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Alternative & Indie - Released April 17, 1989 | 4AD

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
After the shock of Surfer Rosa, fans des Pixies found a tighter, less abrasive, but happily no better-behaved second album. The opening punch of Debaser, the saintly nonchalance on I Bleed, the enlightened surf pop of Monkey Gone To Heaven, the gag of La La Love You: Doolittle, released 1989 stored up all manner of gems, some troubling, others fascinating, others still surprising (everything that happens in the two mere minutes of Waves Of Mutilation is mind-bending), without ever looking like just another production of the times. This fusion of punk rock, surf music and pure pop achieves perfection here. After a record like this, we can have a better idea of where Pavement and Nirvana (Cobain named the Pixies as his favourite group) got their inspiration from...© Marc Zisman
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 30, 1998 | 4AD

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
"Seeking fans of Peter, Paul & Mary and Hüsker Dü". It was this simple small-ad that saw Frank Black, then going by "Black Francis" find his Pixies band-mates, surely the most innovative adventure in rock of the late 1980s. Teetering on an unstable bridge linking the wildest, most de-structured punk and the most joyful pop, the Boston quartet shook things up with their changes in rhythm and other bizarre dissonances. For their first recordings from 1987 and 1988, everything and anything was grist to the mill of their genius: surf music, bubblegum pop, art rock, angular post-punk – each great swerve madder than the last. Joey Santiago's guitar is wild with electric shocks; Kim Deal is bouncing off the walls, and Black Francis belches out the craziest stories. A simply spellbinding first album! © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 13, 2019 | Infectious Music

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“For me, music and performance are theatrical. Witches and ghosts were good enough for Shakespeare, so they’re good enough for me”. The artistic ethos of Frank Black, aka Black Francis and leader of the late Kurt Cobain’s favourite rock band Pixies for over thirty years, sheds some light on their new album. Beneath the Eyrie is the seventh studio album from the group and is a tribute to American gothic in all its dismal splendour; packed with references to Anglo-American folklore (St Nazaire, Daniel Boone, Silver Bullet) and surf and skate culture (Los Surfers Muertos, Long Rider). Pixies are on top form here with their signature bass riffs, Latino/surf sounds and acoustic guitars, especially in On Graveyard Hill, which is the showstopper of this legendary group’s comeback album. © Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz
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Pop/Rock - Released April 29, 1998 | 4AD

When Bossanova arrived in 1990, it reflected the exhaustion the Pixies felt after Doolittle's enormous success: For the first time, the band seems to be running out of ideas. Tellingly, Kim Deal contributes no songs, having formed the Breeders to give her work an outlet; that summer, their debut Pod won a warmer response than Bossanova received. Arguably the Pixies' weakest album -- though Francis has said it's his favorite -- most of it finds the band in fine form. Gil Norton's spacious, reverb-heavy production makes the Pixies sound like a Martian bar band, which fits the cover of the Surftones' "Cecilia Ann" and the glorious, shimmering closer "Havalina" perfectly. On the theremin-driven "Velouria," science fiction imagery displaces Francis' penchant for fetishistic lyrics; next to the token kinky song "Down to the Well"'s tired sound, it's a refreshing change. The similarly cryptic "All Over the World" and alien abduction tale "The Happening" add to the sci-fi feel. Quirky pop songs like "Allison," a tribute to jazz cool-cat Mose Allison, and "Dig for Fire," Francis' self-professed Talking Heads homage, heighten Bossanova's playful, slightly off-kilter vibe, but rockers like "Hang Wire" and "Blown Away," fall flat. However, "Rock Music" is one of the group's most fiery outbursts, and "Is She Weird"'s chugging grind and sexy, funny lyrics make it a classic Pixies song. The band was so consistently amazing on their previous albums that when they released a slightly weaker one, critics and fans alike judged them too harshly. But on Bossanova's strongest moments, the Pixies explored their softer side and found different uses for their extreme dynamics. Like a straight-A student who suddenly receives a B+, Bossanova might have been a disappointment initially, but its (small) failings emphasize the strengths of the rest of the Pixies' work. ~ Heather Phares
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 3, 2004 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 21, 1988 | 4AD

"Seeking fans of Peter, Paul & Mary and Hüsker Dü". It was this simple small-ad that saw Frank Black, then going by "Black Francis" find his Pixies band-mates, surely the most innovative adventure in rock of the late 1980s. Teetering on an unstable bridge linking the wildest, most de-structured punk and the most joyful pop, the Boston quartet shook things up with their changes in rhythm and other bizarre dissonances. For their first recordings from 1987 and 1988, everything and anything was grist to the mill of their genius: surf music, bubblegum pop, art rock, angular post-punk – each great swerve madder than the last. Joey Santiago's guitar is wild with electric shocks; Kim Deal is bouncing off the walls, and Black Francis belches out the craziest stories. A simply spellbinding first album! © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 30, 2016 | Pixies Music

