Album: single 1994, Alien Lanes 1995.
Justification: Guided by Voices were a band that I took a long time to fall in love with – but once I fell, I fell hard. The sheer volume of the catalogue was daunting, but once Flat Stanley guitarist Paul Champion pressed Bee Thousand into my hands and said “You’ll love this,” I was on my way. Like Sonic Youth I tend to have an indefensible fondness for the “pop” era (Do The Collapse and Isolation Drills are both enormously underrated albums in my opinion), but this is without doubt my favourite GBV song.
And the original single version is infinitely superior to the Alien Lanes version (which is on this clip, preceded – as on the album – by the droney ‘Auditorium’, if only for the more and more and more and more layers of rhythm guitars that appear ever four bars. That’s the version that’s on the Human Amusements at Hourly Rates compilation, by the way, which is a superb place to start your journey if you’re considering it.
It’a worth noting, however, that Alien Lanes is one of the classic GBV albums and that Robert “Dean of Rock Critics” Christgau gave it a “bomb” rating, proving that the man’s a fucking moron.
Also, Canadian popsters the Salteens did a pretty decent version of this song.
As an aside: one of the best pieces of advice I ever received in my life was from my friend and then-bandmate Todd Hutchinson, when I was unemployed with less than $100 to my name and had to decide between buying food for the next ten days or dropping $70-odd on the last copy of the Box set at Big Star Records on Rundle Street. “In ten years time,” he said, “you won’t remember living on instant noodles for a week – but you’ll still have the CDs.” He was right.