Bee Thousand: Director's Cut
(2004, Scat Records)
In 2004, Scat Records released a 3 LP set of Guided by Voices '94 seminal classic Bee Thousand. The reissue included the all original tracks, but with a reconstructed order. In addition, this 3 LP set includes tracks from the Grand Hour EP, I Am A Scientist EP, and cuts from the King Shit And The Golden Boys compilation recorded during the Bee Thousand sessions. The LP tracks are also arranged and labeled on Discs 1 and 2 as Instructions To The Rusty Time Machine, one of several titles and song arrangements considered for Bee Thousand.
The 3 LP reissue also included 8 exclusive and unreleased tracks; the reviews are listed below. Additionally, there are slightly different versions of songs like "Tractor Rape Chain" and "Ester's Day" as well. Those said tracks only differ in the fact that intros have been added or clipped from the original tapes. Those reviews for those are listed below as they are, at the core, the same songs that appear on Bee Thousand.
It's Like Soul Man [4-track Version]- 5 Lo-fi, blown out as shit, early version of a Tobin Sprout track that originally received an official release on '96s Under the Bushes Under the Stars LP. Carried by its incredibly melodic bass line, and Tobin's infectious hook, this would've been nice to have been seen on a wider spread release. In hindsight, it would've undoubtedly found a suitable niche in the final cut of Bee Thousand.
Crayola- 4 This track would have fit snugly onto an GBV EP of the times, but remained in the vault. Pollard sings in a bouncy nursery rhyme type of flow. Fuzz guitar and bass exist as the rough skeletal track, and Pollard backs up his own vocals. Rad as shit Alien Lanes type snippet track.
Zoning The Planet- 2 Drum tom rolls and rickety, razor thin guitar shrapnel. Sounds improvised, and not hard to see why it's remained hidden for so long. Early EP scrapheap stuff. No hook, and very little charm.
Way To A Man's Heart- 1 Some chatter ensues and then a violin comes screeching in. Pollard yells "check." Starts plucking something similar to "Don't Stop Now" on acoustic. Violin sounds like it's dying a slow death over it. No vocals. Some background laughing. What the fuck ever.
Twig- 4 Tobin Sprout acoustic track. Like most Tobin songs of the time, this has a great melody and has killer harmonies. Fantastic explosive outro. Where and WHY was this song hiding for 10 years?
Shocker In Gloomtown [Demo]- 4 Very, very raw, slower version of the classic GBV song. Drums are off-time, giving the intro a completely different feel. Beneath this muck of hiss, you can hear the greatness and potency of the song, but thankfully GBV released an even better version 11 years prior on The Grand Hour EP.
Break Even [Demo]- 2 Another demo track for a song off '93s The Grand Hour EP. In anarchic basement dirt-noise spirit, this fuzzed gurgled demo is worth a trip into history.... but just for a solitary listen.
My Valueable Hunting Knife [Shernoff Version]- 5 Engineered by The Dictators' Andy Shernoff, this version of "My Valuable Hunting Knife" remained unreleased until this box-set. Shernoff had also recorded the 7'' version of "I Am A Scientist" on the EP of same name. As for this? What a welcome hidden gem! A different take on the classic off Alien Lanes and the other re-recorded version off the Tigerbomb EP. A power-chord punk-pop assault on the mid-tempo hit! Raw, crunch, and propulsive with all the hooks you remember. Nothing but love for this track.