Released 1992
Genre Indie Rock
Length 36:07
Label Rockathon Records, Scat
Catalog # 49

Propeller is the 5th album by Dayton, Ohio indie rock group Guided By Voices. It is considered by some to be the most legendary Guided by Voices album. Conceived initially by Robert Pollard as a farewell album in the face of years of obscurity and mounting debt, the album ended up propelling the band to a higher-profile status and influence, affording the band a lasting position in the indie rock establishment.

While significant portions were recorded in a professional recording studio (though later to be "lovingly f*cked with" by Mike "Rep" Hummel, of Mike Rep and the Quotas), the album is notable for being the first of the band's albums to make extensive use of 4-track cassette and lo-fi recording techniques as an aesthetic unto itself. Songs are frequently punctuated by unexpected blasts of noise, awkward tape edits, sped-up or slowed-down vocal or instrumental parts, and other sonic bric-a-brac. An interesting result of this technique is the intro to the album's opening track, "Over the Neptune/ Mesh Gear Box". What appears to be the sound of a band taking the stage before a throng of thousands of fans chanting "G-B-V!! G-B-V!" was actually created by Guided by Voices in the studio (the band had not played live in years and, more to the point, never to more than a handful of people at the time of recording). Nevertheless, the inclusion of this clip ensured the canonization of the "G-B-V!" chant, heard at essentially every Guided by Voices concert thereafter, and the entire opening sequence was faithfully recreated at the band's final show in 2004.

The cover art also contributed to the album's legend. Initially self-released only in a limited vinyl run of 500, each copy of the album received a unique, handmade cover. Decorated by band members, friends and family with myriad methods such as screen-printing, hand-painting, and affixing various found objects (including an empty six-pack carton of Keystone Light) to plain white sleeves, these albums grew in value over the years and as of 2005, were known to have sold for prices in the thousands of dollars. The album was first given a wide release by Scat Records when it was appended to the CD version of GbV's 1993 album Vampire on Titus. Later, both albums were given a standalone CD release.

The cover for the latest CD version is shown above. In 2005, a new, non-limited and non-handmade vinyl edition was released, along with an updated CD version using a reproduction of a selection the original covers.

Track Listing

  1. "Over The Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox" (5:41)
  2. "Weed King" (2:39)
  3. "Particular Damaged" (1:59)
  4. "Quality Of Armor" (2:37)
  5. "Metal Mothers" (3:18)
  6. "Lethargy" (1:20)
  7. "Unleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy" (1:59)
  8. "Red Gas Circle" (1:25)
  9. "Exit Flagger" (2:19)
  10. "14 Cheerleader Coldfront" (1:31)
  11. "Back To Saturn X Radio Report" (1:33)
  12. "Ergo Space Pig" (2:48)
  13. "Circus World" (2:40)
  14. "Some Drilling Implied" (1:40)
  15. "On The Tundra" (2:38)

Same Place The Fly Got Smashed Propeller Vampire On Titus

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