Best Robert Pollard solo albums?

Off the back of the recent GBV / Bee Thousand threads, has anyone here had the patience to sift through much of Bob’s solo stuff?

I expected decent things from the first two (Not in My Airforce and Waved Out) when they appeared on Spotify not too long ago but found them both very patchy (was particularly disappointed in the latter given how much of a banger Subspace Biographies is).

Got largely the same impression when dipping into some of the 2012-onwards albums over the last few years, but have just recently discovered that Blazing Gentlemen (2013) and Jack Sells the Cow (2012) are actually both really solid.

i know very little in between 1998 and 2012 (i did check out Robert Pollard Goes to Business from 2008 at one point after i read he almost released it as a new GBV record - strange as I didn’t think it sounded much like GBV compared to some of the others). Anything else worth investigating?

I’m told Speak Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Department with Doug Gillard is a must, haven’t got round to that one yet.

I’m in the same boat. I want to check them out but there’s so much GBV I still haven’t heard and the rate he’s going I will never catch up with GBV let alone the solo stuff. He’s started reissuing the solo albums, so I might just slowly check them out as they are reissued. The one with Doug Gillard you mentioned is set to be reissued next year.

For insight into which solo record/ side projects are the best received check out the GBV facebook group. It’s really active and reading post / comments you can get a feel for which are the favorites. Word of warning though alot of the people there are the crazy obsessive types, I’ve never seen anything like it, they like Pollard more than I have liked anything ever. I’ve never seen fans like it but that may be because I don’t join these type groups often.


my friend joined a Twilight Sad group on facebook and apparently the fans on there are all terrifying.

i used to check out band forums a lot back in the day and encountered plenty of weirdos tbf

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i did complete the GBV discography eventually though. found it worth persevering, maybe cos the late 90s/early 00s were the last ones i got round to. a couple of the newer ones are probably expendable in hindsight.

How much are you looking at his solo albums specifically, rather than just his non-GBV projects? As several of his collabs with other people have been very worthwhile and give a slightly different flavour to things.

Honey locust honkey tonk is dece. Quite like let it beard as well


Adore that track yeah, the rest of the album didn’t stick with me but I haven’t heard it in a while

seem to remember having a positive overall impression of from a compound eye, might have a dig around later and see if it actually was ok

Other projects welcome. Have listened to the Boston Spaceships best of (found it patchy), an Airport 5 album (another one where I was disappointed as the rest didn’t live up to the ‘hit’) and the last Circus Devils album (some interesting stuff on this, been meaning to explore them further starting with the best of, but further album recommendations welcome)

Think I also listened to one of the Teenage Guitar albums but don’t remember much about it.

Think I’m often drawn to Pollard related albums based how much I like the artwork and title, but increasingly some of the best ones have the shittest covers and vice versa

Have heard a few but not really found any that click for me. I think my favourite non-GBV Bob project is Lifeguards with Doug Gillard. Need to go back to those records again and try some of the other side projects too.

Oh yeah the ESP Ohio album didn’t really grab me much either but haven’t tried Lifeguards.

Everyone should definitely try Blazing Gentlemen and Jack Sells the Cow though

Speak Kindly is great, as is From a Compound Eye and Kid Marine (i think this is being repressed next year).
With Boston Spaceships, I always thought the Best of had some glaring omissions . Try ‘Planets Are Blasted’ or ‘Let it Beard’.

This is a pretty good selection, side projects et al:

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ace, thanks for this

Let It Beard

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Listened to ‘Mouseman Cloud’ on the way in this morning funnily enough. A solid 7.5/10 album for me.

listened to that one a while back and tried very hard to like it but only really enjoyed a few songs