Two or three songs: Guided by Robert Pollard

„Music seems to come pouring out of some people: Mozart, the young Rossini, Paul McCartney, Prince and now Robert Pollard, the singer and leader of Guided by Voices.“ (New York Times 1994)

Meet the Professor of Rock, the Master of the four P’s (pop, punk, psych, and prog), the Godfather of indie rock, the most prolific living songwriter, the genius behind Guided By Voices, the man who literally wrote hundreds of essential timeless 4P songs :


Guided by Voices have announced a new album for 2017. August by Cake marks the 100th album from Pollard since GBV’s 1986 debut Forever Since Breakfast. It is also the band’s first double album. Robert Pollard is said to have written over 2000 songs so far. At least! Sounds pretty daunting for beginners. Take a helping hand and dive into the universe of a former fourth grade teacher who deceided to write rock history.

Here’s a list of favorite Robert Pollard songs. My methodology: i chose two or three songs from nearly (!) every Guided By Voices/Robert Pollard/Pollard side project release (albums/ep’s/boxes):

Guided By Voices ‎– Forever Since Breakfast:

– Let’s Ride
– Sometimes I Cry
– She Wants to Know

Guided By Voices ‎– Devil Between My Toes

– Hey Hey, Spaceman
– Hank’s Little Fingers
– Old Battery

Guided By Voices ‎– Sandbox

– Long Distance Man
– Barricade
– Everyday

Guided By Voices ‎– Same Place The Fly Got Smashed:

– Drinker’s Peace
– The Hard Way
– When She Turns 50

Guided By Voices ‎– Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia

– Chief Barrel Belly
– Navigating Flood Regions
– An Earful O‘ Wax

Guided By Voices ‎– King Shit & The Golden Boys

– Please Freeze Me
– Indian Was An Angel
– Crocker’s Favorite Song

Guided By Voices ‎– Propeller

– Metal Mothers
– Red Gas Circle
– Quality Of Armor

Guided By Voices ‎– Fast Japanese Spin Cycle

– Dusted
– Kisses To The Crying Cooks
– Volcano Divers

Guided By Voices ‎– Static Airplane Jive

– Big School
– Damn Good Mr. Jam
– Glow Boy Butlers

Guided By Voices ‎– Vampire On Titus

– Sot
– „Wished I Was A Giant“
– Marchers In Orange

Guided By Voices ‎– Bee Thousand

– Buzzards And Dreadful Crows
– The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory
– I Am A Scientist

Guided By Voices – I Am A Scientist

– I Am a Scientist [7″ Version]
– Do the Earth
– Planet’s Own Brand

Guided By Voices ‎– Alien Lanes

– Motor Away
– As We Go Up, We Go Down
– Game Of Pricks

Guided By Voices ‎– Under The Bushes Under The Stars

– Drag Days
– Acorns & Orioles
– Don’t Stop Now

Guided By Voices – Tigerbomb

– My Valuable Hunting Knife
– Game Of Pricks
– Kiss Only The Important Ones

Guided By Voices ‎– Tonics & Twisted Chasers

– Unbaited Vicar Of Scorched Earth
– Dayton, Ohio-19 Something And 5
– My Thoughts Are A Gas

Guided By Voices ‎– Sunfish Holy Breakfast

– Canteen Plums
– Heavy Metal Country
– The Winter Cows

Guided By Voices ‎– Mag Earwhig!

– Not Behind The Fighter Jet
– Now To War
– Sad If I Lost It

Guided By Voices ‎– Do The Collapse

– Teenage FBI
– Dragons Awake!
– Things I Will Keep

Guided By Voices – Daredevil Stamp Collector: Do The Collapse B-sides

– Underground Initiations
– Interest Position
– Avalanche Aminos

Guided By Voices ‎– Isolation Drills

– Chasing Heather Crazy
– Glad Girls
– Twilight Campfighter

Guided By Voices ‎– Universal Truths And Cycles

– Factory Of Raw Essentials
– Everywhere With Helicopter
– Evreka Signs

Guided By Voices ‎– The Pipe Dreams Of Instant Prince Whippet

– Visit This Place
– Keep It Coming
– The Pipe Dreams Of Instant Prince Whippet

Guided By Voices ‎– Earthquake Glue

– The Main Street Wizards
– The Best Of Jill Hives
– Useless Inventions

Robert Pollard ‎– Edison’s Demos

– I’ll Replace You With Machines
– Main Street Wizards
– Secret Star

Guided By Voices ‎– Half Smiles Of The Decomposed

– Everybody Thinks I’m A Raincloud (When I’m Not Looking)
– Girls Of Wild Strawberries
– Huffman Prairie Flying Field

