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"[28], The sea and underwater themes of "Wave of Mutilation", which also feature in "Mr. Grieves" and "Monkey Gone to Heaven", are explorations of one arena for man's death and destruction. Rolling Stone, reviewing Doolittle again in 2002, gave the album a maximum score of five stars, remarking that it laid the "groundwork for Nineties rock". A fun, freaky alternative to most other late-'80s college rock, it's easy to see why the album made the Pixies into underground rock stars. [59] Q critic Peter Kane said that Doolittle's "carefully structured noise and straightforward rhythmic insistence makes perfect sense". Doolittle's most ferocious moments, like "Dead," a visceral retelling of David and Bathsheba's affair -- are more stylized than the group's past outbursts. Doolittle 's most ferocious moments, like "Dead," a visceral retelling of David and Bathsheba's … "Hey" and "Monkey Gone to Heaven," on the other hand, stretch Francis' lyrical horizons: "Monkey"'s elliptical environmentalism and "Hey"'s twisted longing are the Pixies' versions of message songs and romantic ballads. Norton learned to gauge Francis' reaction to changing arrangements, and later observed that the frontman "doesn't like to do anything twice". Max. Thankfully, it’s an album—a one-of-a-kind masterpiece Pixies never quite matched. [22] Francis wrote all the material for the album with the exception of "Silver", which he co-wrote with Kim Deal. However, with the help of college radio play of "Monkey Gone to Heaven", Doolittle eventually rose to number 98 and spent two weeks in the Top 100. Genres: Alternative Rock, Indie Rock. Though Doolittle's sound is cleaner and smoother than the Pixies' earlier albums, there are still plenty of weird, abrasive vignettes: the blankly psychotic "There Goes My Gun," "Crackity Jones," a song about a crazy roommate Francis had in Puerto Rico, and the nihilistic finale "Gouge Away." Grieves." Though Doolittle's sound is cleaner and smoother than the Pixies' earlier albums, there are still plenty of weird, abrasive vignettes: the blankly psychotic "There Goes My Gun," "Crackity Jones," a song about a crazy roommate Francis had in Puerto Rico, and the nihilistic finale "Gouge Away." The album's offbeat and dark subject material, featuring references to surrealism, Biblical violence, torture and death, contrasts with the clean production sound achieved by the newly hired producer Gil Norton. Listen to Doolittle by Pixies on VIBBIDI - Browse every single Songs, Tracklists, Music Videos, Remixes, Fan Covers, Live Performances, Tours, Playlists, Lyrics, Narrative Stories, News & more for free! Pixies - Doolittle album review #23 Evaluated by Claude Lemaire. During production, Haigler and Norton added layers of guitars and vocals to songs, including overdubbed guitars on "Debaser" and double tracking vocals on "Wave of Mutilation". Their most accessible album, Doolittle's wide-ranging moods and sounds make it one of their most eclectic and ambitious. 1.) 4AD, then a small British independent record label, held worldwide distribution rights to the Pixies, but did not have access to distribution outside of the United Kingdom; the band had had to import all its previous records from Europe. [10], Recording sessions for the album began on October 31, 1988, at Downtown Recorders in Boston, Massachusetts, at the time a professional 24-track studio. Debaser: A great opening track to a wonderful album. Along with Norton, two assistant recording engineers and two second assistants were assigned to the project. The two talked about arrangements, and spent two days intensively analyzing the album's songs. Doolittle is the sophomore effort from the Boston-based indie rock band The Pixies. NME writer Edwin Pouncey commented that "the songs on Doolittle have the power to make you literally jump out of your skin with excitement". [62], The information regarding accolades attributed to Doolittle is taken from AcclaimedMusic.net.[62]. The band had previously worked with Norton while recording the single version of "Gigantic" in May 1988. After writing "Smells Like Teen Spirit", both Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana thought: "this really sounds like the Pixies. [41] This chart placing was an unexpected success for the band as their previous two records, Come On Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa, had failed to reach as high on the British charts.