Guided by Voices' 'Bee Thousand' (33 1/3 Series)

Narrated by: Victor Bevine
Length: 4 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Marc Woodworth's audiobook covers the album's long and unorthodox period of writing, recording, sequencing, and editing. It includes interviews with members of the band, manager Pete Jamison, webmaster and GBV historian Rich Turiel, and Robert Griffin of Scat Records. At least 65 songs were recorded and considered for the album and five distinct concepts were rejected before the band hit upon the record's final form. One late version, very nearly released, contained only a few of Bee Thousand's definitive songs. The rest were left out and nearly ended up in the boxes of cassette out-takes cluttering up Robert Pollard's basement.

The story of Guided By Voices transformation from an occasional and revolving group of complete unknowns to indie-rock heroes is very much part of the story behind the making of Bee Thousand. In addition to providing a central account of how the record was made, Woodworth devotes a substantial chapter to the album's lyrics. Robert Pollard's lyrics are described by critics, when they're described at all, as a brand of tossed-off surrealism, as if his verbal sensibility is somehow incidental to the songs themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. Woodworth offers a sustained discussion of Pollard's work as a writer of often sublime, beautiful, and very human lyrics.

The third key section of the book covers aesthetics. Woodworth considers the great appeal of the do-it-yourself nature of Bee Thousand and reflects on the larger importance of the strain of alternative rock for which this record is a touchstone.

©2006 Marc Woodworth (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

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Sitting Out on Your House...

I became a hardcore (UFO) GbV fanatic in 1994 after I purchased and listened to Bee Thousand. It took me probably 3 listens to go from 'What the hell is going on here?' to 'This is going to change my life!' Yes, the album is THAT great.

25 years later I purchased this book. Honestly, before I bought it I thought I knew everything about the album there was to know. I was wrong. There are some great tidbits, commentary and opinions in the book. Is it for GbV completist? Probably. But I think any music fan in general would get a kick out of it. Plus, Bob Pollard is the greatest song writer ever.

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A must listen for any GBV fan.

I grew up in Ohio, but didn't get hipped to GBV until Universal Truths and Cycles was released. A grad student at Kent State University gave me an actual mix tape to lead me into them. Best birthday present ever. We stalked them on the Electrifying Conclusion tour up to their Cleveland show at the Beachland Ballroom. We snuck backstage and Uncle Bob fell on me and I never felt so cool. This book encapsulates how cool it can feel to be such a nerd.