Liz Phair / Girly-Sound To Guyville / The 25th anniversary box set

Matador Records will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Liz Phair‘s debut album Exile in Guyville with Girly-Sound To Guyville, an extensive limited edition seven-LP vinyl box set and triple-CD package.

In the beginning (1991), the American singer-songwriter and guitarist recorded under the ‘Girly-Sound’ moniker and ultimately created three tapes of songs recorded on her own four-track recorder. Although these were never actually released, they did get passed around, copied and distributed thanks to word-of-mouth, and a small selection of the songs impressed Matador Records enough to sign the American singer-songwriter.

One of the big attractions of this forthcoming box set are these early songs. It contains ‘official restored audio’ of all three self-recorded cassettes. This content spans the first five records in the vinyl box – two doubles and a single LP.

And as you would expect, the set also contains the Exile in Guyville album, remastered (by Emily Lazar). This is a double LP and takes the vinyl record count to seven.

Girly-Sound To Guyville also includes a book, which contains new notes, photos and essays by Liz Phair and journalist Ann Powers.

The three-CD edition of the set is much cheaper, although the book in the vinyl version contains more pages of unpublished photos, unseen artwork, and ephemera.

The remastered Exile to Guyville is also available separately, on 2LP vinyl or CD. On the latter format, the price differential is negligible, and you may as well spend a little more and go for the full box set with the Girly-Sound content. That’s not the case with vinyl however, with UK fans required to spent more than £55 for the seven-LP set (although it is actually still reasonable value for a seven-record set).

Girly-Sound To Guyville: The 25th Anniversary Box Set will be released on 4 May 2018.

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Liz Phair

Girly-Sound To Guyville: The 25th Anniversary Box Set [VINYL]


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Liz Phair

Girly-Sound To Guyville: The 25th Anniversary Box Set


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Liz Phair

Exile in Guyville - remastered 2LP Vinyl


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Liz Phair

Exile in Guyville - remastered CD


White Babies
6 Dick Pimp
Divorce Song
Go West
Don’t Holdyrbreath
Johnny Sunshine
Miss Lucy
Elvis Song
Dead Shark
One Less Thing
In Love w/Yself

Hello Sailor
Fuck And Run
Easy Target
Soap Star Joe
Ant In Alaska
Polyester Bride
Miss Mary Mack
Love Song

Open Season
Whip Smart
South Dakota

Help Me, Mary
Dance Of The Seven Veils
Never Said
Soap Star Joe
Explain It To Me
Fuck And Run
Girls! Girls! Girls!
Divorce Song
Johnny Sunshine
Strange Loop?

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Charlie Waffles

Great artwork, Liz! You will always be a class act.


Just got my 7lp box set from Matador today. FAIL FAIL FAIL! Said book is actually a newsprint magazine. No glossy glamour shots of her greatest hits. Well there is an insert added to the album proper which also has the original artwork. Cds prolly a better way to go.

Teddy Bushpig

Does anyone know what’s up with the two missing tracks on this? The Matador website doesn’t list the last tracks on the first two Girly-Sound tapes (Fuck And Die and Shatter, respectively).
I tweeted at Matador and Liz but got no reply.
Either way, I preordered the cds and tapes, but I’ll be a bit disappointed if those two tracks are not on there.

Andrew B

Looks like Liz has a couple of nice hits.


Agree with Dean above about the 15th anniversary’s dynamic range being squashed; if this 25th ann. is similarly done, I’m out (although I’d miss those demos). Re the remastering, this about Emily Lazar may hint as to what May will bring: http://members.celebrityaccess.com/admin/profiles/profile.html?id=703

specifically, this part:
I find that many of the recording you’ve worked on actually breathe. There’s a dynamic range. Many records don’t have that today.

Sure. Not everybody is listening for that. They are listening to, “I like this song” or “I like this artist.” I’m not. I hope that’s why people choose me because I try desperately to not to just smash things into a compressor. I try very hard to look for that detail, for the emotional line that is running through everything, and make a story out of it. Piece it together so it makes sense both sonically and lyrically. I was an English major, a creative writing major in college, so the story and the lyrics are important to me as well what frequencies are going on.

Rory M

Have to say that the new reissue artwork looks awful, should have stuck to the original

Larry Davis

Ah, time to rebuy the album yet again…but with the Girlysound demos, sweet!! I have the CD/DVD of the album that ATO reissued, in a slipcase…the DVD is essential because it’s a fun/funny Q&A (haven’t watched it in a while) but if I recall it’s with Liz, Brad Wood, and others, by ATO owner Dave Matthews, who is a Liz “Phan”…album is classic catchy lo-fi powerpop, explicit lyrics and all…and I saw “Polyester Bride”?? That was a Girlysound song originally?? As for the 2 Capitol albums, I had no problem with them…cuz all her stuff is great catchy powerpop…these were just with a tad more production…her personality was not buried…you can tell it’s her…

Larry Davis

I just looked over that 15th anniversary CD/DVD I have, and I forgot, but besides that DVD, there are 3 bonus tracks/unreleased B-sides on it…one of them is on this box, “Ant In Alaska”, but the other two are not: “Say You” and “Instrumental”…any clue what those songs are??