Guided By Voices ‎– Suitcase – Failed Experiments And Trashed Aircraft

– I’m Cold
– Wondering Boy Poet
– Excellent Things

Guided By Voices ‎– Suitcase 2: American Superdream Wow

– A Proud And Booming Industry
– It’s Only Up To You
– Two Or Three Songs

Guided By Voices ‎– Suitcase 3: Up We Go Now

– A Kind Of Love
– Piss Along You Bird
– Dropping The Bomb

Guided By Voices ‎– Suitcase Four: Captain Kangaroo Won The War

– Murphy Had A Birthday
– Hallway Of Glass
– Elouise

Guided By Voices ‎– The Best Of Guided By Voices – Human Amusements At Hourly Rates

– A Salty Salute
– Shocker In Gloomtown
– The Official Ironmen Rally Song

Guided By Voices ‎– Demons and Painkillers: Matador Out-of-Print Singles, B-Sides & Compilation Tracks.

– Mannequin’s Complaint (Wax Dummy Meltdown)
– (I’ll Name You) The Flame That Cries
– Choking Tara (Creamy Version)

Guided By Voices – Delicious Pie & Thank You for Calling

– 7 Strokes to Heaven’s Edge
– Perhaps We Were Swinging
– Back to Saturn X

Guided By Voices ‎– Live From Austin TX

– Gold Star For Robot Boy
– Window Of My World
– My Impression Now

Guided By Voices ‎– Let’s Go Eat The Factory

– Doughnut For A Snowman
– Chocolate Boy

Guided By Voices ‎– Class Clown Spots A UFO

– Billy Wire
– Class Clown Spots A UFO
– Chain To The Moon

Guided By Voices ‎– The Bears For Lunch

– White Flag
– Up Instead Of Running
– The Challenge Is Much More

Guided By Voices ‎– English Little League

– Xeno Pariah
– Know Me As Heavy
– Send To Celeste

Guided By Voices ‎– Motivational Jumpsuit

– Vote For Me Dummy
– Littlest League Possible
– Save The Company

Guided By Voices ‎– Cool Planet

– Bad Love Is Easy To Do
– Authoritarian Zoo

Guided By Voices ‎– Please Be Honest

– Come On Mr. Christian
– Please Be Honest
– Defeatists‘ Lament

Robert Pollard ‎– Not In My Airforce

– Maggie Turns To Flies
– Psychic Pilot Clocks Out
– The Ash Grey Proclamation

Robert Pollard ‎– Waved Out

– Make Use
– Wrinkled Ghost
– Subspace Biographies

Robert Pollard ‎– Kid Marine

– Flings Of The Waistcoat Crowd
– The Big Make-Over
– Far-Out Crops

Robert Pollard And His Soft Rock Renegades ‎– Choreographed Man Of War

– I Drove A Tank
– 7th Level Shutdown
– 40 Yards To The Burning Bush

Robert Pollard – Fiction man

– Sea Of Dead
– Children Come On
– Conspiracy Of Owls

Robert Pollard ‎– From A Compound Eye

– Dancing Girls And Dancing Men
– U.S. Mustard Company
– I’m A Strong Lion

Robert Pollard ‎– Normal Happiness

– Get A Faceful
– Tomorrow Will Not Be Another Day
– Boxing About

Robert Pollard ‎– Standard Gargoyle Decisions

– Shadow Port
– Folded Claws
– The Island Lobby

Robert Pollard – Coast to Coast Carpet of Love

– Miles Under The Skin
– Slow Hamilton
– Nicely Now

Robert Pollard ‎– The Crawling Distance

– The Butler Stands For All Of Us
– Imaginary Queen Alone
– No Island

Robert Pollard ‎– Robert Pollard Is Off To Business

– The Blondes
– 1 Years Old
Gratification To Concrete

