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

4 Nov 2003 | Format: MP3

7.49 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for 11.95 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 4 Nov 2003
  • Label: Matador
  • Copyright: 2003 Matador Records
  • Total Length: 1:17:11
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001MSXVR8
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,843 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Jun 2004
Format: Audio CD
GBV have been around for donkeys' years, offering lo fi inspiration to scores of important guitar bands ( and the Strokes )
Given that they've released approximately eleventy grillion albums so far, any compilation album was going to have to be a severely compromised affair, but this'll do the job very nicely.
Decidedly, avowedly, determinedly unconcerned with the trappings of rock n roll fame and fortune, they freed themselves to work under their own steam.
Under their own steam, as it turns out, they went at it like demons. The secret of their success was always their prolific work rate. They tirelessly jammed their way through thousands of songs looking for awesome riffs, powerchords and melodies. Even still, their hit rate was incredible. There are more "Eargasms" on a typical GBV album than you'll find anywhere else. And it's all such goodtime stuff !
I can't agree with the comment in the previous review, though. DO NOT WAIT for another compilation album to come along - I doubt there'll be one. GBV recently announced they've split. There will be one last studio album this Autumn, then they go their separate ways. Instead, work your way back through as many albums as you can. "Mag Earwig" is my favourite, but they're all great. A real tonic for indie kids.
Rocks like a barrel of monkeys on top of a wonky wardrobe.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven Dedalus on 24 May 2007
Format: Audio CD
Guided By Voices are an indie institution, and one of the most prolific bands to come out of the American indie underground. Whilst they never quite `made it', they became a highly visible example of how one could exist quite comfortably under the radar and still earn the respect of their peers.

To call this a `greatest hits' album would be an error as they didn't have any, but that overused term "Smash hits in an alternative universe" seems almost designed to apply to Guided By Voices. By not having to worry about following up hit singles and albums, Robert Pollard was able to write the songs that he wanted to hear, free from outside influences. Every song bursts with hooks and melodies, and almost all of them are over before they've begun!

Guided By Voices don't mess around, and when a song is done, it's DONE!!! `Hit!' lasts about 34 seconds and manages to have three separate parts. Once again, to use an over-familiar expression, most Guided By Voices songs have more ideas in them than many lesser band's entire albums.

The problem with all this is that it's quite a daunting collection, with an awful lot of songs to get through, and Robert Pollard's approach to recording has come to define `lo-fi', and the songs are full of mistakes, audio drop outs, tape hiss and other things that could shock the casual listener, used to hearing pristine and polished audio creations. However, there is something more charming and affecting in these rough hewn gems. This collection (frustratingly not chronologically ordered) is a good overview of their history and leaves the listener begging for more. And thankfully, there is a whole lot more to hear...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME on 27 Jan 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Human Amusements at Hourly Rates is a 77-minute, 32 track compilation of Guided By Voices material from 1987 to 2003 that serves as an ideal introduction to the hugely prolific cult concern. Having heard the odd track and aware of the fan devotion - akin to those who obsess over bands like The Boredoms, The Fall, Sonic Youth & Throbbing Gristle - I wondered where to start and borrowed Alien Lanes and Universal Truth and Cycles from a friend. I wasn't quite sure and there are those who think that Bee Thousand (which now has its own 33 1/3 book title), Mag Earwig and Under the Bushes, Under the Stars. & what about all those box-sets? I was confused then and thought that while Guided By Voices would probably be my kind of band, this compilation is the best place to start - so I would have to agree with the comments in reviews thus far. The ideal GBV primer.

Things are probably not helped by the non-linear presentation of 32 tracks from the epic career of Robert Pollard & co - then again, the compilation has been selected by Pollard, so it probably makes sense and he seems to have a good self awareness of what is needed (there is a slightly different version of this compilation in the Hardcore UFO's box set incidentally). I think I'm going to base my next few GBV's purchases on my favourite tracks here, which will become a problem as even after a few listens it's all becoming my favourite. GBV box-set crazy I will be.

It's lo-fi indie alternative rock at its finest and bands I was reminded of, who GBV may have been influenced by and or influenced, include Mission of Burma, Husker Du, The Strokes, Meat Puppets, The Who, Pavement, & The Wipers. Just pointers and I ain't getting papal regarding plagiarism!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "mycroft73" on 17 Aug 2005
Format: Audio CD
Guided by Voices' albums are great in there own right, although listening to the likes of Alien Lanes leaves you with the feeling that Pollard is a bit of a show-off, chucking away brilliant melodies on 30 second bits of songs. None of that on this compilation, but GBV still manage to pack 32(!) fantastic songs in to just over an hour, making it a strong contender for a desert-island disc.
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