Guided By Voices - Back to Saturn X (1992)


The second aborted album in GBV's time line, Back to Saturn X was one of two albums that were slated to be released in 1992 but were shitcanned at the last minute. The album prior Same Place The Fly Got Smashed saw GBV to begin to go further down the road of home recording and begin to explore darker themes centered heavily around drinking (who would've thought?). Many have argued (myself included) that Same Place was the first proper album in what has become known as the "classic" era of GBV where the albums started to resemble a patchwork of musical ideas rather than just a collection of songs. Back to Saturn X took the home recording approach to an even greater extreme. On many of the tracks it sounds like the band was recorded two rooms away into a single microphone while the vocals are recorded clear and direct. It makes for an interesting sound, one that is clearly influenced by early 60's production which carries over prominently to tracks like "Crutch Came Slinking" and "Chicken Blows" which both feature poppy vocal harmonies. The heavy punk influence on Same Place has carried over to this album too, with tracks like "Squirmish Frontal Room" and "Mallard Smoke" benefiting heavily from the muddy production. Another song of note is the original version of "Tractor Rape Chain", which musically bears no resemblance to the Bee Thousand version but does contain the famous chorus lyrics near the end. Back to Saturn X is an essential missing piece to the GBV puzzle and clearly bridges the gap between the two distinct phases of early GBV.

Note: All album covers in this series are not the actual covers. They have never been made available, so I am designing the covers myself from old band photos and collages from around the same periods as the albums.

5 comments:

decrepittapes said...

http://www.sendspace.com/file/x8la3k

Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

Nice job on the covers. I am a nut about having art for everything...

Brian said...

amazing. are these culled from existing releases (i.e. suitcase)? this is what i imagine prying into pete jamison's cassette shoebox sounds like. anyhow--great stuff.

decrepittapes said...

These are culled from a number of different sources. Some tracks are from Suitcase and other official rarity releases and others are from various fan-curated rarity compilations that have been released over the years. I always go with the best available source.