Disagree about the Capitol records. Those songs, apart from the singing voice, don’t sound anything like the weirdo Liz Phair of the GirlySound/Guyville/Whip-Smart era. They could’ve been written by anyone. And they sound terrible. Also: Guyville is not lo-fi, but the Girly-Sound tapes are. Hopefully this distinction will finally be understood when this box set is out and people can hear the progression. Cassette four track = lo-fi. Proper recording studio with 2” multitrack and expensive outboard mixing gear = definitely not lo-fi


Just pre-ordered the CD box set. Still an absolute classic album. Really hoping Matador does more of this stuff for some of their titles. That final Pavement album is still the only one with no reissue.


Terror Twilight is unlikely to get a reissue; I remember the band stating that they didn’t have much left in their vaults after the Brighten the Corners reissue. There are at least some B-sides from the Terror Twilight singles that could be used for a deluxe edition, but they didn’t seem too enthusiastic about putting anything together for one.


Demo’s are great, love ’em.

The big question here is the mastering. The original release was great on CD, but the 2008 release was horribly compressed (DR8 as opposed to DR13). I someh9ow doubt they’ll go back to letting the music breathe, but that’s the decider for me. I’ll wait to see what the numbers say. If the original album is compressed, the demo’s will be too. If the numbers are the same as the 2008, then I’m out.


Fuck, yeah! Tits and shits! That part of the image wasn’t on the original cover right?!


I’ve gone for the CD box set, I haven’t heard this album but I used to listen to her a lot back in the early 2000s, if I like it I may get the Exile album on vinyl.

Marshall Gooch

Matador does these things right. Witness the Underwater Moonlight deluxes of The Soft Boys awesome album they did some years back. Really wish I could afford the deluxe LP box set of this but will probably just go with CD version. (I have the last deluxe CD version they did and the original 2LP vinyl.)


Their Pavement reissues were excellent as well. Be nice if they did a Terror Twilight just to finish the job but a lack of enthusiasm in the band seems to be the root so, can’t really blame the label.


Oh. My. God. I NEVER thought this was ever going to happen. There have been tiny teasers of official Girly Sound releases over the years as b-sides and the bonus disc of Funstyle, but I seriously thought this was going to be one of those pieces of musical history that you would only ever find on the cheap tape trader’s editions (which aren’t so cheap anymore.

And the Girly Sound version of my favorite Guyville track is the promo video.

Today started off really badly–but this actually turned everything around. I’m so excited. It’s been difficult to stay a dedicated Liz Phan in the 2000s–first the two Capitol sell-out albums, then the interesting-but-probably-not-essential Funstyle…..and then nothing at all. This feels like some kind of Christmas.


Aparently liz is recording a new album at the moment with Ryan adams

Chris Squires

*This* is how to release an SDE on Vinyl. The Joshua Tree, Misplaced Childhood and Heaven on Earth have been great listens over the last year. Although 3 live LPs and no b-sides / demos / extended is a bit of a cop-out (Marillion).

I know people say the demos don’t get listened to…which is a point if you are a casual listener but a fan devours demos….however it’s just beyond delight to have something lovely and big-boxy of pure vinyl. I would love me some Nik Kershaw, Alison Moyet, Howard Jones, Kate Bush, Wham!, Phil Collins, Paul Young across 4 / 5 or more slabs of vinyl for a single LP re-issue. All b-sides, all remixes, all demos….. Some will hate it, fair-dos but I would (in the words of Kevin Keegan…”I would love it, love it”.


so the 3CD version contains EVERYTHING that is also on the 7LP version? except for a slimer book in the CD version?


@paul: thanks :-)

regarding the 3CD tracklisting there is a picture of the second CD on Amazon – you can see that half of the girly-sound songs are on CD2, so it’s a save guess that the other half will be on CD3.

comment image

ah, another thing – you have a little mistake in your tracklisting: you have a song named “Dead Shark One Less Thing Money” in it ;-) actually, it’s three songs of course: “dead shark”, “one less thing” and “money”


The music is the same on both formats, but according to Matador, “The vinyl edition of the book also includes never before seen photos, artwork, and ephemera.”


The CDs will do me. Sold my original vinyl when I was broke, will happily have the new edition here.

Paul English

CD for me. I still have my original LP although one of the platters is warped.
All the cool people on my FB feed are shelling out for the vinyl and dissing the CDs.


Its worth mentioning that you can also get the cassette reproductions of the GirlySound tapes as well as for once this is where a updated cassette release makes perfect sense.


Besides the obvious visual impact, and coolness factor, given these are lo-fi recordings, I am not sure of any audible benefit by having this on LP. I think the CD package is the way to go here. Finally the whole set and not just the teasers she has let out over the years.


Bigger is better and the vinyl comes with a download code. If you need a CD version, the whole set can be had for like $18 itself on amazon. I didn’t know there were still people who would choose the CD version of a big deluxe box set when there’s a big book included with the vinyl and reproductions of the artwork… it’s like opting for the postage stamp instead of the 16×24” of an art print or something. But whatever!