Robert Pollard ‎– Elephant Jokes

– Stiff Me
– Johnny Optimist
– I Felt Revolved

Robert Pollard ‎– We All Got Out Of The Army

– Silk Rotor
– Post Hydrate Update
– Poet Bums

Robert Pollard ‎– Moses On A Snail

– Teardrop Paintballs
– Ice Cold War
– Arrows And Balloons

Robert Pollard ‎– Space City Kicks

– Something Strawberry
– Stay Away
– Blowing Like A Sunspot

Robert Pollard ‎– Lord Of The Birdcage

– Dunce Codex
– In A Circle
– You Sold Me Quickly

Robert Pollard ‎– Mouseman Cloud

– Obvious #1
– Human Zoo

Robert Pollard ‎– Jack Sells The Cow

– Take In
– Up For All That
– Red Rubber Army

Robert Pollard ‎– Honey Locust Honky Tonk

– She Hides In Black
– I Killed A Man Who Looks Like You
– Who Buries The Undertaker

Robert Pollard ‎– Blazing Gentlemen

– Tonight’s The Rodeo
– Piccadilly Man
– Faking The Boyscouts

Robert Pollard ‎– Faulty Superheroes

– Up Up And Up
– Faulty Superheroes
– Take Me To Yolita

Robert Pollard ‎– Of Course You Are

– That’s The Way You Gave It To Me
– I Can Illustrate
– Collision Daycare

Robert Pollard ‎– Silverfish Trivia

– Circle Saw Boys Club
– Touched To Be Sure
– Cats Love A Parade

Robert Pollard ‎– Weatherman And Skin Goddess

– Weatherman And Skin Goddess
– Coat Factory Zero
– Kiss The Quiet Man

Crickets – Best Of The Fading Captain Series 1999 – 2007

– Robert Pollard – Zoom (It Happens All Over The World)
– The Moping Swans – Beaten By The Target
– Little Bobby Pop – You’ve Taken Me In

Robert Pollard With Doug Gillard ‎– Speak Kindly Of Your Volunteer Fire Department

– Frequent Weaver Who Burns
– And I Don’t (So Now I Do)
– Slick As Snails

ESP Ohio ‎– Starting Point Of The Royal Cyclopean

– Intercourse Fashion
– Weakened By A Logical Mind
– Lithuanian Bombshells

Boston Spaceships ‎– The Planets Are Blasted

– Catherine From Mid-October
– Dorothy’s A Planet
– Canned Food Demons

Guided By Voices & Airport 5 ‎– Selective Service

– Guided By VoicesDayton – , Ohio – 19 Something And 5
– Airport 5 – Total Exposure
– Airport 5 – Stifled Man Casino

Boston Spaceships ‎– Out Of The Universe By Sundown – The Greatest Hits Of Boston Spaceships

– John The Dwarf Wants To Become An Angel
– Come On Baby Grace
– Tabby And Lucy

Boston Spaceships ‎– Let It Beard

– The Ballad Of Bad Whiskey
– Chevy Marigold
– No Steamboats

Circus Devils – Laughs Best (The Kids Eat It Up)

– Cyclopean Runways
– Love/Hate Relationship With the Human Race
– The Girls Will Make It Happen

Circus Devils – Stomping Grounds

– Schedules Of The Dead
– Sunflower Wildman
– Girl In Space

Circus Devils ‎– Escape

– Thin Escape
– The Big Strong Sea
– They’re Not Real Honey

Circus Devils – Laughs Last

– Crucified By The British Press
– I Do The Nixon
– Farm Action

Ricked Wicky – King Heavy Metal

– Jargon Of Clones
– Too Strong For No One To See You
– Walk Through Glass

Ricked Wicky ‎– Swimmer To A Liquid Armchair

– Poor Substitute
– Simple Simon Paper Plates
– Could I See The List One More Time?

