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Bee Thousand

Guided by Voices Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Here is the last Guided By Voices album. Not in the sense of “Here is the previous Guided By Voices album,” but in the sense of “final.” If it’s true in movies where the voice-over says “You never really appreciate something until it’s gone,” and the credits roll, and you leave the theater with little bits of popcorn stuck to your shoes, then you ... Read more in Amazon's Guided by Voices Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Oct 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador
  • ASIN: B000025EMZ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 306,362 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lo-Fi brilliance 31 May 2001
Format:Audio CD
This is the definitive lo-fi album. Recorded in a basement on a four track you'd think the quality would hinder the listening, far from it. Catchy hooks and melodies lurk in every song waiting to sink under yor skin. Pitchfork Media voted it 4th best album of the 90's so it can't be bad!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highlight of 90's Lo Fi 24 Jan 2008
Format:Audio CD
it deserves 5 stars as it is the highpoint of 90's Lo fi recordings.

similarly there are bands like sebadoh and pavement and Liz phair was kinda in that area - but this beatles inspired band seem insanely cool tunes together with gritty guitars to produce one of the Lo Fi masterpieces around.

To those of you not sure what lo fi is - its like your mates playing in the garage and recording it there and then - its the music without the studio sheen.

personaly i like the aesthetic as it gets you closer to the music - the more times it gets recorded, dissected and then put back together inthe studio - the further away you are from what the guys actually wrote.

A great album packed with tunes and beguiling lyrics that is probably their best and the best place to start.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
`Bee Thousand' is one of the great "what if..." stories of underground rock music. Due to the band having barely any success whatsoever, `Bee Thousand' was intended to be Guided By Voices' last ever album. At the time, Robert Pollard, one of the greatest songwriters of his generation, was still a school-teacher and decided that since they had been spending money on recording and no one was listening to GBV's music, they would just record on cheap retail equipment. Fortunately, Guided By Voices did not break-up, Robert Pollard left his job as a Primary school teacher and they became cult heroes. The album is hard to get into since the recording quality is pretty poor, but the songs themselves are absolutely incredible: `Tractor Rape Chain', `Smothered In Hugs', `Echoes Myron', `Gold Star For Robot Boy', `I Am A Scientist'; basically every song on the album sounds like a lost relic from the greatest band that never was. With far-reaching influences, short running times, cryptic lyrics and a severe and unquenchable fervor and enthusiasm burning behind every track, `Bee Thousand' is a phenomenal record. Guided By Voices, at this point, weren't even a proper band; it was made up of a group of friends and those who were available at short notice would play the instruments. Each song took around 30 minutes each to finish recording (the longest song on the album is just 3 minutes). You can sort of tell that this was their one last go, the whole record (especially the last three tracks) has a hint of an elegy about it, as if they would inject all their remaining doomed hopes and dreams into this last curtain call to an audience who no longer cares. Instead of being an elegy, `Bee Thousand' was just the beginning of many more years of brilliant music. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Majestic. 27 May 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Listening to this album is like walking through the wardrobe door and stumbling upon a magic kingdom. In its diversity, it recalls The Beatles' Revolver, but surpasses even that landmark. A magical, bewitching record everyone should hear.
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5.0 out of 5 stars They shoot themselves with rock and roll 10 Dec 2012
By D. Luck
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Not the best Guided by Voices album (that'd be Alien Lanes), not the best way to leap into the world according to Robert Pollard (Human Amusements at Hourly Rates should be your first port of call), and not even the best way to experience the glorious shambles of GBV mk 1(order the DVD of Watch Me Jumpstart- it's amazing).

So why buy? Well... there's something about it. Maybe it's the way it's the last hurrah of a great band nobody had ever heard of, a parallel universe of greatest hits cooked up by a bunch of thirty somethings with boring jobs and kids and mortgages and stuff. Maybe it's because it's a triumph of rock and roll over real life, great tunes over crappy production.

Or alternatively, it features the best half of tunes Pollard ever wrote- Smothered in Hugs, Tractor Rape Chain and Gold Star for Robot Boy dazzle and charm. And even if it sags a bit at the end, I am a Scientist is startlingly great, perhaps as close as Pollard ever got to offering an explanation for his lifelong obsession with rock n' roll and being in a band: 'the hole I dig is bottomless / but nothing else can set me free'.

So maybe not the best, but the most loveable album of the most loveable band going.
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