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Though they crafted a signature -- and endlessly copied -- style, Pixies' music never stayed in the same place for long. During their early years, the band relished change, moving from Come on Pilgrim's scrappy apocalyptic visions to Doolittle's gleaming pop to Trompe Le Monde's riff-rock at a rapid pace. Indeed, it could be argued that part of the reason their 2014 comeback Indie Cindy underwhelmed was because it tried too hard to recapture the past. On Head Carrier, Pixies usher in more than a few changes, the biggest being bassist Paz Lenchantin. Replacing a member may be inconsequential for some bands, but for this one, it's a big deal (pun intended): Founding bassist Kim Deal departed prior to Indie Cindy, and the use of a session player on the album only underscored that a vital part of the group's appeal was missing. Thanks to Lenchantin, Pixies sound like a full -- if slightly different -- band again, whether she's sweetening "Oona"'s crunch with her harmonies or helping shape the album's character in general. The rest of the band's ease at having her in the fold is audible, and Head Carrier is a surprisingly nice album. "Classic Masher" and "Bel Esprit" recall the amiable jangle of "Here Comes Your Man" and the band's cover of "Winterlong," and the easygoing vibe continues on "All the Saints"' slo-mo surf and "Plaster of Paris." However, the niceness turns strange on "All I Think About Now." A musical thank-you note to Deal written by Black Francis and sung by Lenchantin that shamelessly borrows from "Where Is My Mind?," it manages to be both jarring and overly nostalgic. As on Indie Cindy, when the band looks back too much, it feels forced; "Baals Back" is shrieky and Biblical, but lacks the true oddness of their best songs about fire and brimstone. Fortunately, the high-speed chase that is "Um Chagga Lagga" and the roaring title track are in the vein of Pixies' classic rockers without feeling contrived. "Talent" is even better, a piece of satirical, snotty garage-rock that reaffirms Francis doesn't need to sing about the Bible or aliens to let loose. While it feels like Pixies are still figuring out how to continue their legacy, Head Carrier's best moments suggest they're heading in the right direction. ~ Heather Phares
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 23, 1991 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 28, 1987 | 4AD

Amazingly, the Pixies' 1987 debut EP, Come on Pilgrim, was compiled from the quickly, inexpensively made demo tape -- paid for by Black Francis' dad -- the band made at Boston's legendary Fort Apache studio soon after they formed. 4AD was so taken with the tape that they released eight of the songs as this mini-album. It's easy to see why they were so impressed: The Pixies' essential sound -- Francis' unearthly shriek of a voice, David Lovering's propulsive drumming, Joey Santiago's insistent, prickly guitar playing, and Kim Deal's sugar-and-sandpaper vocals and steady basslines -- arrives fully formed on songs like the bouncy, yet twisted, surfer-girl ode "Ed Is Dead." Influences like '80s college rock peers the Violent Femmes, the Stooges, Lou Reed, and hardcore punk crop up on songs like "I've Been Tired," the group's surreal take on sexual frustration, and "Isla de Encanta." Most importantly, the EP introduces the spooky, theatrical vision the group brought to their simple guitar-bass-drums lineup. Francis' lyrical fetishes for sex, death, and religion and his twisted sense of humor crop up on every track, from the eerie opener "Caribou," which urges listeners to "Reeeeepent!," to the final song, "Levitate Me," which borrows Christian folksinger Larry Norman's catchphrase: "Come on pilgrim, you know he loves you!" "The Holiday Song" and "Nimrod's Son" provide voyeuristic, back-to-back glimpses at incest, as well as the priceless lyric, "My sister held me close and whispered to my bleeding head/You are the son of a motherf*cker" (from "Nimrod's Son"). Gary Smith's less-is-more production allows the full, primal impact of the band's combustive sound to blast through, offering what may be the purest version of their perverse punk-pop. An electrifying debut, Come on Pilgrim remains as raw, vibrant, and engaging as the day it was recorded. ~ Heather Phares
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 28, 2014 | Pixies Music

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 1997 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 13, 2019 | Infectious Music

“For me, music and performance are theatrical. Witches and ghosts were good enough for Shakespeare, so they’re good enough for me”. The artistic ethos of Frank Black, aka Black Francis and leader of the late Kurt Cobain’s favourite rock band Pixies for over thirty years, sheds some light on their new album. Beneath the Eyrie is the seventh studio album from the group and is a tribute to American gothic in all its dismal splendour; packed with references to Anglo-American folklore (St Nazaire, Daniel Boone, Silver Bullet) and surf and skate culture (Los Surfers Muertos, Long Rider). Pixies are on top form here with their signature bass riffs, Latino/surf sounds and acoustic guitars, especially in On Graveyard Hill, which is the showstopper of this legendary group’s comeback album. © Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 5, 2001 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 13, 1990 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 3, 2019 | Infectious Music

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 28, 2018 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 1, 2014 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 1, 1989 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 1, 2014 | 4AD

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Pixies in the magazine
  • The Qobuz Minute #10
    The Qobuz Minute #10 Presented by Barry Moore, The Qobuz Minute sweeps you away to the 4 corners of the musical universe to bring you an eclectic mix of today's brightest talents. Jazz, Electro, Classical, World music ...