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Do the Collapse

83 customer reviews

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Do The Collapse
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Audio CD, August 3, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Any doubts about Ric Ocasek producing Guided by Voices' latest record are swiftly put to rest within the first few seconds of "Teenage FBI," the brilliant opening track on Do the Collapse. As new-wavish keyboards snake around Robert Pollard's nasal vocal delivery it's apparent that GBV have always been, among many other things, a great new-wave band and that Ocasek, the one-time crown prince of new-wave techno geeks, is a natural fit. Do the Collapse is GBV's most polished effort yet, although the slick production doesn't sabotage GBV's lo-fi, garage aesthetics. The songs virtually leap out at the listener with typical spontaneity and the hooks still come early and often. This time out Pollard has surrounded himself with a loose aggregate of musicians including the Breeders' Jim Macpherson on drums and guitarist Doug Gillard, a holdover from 1997's Mag Earwhig! The lineup does an exceptional job fusing all of their disparate influences with a consistency not seen on previous GBV releases. Every song here is a gem; there are echoes of Syd Barrett on "Dragons Awake" and "Wormhole," the Who (circa A Quick One) are recalled on "Much Better Mr. Buckles" and "An Unmarketed Product," and the record's most astounding track, "Liquid Indian," finds GBV channeling a myriad of unlikely '70s sources and mingling them with their own sensibilities to create something all their own. The beauty of Do the Collapse is GBV's ability to seamlessly stitch together the best of '60s British garage pop, '70s prog-rock, '80s new wave, and '90s indie rock to create their own personal history of rock & roll. --Paul Ducey

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Teenage FBI
  2. Zoo Pie
  3. Things I Will Keep
  4. Hold On Hope
  5. In Stitches
  6. Dragons Awake!
  7. Surgical Focus
  8. Optical Hopscotch
  9. Mushroom Art
  10. Much Better Mr. Buckles
  11. Wormhole
  12. Strumpet Eye
  13. Liquid Indian
  14. Wrecking Now
  15. Picture Me Big Time
  16. An Unmarketed Product

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 3, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: August 3, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tvt
  • ASIN: B00000JLI5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,186 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By PJFC on November 27, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I have been a Guided By Voices fan for about 6 years now and still am struck about how tenaciously Bob Pollard's melodies stick in my brain. When I bought this album, I put it on at work and hit replay without telling anyone and let it play all day. The next day, the Garth Brooks and Skynyrd fans were all humming "Liquid Indian" and "Hold on Hope" without realising that they were betraying their country inclinations. That's what is so amazing about his songwriting: Bob Pollard has a way a slicing through the ordinary and mundane (read: commercial), to let the obscenely hummable shine through. The glossy sheen thrown on this record doesn't get in the way of that aesthetic. It's amazingly easy to ignore the Cars-like keyboards and beefed up guitars. This isn't really as over-produced as other long-time GBV fans let on. The fact that Bob can write a hook better than anyone else out right now isn't lost in this immediately apppealing work. Yeah, "Bee Thousand" is a a more cohesive, complete work, but if what you need is the major label sheen and completeness, this is a good place to start. If this were 1982, Guided By Voices would be opening for The Who, not The Clash. A great date album if you were trying to impress someone who is moderately in the know. If s/he is really hip, put "Bee Thousand" on. If trying to impress someone when your "in-the-know" isn't the point, this one will have him/her remembering something about the night, even if it isn't you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I've read through most of the negative reviews below with interest. They seem to be written by either a) outraged lo-fi fans who want GBV to keep doing pretty much the same thing forever and b) GBV virgins who obviously wanted something a bit, er, straighter. Well ... don't listen to them. This is a brilliant album.
Mr. Pollard continues to pilfer licks and effects from every known pop music style of the last 35 years and make songs that seem eerily familiar yet completely new. Like tearing a phone book into scraps, throwing them into the air and having them turn into a bird.
The polished production on the album only means that you can hear every little detail on a boom box now. I don't care whether he continues to use Ocasek or not. The songs continue to be beautiful and evocative.
It should be noted that these songs are not supposed to make perfect sense all the time. They mean something to Mr. Pollard and they mean something to me. There might be some overlap, but that would just be icing on the cake. I only need to walk around humming "Liquid Indian" to bring back that wonderful swirling feeling of an exceptional acid trip from 15 years back. Dragons awake, indeed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By scot lade on July 22, 2006
Format: Audio CD
how could any album with teenage FBI, things i will keep, surgical focus, liquid indian, mushroom art and an unmarketable product suck? answer: it can't and it doesn't. yes, ric ocesek produced it and it is slick and pollard tried his hand at writing a hit song (the power ballad hold on hope), this is a really good album. forget alien lanes and listen with new ears. for my money, this is the third best GbV album (after bee thousand and alien lanes.) unduly critized by so-called fans. your venom probably cost pollard his only chance at actually making some real money. all the joy he brought to the world and this is how he was his own people. shame on you all. your true colors came out in 2000. so what did you move on to, anyway? built to spill or modest mouse?

ignore most of these reviews and enjoy!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jungle NYC on September 27, 2011
Format: Audio CD
"Do the Collapse" is a landmark album of expertly-written, bravely-produced songs from one of the greatest rock songwriters to ever grace our radios. And it sounds as big, and fresh, and incredibly creative today as it did a decade ago.

The only problem with this album is GBV's long-time fans (of which I am one) simply did not want their favorite band to grow, and change, and, frankly, be successful. They wanted this album dead.

And they got their wish.

For a GBV über-fan, there are lots of reasons to not like this album. Many prefered Robert Pollard's earlier, more "fun" approach to songwriting (elves, elves, and more elves). Many wouldn't accept anything other than a 4-Track-esque production quality. And some were never quite comfortable with the line-up change that occurred a few albums earlier.

But this happens with all the best bands: fans feel a deep and personal sense of ownership. The bands grow, and change, and the fans feel somehow dissed.

But this album was Robert Pollard's (and GBV's) first big step into "professional" production (UTBUTS was bigger-er, but still not quite "pro"). And, boy, had they earned it. Over a dozen insanely-great, self-produced albums of short songs and snippets that were (and still are) better than 98% of anything you hear on commercial radio.

This was their big chance. Rick Ocasek as producer (a master) pushed Pollard and the band very, very hard. He wouldn't let them drink while working. He insisted they behave like the mature, talented musicians they were.

And this is the result. Easily one of their top 3 albums.

But the fans revolted. "Sell Out!!!" they cried. "How DARE you release an album recorded on 2-inch tape!"

"Wait... is that... a CELLO?!?!?
Read more ›
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