Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Guided by Voices, "I am a Tree"

For reasons not worth explaining, my job required me to spend yesterday morning pretending to be a tree. I may have dropped a verse of this song while getting into character.

Someone should write A People's History of the Non-Robert Pollard Guided by Voices songs. At over 1,600(!) recorded songs and counting, by now it's assumed that anything the lead singer records ends up on an album. Anything that Tobin Sprout writes has to be pretty special if it's going to make it in between 20something Pollard originals.

"I am a Tree" might be Doug Gillard's only songwriting contribution to the band, and maybe their longest song ever at 4:41 (GBVologists, feel free to correct me). It's also the kind of song that no one ever counts on Pollard for, a fleshed-out composition with lyrics that make sense, though the major chorus is classic GBV. The next time you wonder how Pollard is crazy enough to release three full-lengths LPs per year, remember that he was sharp enough to know that this song  needed to be on an album.


Anonymous said... is your friend.

"I Am A Tree" is the only Guided by Voices song written solely by Doug Gillard & performed by Guided by Voices . Gillard wrote in 1993. Co-writes are "Mice Feel Nice (In My Room)" on the Tigerbomb EP; "Avalanche Aminos" on the British version of "Do The Collapse", and the subsequent EP which followed. Additionally, there are two songs that are solely Doug Gillard compositions and performances that were credited to Guided by Voices. Those are "Free of This World" on The Best of Jill Hives EP, and "The Mind Refuser" on the Japanese version of Half Smiles of the Decomposed.

Ben Apatoff said...

Thank you.