Ricked Wicky ‎– I Sell The Circus

– The Important Girl
– Mobility

Lexo And The Leapers ‎– Ask Them

– Time Machines
– Alone, Stinking And Unafraid
– Plainskin

The Takeovers ‎– Turn To Red

– Be It Not For The Serpentine Rain Dodger
– Fairly Blacking Out
– First Spill Is Free

The Takeovers ‎– Bad Football

– I Can See My Dog
– My Will

Keene Brothers – Blues And Boogie Shoes

– Death Of The Party
– Island Of Lost Lucys
– The Naked Wall

Robert Pollard in his own words:

„I started writing songs when I was about eight; I’d write them a cappella. The first one was called “We Are from the Planet Mars,” another was “Jag Wire,” and then “Eggs Make Me Sick”: those are the first three songs I wrote. (…) I’ve got this huge catalog of songs, and I constantly go back. For instance, if I’m working on a song that I just recently made up, if I’m having trouble and think it needs something, I’ll go back in my mind and search for really old stuff to see if it fits. A lot of the stuff I wrote when I was a kid is like bubblegum pop—really hooky. I’ll use that stuff sometimes, just for sections of songs. As a matter of fact, Bee Thousand was completely made up of old songs put together. (…) But what I listen to mainly is ’60s shit, especially late ’60s. I’m kind of a ’60s freak. I like the way they put records together back then. There would be fuckin’ little skits and psychedelic long shit and pop songs, you know, the way that the Beatles and Byrds and Monkees put records together. There was such good competition then. As if everybody was thinking, “Man, if we’re going to put out a record it has to aspire toward greatness, it has to be amazing—it has to be conceptually amazing, even.” Now it’s like, Let’s throw a bunch of shit together, get a producer to produce it, put the one or two good songs at the top and fuck the rest of it.“ (Source)

„Literature, art and rock music. I really like and am inspired by the more surreal side of the various genres in those fields of art. I also get a lot of ideas from just hanging out with people in bars. I’m interested in words and visual imagery and I break down, take apart and re-assemble what I see and hear. I’m inspired by other people who I think are interesting and I read a lot of biographies.(…)  We practiced arena rock stage moves before we knew how to play instruments. We’re better athletes than most musicians. I’ve got better moves than Mick Jagger, or at least I used to, and I can fling a microphone around in a more interesting manner than Roger Daltrey.“ (Source)
 

„I have an addiction to songwriting. You know, there are people who like to play softball all the time, or basketball, or darts, or whatever. I like to write songs, so when I’m here at home, I get up in the morning and make myself some coffee, and I just get my guitar and turn on my tape recorder. I really love to write songs. Another reason is that I’m bored with music for some reason. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know if it’s because we’ve become part of „rock“ now, but when I was just a fan, I was an avid, enthusiastic record buyer and listener. Now I’m just bored, because I’ve found everything, I think. (…)  If you’re looking for a particular type of song that’s not around or that doesn’t exist anymore, the only thing you can really do is try to write it yourself, and try to find it in your own mind. So that’s why I write, ‚cause I’m addicted.“ (Source)

„My dad bought me this record (THE BEATLES: I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND) after I saw them on Ed Sullivan, and I played it incessantly. I couldn’t believe there was actually a group of guys who could grow their hair long and just play this kind of music and have girls chase them around. We used to pantomime in front of our class in second grade, and then we’d go out on the playground and little girls would chase us. It was a good time to be alive.“ (Source)

„When I make an album, I tire of it pretty quickly. I may listen to it for a week after it’s finished and then I put it away. Within another few weeks, I may have written ten or fifteen new songs. By the time one album comes out, I’m already tired of listening to it and on to the next. I’ve got quite a few vehicles to work with.“ (Source)

„Sing, scream, whistle, drink, and have a good time every night. True culture and the enhancement of life are being devoured by technological progress. We are all gods. You can never underestimate the creative potential of a human being. Nor the destructive potential.Life is a series of mistakes. You have to learn from them, and you can’t dwell on them or condemn yourself. If you write a song and your mom thinks it’s good, shit-can it immediately.“ (Source)

„Question: Do you ever think about that kind of thing — your place in music history, your impact, etc? Robert Pollard: Not really, but I am happy to have been accepted by some of my idols that I now consider to be peers. It’s rewarding to think that a lot of young bands are influenced by what I’ve done artistically. It’s about trying to keep it alive. Keep it in motion.“ (Source)

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