Time to redefine the purpose of this blog. Originally, the following three items defined the purpose:
1) To create my ultimate GBV/Robert Pollard playlist
2) To create my ultimate GBV/Robert Pollard CD box set
3) To give those new to GBV/Robert Pollard a good starting reference
I'm scratching out point #2, as it has already gotten way to big for a CD box set...
Anyone who listens to GBV knows that there is a certain measure of separating the gems from the not-so-gems (maybe put too politely). I started this blog to do exactly this...get out all of the good songs from the massive catalog and make a playlist (at the time, WinAmp compatible - now geared towards iPod). As I move forward, the third point (being a place for newcomers to get some info) seems to have taken a higher priority.
Where does one start when they get into Guided By Voices? I strongly suggest a pattern similar to the one I took (note, I got into GBV in late 2005):
1) Get the GBV greatest hits album
2) Pick up Bee Thousand - if you love this, you will be a fan for life
3) Pick up the other major GBV releases (Propeller, Vampire, UTBUTS, Alien Lanes, etc.)
4) Grab the later GBV releases (Mag Earwhig and after)
5) Early Pollard solo stuff is next
6) Post-GBV Pollard to follow (especially FACE and Normal Happiness)
7) Begin moving into GBV EP's as you find them, The Box set of early material, and side project stuff like Circus Devils, Takeovers, etc.
Of course, a random approach may also be beneficial, across all GBV, solo Pollard, and side projects - scattered from late 80's to present.
A couple of things I have found since taking on this undertaking:
1) The more I listen to GBV-related music, the more gems I find. Tracks that I didn't original like start to catch on, and even tracks that I originally labelled as toss-offs even start to sound great.
2) My opinion is in no way concensus. For every song I leave off the playlist, there are many who would have it in their top 20.
3) I'm incredibly biased, because I generally like most of the music.
4) This is going to take forever.
Anyway, just some thoughts I wanted to pass along.