Pixies is an American band whose unique blend of punk rock violence and pop music’s addictive melodies helped define the alternative rock sound of the 1990s. Charles Michael Kitteridge Thompson IV (also known as Black Francis and Frank Black; born April 6, 1965 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States), Joey Santiago (born June 10, 1965 in Manila, Philippines), Kim Deal (born June 10, 1961 in Dayton, Ohio, United States), and David Lovering (b. December 6, 1961, Burlington, Massachusetts, U.S.) were the founding members.
They were only moderately popular in the United States, but they were more successful in Europe. Nirvana, Radiohead, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Weezer were all influenced by their startling pop sound. In the years following their breakup, their fame rose, resulting in a 2004 reunion, sold-out global tours, and three more albums: Indie Cindy (2014), Head Carrier (2016), and Beneath the Eyrie (2019).
The Pixies began in Boston in 1986, when singer-guitarist Thompson (a.k.a. Black Francis) and guitarist Santiago, a former Boston University roommate, decided to form a band.
Deal joined the band after seeing an ad in the local paper for a “bassist into Hüsker Dü and Peter, Paul, and Mary,” and brought along her buddy Lovering as a drummer. The Pixies immediately established themselves as part of the Boston club scene, and their full-length debut, Surfer Rosa, was published in 1988. The album was an instant hit with critics and garnered a lot of exposure on college radio stations and in Europe. Surfer Rosa introduced the Pixies’ characteristic sound: a violent burst of scorching guitars and Thompson’s shrieking screams, which were bizarrely but brilliantly counterbalanced by beautiful pop melodies and Deal’s milder backup vocals, while being rougher than the band’s later work. Thompson’s weird, cryptic lyrics, which throughout the years would include references ranging from his Pentecostal childhood to UFOs to Salvador Dal and Luis Buuel’s Surrealist film Un Chien andalou, were also noteworthy.
Doolittle, the group’s most acclaimed album, was released in 1989, and it improved on the Pixies’ existing formula by perfecting the stop-and-start dynamics that would become its biggest legacy to following alternative bands, particularly Nirvana. In 1990, Bossanova, a surf music-inspired version on the previous albums, was released. By this time, tensions in the band were rising—Deal, a former co-songwriter, contributed little to the album, and the band had practically disbanded by the time Trompe le Monde (1991) was released, which is widely regarded as the Pixies’ poorest effort.
Thompson went by the names Frank Blank or Frank Black and the Catholics and released numerous memorable albums, including Teenager of the Year (1993), Dog in the Sand (2001), and Honeycomb (2005). Deal moved her focus to the Breeders, a band she fronted with Tanya Donelly of the Throwing Muses for the release of the honest, hook-laced Last Splash (1993), one of the landmark albums of the 1990s. The Pixies reunited for a much-anticipated multi-city tour in 2004, during which a limited number of on-site CD recordings of each event were made available to concertgoers immediately. loudQUIETloud, a documentary film, also documented the tour (2006). Although Deal left the group in 2013, the Pixies continued to tour and record, using various bassists. Subsequent albums included Indie Cindy (2014) and Head Carrier (2016).
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Album Of Pixies Ever?
The best Pixies album is definitely “Doolittle”. It’s a perfect mix of their punk influences with pop sensibilities, and it features some of their most iconic songs (“Debaser”, “Wave of Mutilation”, “Here Comes Your Man”). If you’re looking for a Pixies album that will blow your mind, this is the one.
What Genre Is Pixies Song?
Pixies are considered an alternative rock band, and their songs often incorporate elements of pop, surf rock, and punk rock.
What Is Pixies Most Famous Song?
Pixie’s most famous song is undoubtedly “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” The song was a massive hit when it was released in 1991, and it helped to define the grunge movement of the early 1990s. Even today, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” remains one of the most recognizable and iconic songs in rock history.
Who Wrote The Pixies Songs?
The Pixies were formed in 1986 by singer-songwriter and guitarist Black Francis, lead guitarist and songwriter Joey Santiago, drummer David Lovering, and bassist Kim Deal. All four members wrote songs for the band’s albums. Francis was the primary songwriter and Deal was the main lyricist. Santiago and Lovering wrote guitar parts and occasionally contributed to songwriting, but their primary role in the band was as instrumentalists.