners Guide to GBV”.
He has heard quite a few Guided By Voices albums since
and saw them live twice.

He saw GBV with Nick Mitchell on guitar, which I wish I saw.
A couple months later I flew from Hawaii to Tennessee,
and Mike, his girlfriend and I drove to Atlanta and saw the band
with Doug Gillard on guitar.

Side note:
I have a somewhat weird story about having a poster signed by the band
after the show, but I digress.

Anyway Mike thinks that of all of their albums,
this is the one to give to someone who has never heard of them,
and they would (if they have good taste) come out a fan.

“The Best Of Guided By Voices: Human Amusements At Hourly Rates”
comes in two different versions.

The stand-alone compact disc and the disc included in the above mentioned
box set, “Hardcore UFOs.”

Though the track listing is the same, there are differences.
The “Hardcore UFOs” version has the songs in chronological order.

On stand alone version, the songs are in more of a random order,
which Bob had arranged.
“Game of Pricks,” “My Valuable Hunting Knife” and “Motor Away”
are the big studio versions from the “Motor Away” single and the “Tiger Bomb ep.”

While the versions on the “Hardcore UFOs” disc are from the “Alien Lanes” album.

But it’s the opposite with “I Am A Scientist,” the “Hardcore UFOs” disc
has the 7” ep version, while the stand alone version has the “Bee Thousand” version.

whew, I hope everyone has that straight.

Everyone has their favorite versions of those songs,
I used to love the versions of the songs from the eps and singles
which have a bigger studio sound.
But now I seem to like the album versions more.

Both versions have the “Wish In One Hand ep” version of “Teenage FBI”,
but I prefer the “Do The Collapse” version more.
I think it really belongs on this cd, because it was a single.

Another song that was also a single, probably their biggest hit,
is “Hold On Hope”.
Yeah I know, some people think it’s not cool to like that song,
but it was one of the best eps.

All in all the track listing is great,
but I don’t understand the inclusion of “Hit”,
no matter.

I prefer the “Hardcore UFOs” version of
“The Best Of Guided By Voices: Human Amusements At Hourly Rates”,
because I like greatest hits type albums that are in chronological order.

I have probably used the “random” option on a cd player once or twice,
because I find it annoying.

But the booklet in the stand alone version is worth having,
so I have both.

Unlike most Greatest Hits collections, by other bands and performers,
“The Best Of Guided By Voices: Human Amusements At Hourly Rates”
does not make the studio albums obsolete.

It’s a great addition even for the GBV fan that has everything.