Guided By Robert Pollard

Best of the Fading Captain Series

by Propellerless

In 1999, Robert Pollard released his third solo album, “Kid Marine”
which was the first of what he called “The Fading Captain Series”.

The series was made up of Guided By Voices box sets, singles,
Pollard solo albums, side projects and collaborations between Pollard
and various GBV band members and other musicians.

Most of the projects were either one or two shots,
except for Pollards solo recordings and Circus Devils which
continued long after The Fading Captain Series ended in 2007.

The Fading Captain Series ended with this two cd set,
“Crickets: Best of the Fading Captain Series” which is number 44
in the Fading Captain Series.
What you get is fifty-six songs which sample almost all of the
43 recordings in the series and a booklet showing the art work
of all the records and CDs.

All housed in a CD wallet with lots of photos and of course
collages from Robert Pollard.
A Beautiful package!

Lots of great stuff from “Speak Kindly Of Your Volunteer Fire Department”;
an album Bob made with Doug Gillard.
It includes gems like “Do Something Real” “The Frequent Weaver Who Burns”,
“Tight Globes” and also a few songs from their Lifeguards project.

“It Is Divine” and “Never Forget Where You Get Them”
from Go Back Snowball, which is Bob with Mac McCaughan
from Superchunk are both Magical.

Love the stuff from the Takeovers and The Moping Swans.
These are among my favorites of the Fading Captain Series.
“Beaten By The Target” and “Look At Your Life” by the Moping Swans,
“Fairly Blacking Out” and “First Spill Is Free” from the Takeovers,
are all classic Pollard.

I’m glad that Circus Devils are well represented,
they are very important to the whole Robert Pollard thing.
After the Fading Captain Series ended, Circus Devils went on to
make some really great albums.

Great to see the two Airport 5 singles, Bob did with Tobin Sprout,
“Stifled Man Casino” and “Total Exposure” are included.
“Time Machines” and “Alone, Stinking And Unafraid’
by Lexo and the Leapers are truly worth the price of admission.

We get the great “Bunco Men” from Elf God which is GBV.
from the first Suitcase box set, Failed Experiments And Trashed Aircraft.
And Freedom Cruise’s “Sensational Gravity Boy” which was a bonus track
on the first volume of Briefcase is classic GBV.

The album also includes, The Keene Brothers, Psycho and the Birds,
Howling Wolf Orchestra and six bonus tracks which includes
GBV’s “The Power of Suck” and a demo of “Sister I Need Wine”.

Lots of great stuff,
My only complaint of this great 2 CD set is,
Where the hell is “Submarine Teams”?

Seriously, it would only make sense.
The first song from “Kid Marine” the first release of the Fading Captain Series.
I’m sure like myself,
everybody when they first received “Kid Marine”,
and played that first song while looking at the artwork,
thought the same thing,
“This is a cool song, What’s the Fading Captain Series?
and Who are the guys on the cover?

I remember during the “Do The Collapse” tour,
GBV would open with “Submarine Teams”,
It was Epic.

I do see not including “Submarine Teams” as a mistake.
That is really my only problem with this set.

But anyway, this is really a great CD,
great artwork and lots of great songs.
this is among some of Bob’s best stuff.

This is a compact disc only release,
perhaps someday it will be released on colored vinyl.
I can wish.

I just checked and it’s still available.
If you are a Guided By Voices fan and missed out on the Fading Captain stuff,
this is a great overview and well worth the $10 price.

Even If you did buy all of the Fading Captain Series,
it’s still a great CD set to add to your collection.

Who the hell I’m I kidding?
Worth it?
56 songs on 2 CDs with a booklet in a wallet?
For only $10?
(plus shipping and handling)

If you were to buy the original recordings on your own,
it could cost you hundreds of dollars.
(I once heard that line on an old TV commercial)
but you can have them for only $10.

Why are you still sitting there?
You will thank me later,
and maybe even Rockathon for the free advertisement.


Hey Bob!
Maybe its time for The Son of the Fading Captain Series