Friday, March 30, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 51: The Pixies - Doolittle

Album - Doolittle
Artist - Pixies
Key Players - Black Francis (vocals, rhythm guitar), Kim Deal (bass guitar, vocals), Dave Lovering (drums, percussion), Joey Santiago (lead guitar)
Produced By - Gil Norton

Release Date - April 18, 1989.

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Uh oh...people probably already reading this are saying "how can this be forgotten?" Umm ahh well I honestly can't tell you the last time I spun this record front to back. Realizing I am about to get my "indie cred card" revoked there is still hope you will read on.

Overview - This was the second studio album from, and, first major label release by Boston band "Pixies". College radio play, and even a smidge of help from MTV on the tracks "Monkey Gone to Heaven" and "Here Comes your Man" would start the band rolling towards international acclaim.
In 2003 NME writers claimed this to be the second greatest album EVER. Its influence still resonates even though the album has sold less than one million copies in the United States.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) The 15 track album opens with the chugging bass from Kim Deal on "Debaser". The guitars and drums come marching in and Blackie comes in strong. It is one of the strongest songs on the album but was never released as a proper single. The song is based off a film "Un chien andalou" which was famous because the opening scene had a woman getting her eyeball sliced by a razor. The line is sung "slicing up eyeballs I want you to know". Its a perfect track placed at a perfect spot on the album. "Tame" has a bass and drum intro with some whispered lyrics. It is one of the shortest songs (at 1:55) but it wastes no time in erupting with guitars and emotion in the lyrics. "Wave of Mutilation" starts almost before the prior song ends. There are some vocals tricks used on Blacks' voice and there is some good call and response between he and Deal. The song keeps a pretty steady pace for the duration. "I Bleed" also opens with a bass lead and some simple drum parts laid out by Lovering. Deal harmonizes with Black, she opts to sing while he almost speaks the lyrics. Perhaps the best known track by the band follows in "Here Comes Your Man". There is a faint trace of acoustic guitar and the guitar riff is one of the more recognizable riffs perhaps ever recorded. "Dead" is one of the "darker" feeling and sounding tracks on the record. Bass, guitar and drums are all brought to the front for the first few bars. The vocals are compressed and almost buried below the mix. "Monkey Gone to Heaven", easily a band classic and hit opens with spoken rather than sung lyrics. Deal offers a lot on this track in the harmonies. The bass, the drums, the guitars are all perfect. There are many reasons this song is considered so important to the band was well as the musicians it influenced. See for yourself if you really need to in the down load section. "Mr. Grieves" starts of slow but grows in to a really rock-a-billy sound with crisp drum beats and the 12 bar blues bass line that accompanies most rock a billy tunes. The shortest track on the album (under 1:30) "Crackity Jones" keeps some of the rock-a-billy sounds from the previous track but its a little more urgent in the delivery. "La La Love You" has a drum intro that was totally stolen by the band Live on the track "Pain Lies on the Riverside". Heck some of the guitar parts as well were really lifted from this. Lovering is the lead vocalist on this track Only two songs later "No. 13 Baby" begins and is the longest track on the album, but still clocks in at under 4 minutes. Its one of the more musically strong tracks. The band really clicks on this track and per the norm the strong bass lines from Deal are brought towards the front of the mix. "There Goes My Gun" has somewhat of an "all over the map feel" until the song kicks in. The vocals are up front and the song clicks along at a great pace. "Hey" has a rather lengthy instrumental breakdown in the middle, which is rare on this record due to the length of the songs. "Silver" is a little odd even for this record. The vocals are sung falsetto and there is what appears to be heavy steel resophonic guitar sound. The album concludes with "Gouge Away" which really falls in to place with the other strong rocking songs on the record. Its a perfect bookend with "Debaser".

In one of the greatest rock stories ever Black broke up the band viafax

Where are they now? - The band "disbanded" after extensive touring and internal friction amongst members. In one of the greatest rock stories ever, Frank Black faxed Kim Deal and told her her services were no longer needed. Black would tour and release solo albums. Deal would form "The Breeders", as well as "The Amps". Joey Santiago worked on solo projects and would play on Blacks solo albums. Dave Lovering spent his "down years" becoming a magician. The band re-formed in April of 2004 after and eleven year hiatus. The subsequent tour was the bands largest (in attendance and venue size) in their career. Frank Black was reported to say that the band hoped to record new material in early 2007.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - The only time I saw the Pixies live is before they broke up when they had an opening slot on the U2 on March 13, 1992. The band would dissolve soon after. The most interesting story about the Pixies in America up to this point is that up to this point the largest headlining show they'd play in the States was 2000+ seat theaters. After they re-formed they were suddenly thrust in to hockey arenas. Overseas the band always drew large crowds before and after the re-formation. The band would play the Reading and Leeds Festivals as well as the famous Newport Folk Festival during this tour.

FDF Overall Take - Of all the Pixies records this would be the "least" forgotten by the masses. Chances are if you own anything by the Pixies its this record. The accolades this record has received over the years are accurate. Chances are if you have read even this far you are well aware of the band and at least the two singles. Those tunes, along with what you have read will encourage you to drop the "less than $10.00" on this monumental release.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

You can buy the studio album right here

This week, rather than post studio cuts from the album you can check out the live download. Its a soundboard recording so it sounds very good and you'd get the idea of their sound if you are unfamiliar.

***MP3's REMOVED on Aug 16th 2007 2:15PM ET.*******
The Pixies
Leysin Festival, Switzerland
November 7, 1991

*** to all the people that have come upon this site via stumble upon sure to check out some of the other downloads that are put up. Leave a comment as well..we won't bite and love to hear we are doing something good here**

**show removed**

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 8:42 PM, Blogger Ryan of the RSL blog said...


At 2:28 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Pure gold


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