[42]. All tracks were written by Black Francis, except where noted. [21], The lyrical themes explored on Doolittle range from the surrealism of "Debaser", to the environmental catastrophe of "Monkey Gone to Heaven". Spin ran a hundred-word review of the album, including critic Joe Levy's comment "the insanity less surreal and more silly, and the songs themselves more like songs and less like adventures". [37], In the months following Surfer Rosa, the Pixies' management fielded calls from a number of labels. Norton was hired as producer, with Stasium not even approached for the position. [8] After completing the demo tape, band manager Ken Goes suggested two producers for the album; Liverpudlian Gil Norton and American Ed Stasium. It reached number three on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart and number 56 in the UK Singles Chart. So, on the 30th anniversary of Doolittle, we decided to pick apart the indie rock classic and come up with the most interesting of the stories that live within the walls of these songs. The sessions lasted three weeks, concluding on November 23,[11] with "nearly a song a day" being recorded. [14] He told Norton, "If it's good enough for Buddy Holly ..."[15] In a Rolling Stone interview, Francis later recalled that "this record is him trying to make us, shall I say, commercial, and us trying to remain somewhat grungy". "Walking with the Crustaceans" is a visual representation of the lyrics to "Wave of Mutilation". Pixies released two singles from Doolittle, "Here Comes Your Man" and "Monkey Gone to Heaven", both of which were chart successes on the US chart for Modern Rock Tracks. Francis later explained his rationale for the move:[36]. [59] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice wrote, "They're in love and they don't know why—with rock and roll, which is heartening in a time when so many college dropouts have lost touch with the verities". Producer Gil Norton's sonic sheen adds some polish, but Black Francis' tighter songwriting focuses the group's attack. Soon afterwards, the band announced that they were taking a break. "Tame" is based on a three chord formula; including Joey Santiago's playing a "Hendrix chord" over the main bass progression. Doolittle is an amazing sounding album, which is one of the things I love about the Pixies, it's just got a sound unlike any other band out there. Meanwhile, their poppy side surfaces on the irresistible single "Here Comes Your Man" and the sweetly surreal love song "La La Love You." [65] PopMatters included it in their list of the "12 Essential 1980s Alternative Rock Albums" saying, "Doolittle, captured the musicians at the top of their game when it was released in 1989". During this time Black Francis, the group's frontman and principal songwriter, began to write new material for a future album, with songs such as "Dead", "Hey", "Tame", and "There Goes My Gun" emerging through the course of the year. Doolittle also references more ostensibly conventional subjects. [41][43] It was not the last single from the album: in 1997, "Debaser" was released as a single to promote the Death to the Pixies compilation. Tame: A quick follow up to Debaser, but brilliant. [60] Time Out said that "Gil Norton's toy theatre production makes a drama out of what should have been a crisis". Rated #2 in the best albums of 1989, and #36 of all-time album.. [7], However Elektra had not yet attained distribution rights to the band's forthcoming album. The Pixies signed to Elektra Records during a UK spring tour in 1989. The influence of the Pixies and of Doolittle has been far-reaching. Genres: Alternative Rock, Indie Rock. [33] As well as lead vocals on "La La Love You", Lovering played bass guitar on "Silver", with Deal playing slide guitar; this arrangement did not occur again. [32] Francis gave it to Lovering as a song to sing, "like a Ringo thing"; Lovering at first refused to sing, but Norton said that soon he was unable to "get him away from the microphone". However, he concluded that "getting famous too fast could ruin them", while suggesting the lyrics reflect somewhat of a disconnection with "the outside world". Rating: 100/100. "La La Love You", sung by the band's drummer David Lovering, is a love song—though with its "first base, second base, third base, home run" break, it's been referred to as "a dig at the very idea of a love song". Larbalestier later commented that he was interested in "early Surrealist stuff" at this time. It's hardly what you would consider "mainstream", despite how popular it has been for the past three decades, but many of these songs listed above are bona-fide indie pop that rightfully got wide-reaching radio play. Two songs on Doolittle are fashioned after Biblical stories: the story of David and Bathsheba in "Dead", and Samson and Delilah in "Gouge Away". Try. [27] Francis' fascination with Biblical themes can be traced back to his teenage years; when he was twelve, he and his parents joined an evangelical church linked to the Assemblies of God. Original review published June 2012. 