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December 22, 2003
By Darryl Sterdan
Guided By Voices
Hardcore UFOs Box Set
4.5 out of 5
DISCS: Six -- five CDs and a DVD.
TRACKS: An imposing 129 (!!) songs, along with at least 18 full cuts on video (and snippets of plenty more).
YEARS: 1984 - 2003.
LOWDOWN: How many box sets can one man possibly produce? Well, if that man is the insanely prolific Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices, there's just no telling. Hardcore UFOs is the third massive compilation from the former Dayton teacher and his legendary indie-rock outfit. In many ways it's also their most varied and accommodating set yet. For the casual fans, the set offers two discs stuffed with GBV's best tracks, as selected and sequenced by Pollard hisself. For the record geeks, there are another two discs of rare singles, B-sides and compilation tracks. For the tape traders, there's a disc of live recordings. For the song collectors, there's another CD of unreleased material. And for the vidiots, there's a swell documentary, video clips, live footage and more.
NEW STUFF: Nearly two dozen studio tracks, along with 75 rarities and live cuts.
EYE CANDY: An 80-page book with some great photos, but not enough text. For a guy who writes so many songs, you'd think Bob would have a few more stories to tell.
DAMAGE: About $80.