I Am Decided :: Guided By Voices/The Amps


Back in the early days of AD we would regularly run a feature called Under The Covers that would pit a really good cover against its original; in essence, the Cover Wars. Since features tend to ebb and flow around here, let’s revisit this one. The track in question is Guided By Voices “I Am Decided,” a track that Kim Deal (aka, Tammy Ampersand) covered in 1995 with her super lo-fi side-side project The Amps. Released on the groups sole (and excellent) album Pacer, “I Am Decided” easily complimented the rest of the LP’s material. It also paid homage to fellow Dayton rocker, Robert Pollard, who, with his band of GBV vets, reinvented the sound of ’90s underground DIY lo-fi, and in doing so was a major influence on Pacer’s sound.

Pollard and company officially/commercially released the source material years later via the, exhaustive, box set Suitcase 2: American Superdream Wow. It’s classic Guided By Voices, recorded under the fake band name Timid Virus, that was (reportedly) supposed to appear on an abandoned concept album entitled The Power of Suck. That Pollard always had a way with album titles, no?

So that’s that. Which one do you prefer? The original, written by Pollard, or the cover, cleaned up a smidgen and crooned by Kim Deal? I know my preference, but want to hear your pick in the comments below. Have at it. As always, The Club Is Open…

MP3: Guided By Voices :: I Am Decided
MP3: The Amps :: I Am Decided (cover)
Amazon: Guided By Voices – Suitcase 2: American Superdream Wow

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15 thoughts on “I Am Decided :: Guided By Voices/The Amps

  1. Not the only time that Kim Deal took on GBV either – the Breeders’ Head to Toe 10″ took on “Shocker in Gloomtown.” And Sebadoh’s “Freed Pig” for that matter.

  2. yeah, credit to robert pollard ofcourse for writing an awesome song but the amps just took it up a level. great song, this is actually the first time i’ve heard it.

  3. i like both versions. i love the sound of kim’s guitar and her voice is always wonderful, but i also dig the lo-fi pop quality of the gbv track.

  4. GBV, all the way… that just is classic GBV right there. Deal’s version is ok, but I far prefer Pollard. On a side note – how is the rest of Suitcase 2?

  5. I like Kim Deal and I like GBV, but I have to say that the latter wins this round. It appears paradoxical but the hook comes through the GBV fuzz more strongly than the cleaner and more angular Amps’ version.

  6. kim is from huber heights. bob is from northridge. so of course the gbv version wins.

    p biggins
    tipp city

  7. The question is moot. The Amps version actually calls upon another GBV song called “Are You Faster?”. Hear the melody Kim’s singing at the beginning? That’s “Are You Faster?”. The GBV version of “I Am Decided” heard here is still clearly in a skeletal state, and didn’t make it to a real GBV album, but a collection of demos and sketches. My point is that the two songs heard here are the same in title only.

    That said, GBV.

  8. There’s a reason GBV doesn’t have a vagina. They write total sausage rock… the amps are nice, but their version just sounds twee and sort of lame in comparison. But, hey, I hear there are some folks who feel very deeply moved by twee.

  9. Yeah, Kim Deal “twee”? Jesus. Anyway, that original Pollard version is quite good — I think I like it better than the Amps track — but it’s almost a completely different song. Do the two share any lyrics at all? I don’t get why this is considered a cover; Kim’s version is so different, and actually the song is credited to Pollard/Deal on the Amps album (which is mind-blowing in its awesomeness and “I Am Decided” is probably the worst song on it). It’s a drastic rewriting.

  10. two GBV songs combined to make one amps song. the verse comes from “are you faster” (not the song with the same title on mag earwig, but another song entirely first heard on suticase 2), and the chorus coems from GBV’s “i am decided.” love all three songs so it’s hard to choose.

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