15 tracks (38:36). In the alternative rock family tree, a big fat line runs from the Pixies directly to the chart-smashing noise pop and grunge that Nirvana broke with in 1991. Other songs explored eccentric subjects, such as in "Wave of Mutilation", which Francis described as being about "Japanese businessmen doing murder-suicides with their families because they'd failed in business, and they're driving off a pier into the ocean. The ingredients that make up the band and their songwriting have been replicated countless times. [20] "I Bleed" is melodically simple, and is formed around a single rhythmical repetition. [69], After they reconvened in 1990, Francis began to limit Deal's contributions to the band. He immediately sought to convince the band to sign to his label. ... A monkey with a halo, calling it Whore, that would bring all kinds of shit that wouldn't be true. Doolittle features an eclectic mix of musical styles. Doolittle was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1995. NME also ranked the album highly, placing it fourth in their end-of-year list. Very upbeat and fun. Doolittle (Vinyl): Pixies: Amazon.ca: Music. 4AD allowed the Pixies a budget of $40,000, excluding producer's fees. [57] As of 2015, sales in the United States have exceeded 834,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. [55], Some reviewers were more critical. 1 + 1 = bran muffin." We’d never done that before, and some great songs came out of it, in fact. After 1988's brilliant but abrasive Surfer Rosa, the Pixies' sound couldn't get much more extreme. This breakdown in the relationship between Deal and Francis, first apparent during the recording of Doolittle, ultimately led to the band's breakup in late 1992 and early 1993. [4], Following their highly regarded but commercially unsuccessful 1988 album Surfer Rosa,[5] the band embarked on a European tour with fellow Bostonians Throwing Muses, before beginning a tour of North American states. (Available for shows in United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany & Spain). [9], Norton arrived in Boston on October 31, 1988, and first visited Francis' apartment to review the album's demos. Francis then named the album Doolittle, from the "Mr. Grieves" lyric "Pray for a man in the middle / One that talks like Doolittle". Rolling Stone, reviewing the album in July 1989, gave the album three and a half stars. This is a comprehensive list of songs by the Pixies, an American alternative … The Pixies never had a "hit" song in the traditional sense of the word. I thought people were going to think I was some kind of anti-Catholic or that I'd been raised Catholic and trying to get into this Catholic naughty-boy stuff. Fellow alternative musician PJ Harvey was "in awe" of "I Bleed" and "Tame", and described Francis' writing as "amazing". Listening to any Pixies record is akin to entering a disturbing and disconcerting fairytale book, and even the most tuneful songs on Doolittle threaten to take a sudden malevolent turn. Songs can’t just be 1 + 1 = 2, you know? Skip to main content.ca Try Prime Hello, Sign in. They are fantastically raw and all of the instruments are just sublime to listen to! Following their highly regarded but commercially unsuccessful 1988 album Surfer Rosa, the band embarked on a European tour with fellow Bostonians Throwing Muses, before beginning a tour of North American states. Listen free to Pixies – Doolittle (Debaser, Tame and more). [60] Tim Rolston of The Daily Telegraph praised Doolittle as "a scintillating rock'n'roll album" and the Pixies' "finest half-hour so far". Pixies recorded some 70 songs during their run, and few of them qualify as less than killer. Released 17 April 1989 on 4AD (catalog no. I recently read an interview with the director David Lynch who said he had ideas and images but that he didn't know exactly what they meant. [64] The Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha described Doolittle as less raw than Surfer Rosa but "more listenable" and "Here Comes Your Man" as a "classic pop record". They recorded at the studio for a week, in circumstances similar to the previous year's the Purple Tape sessions. [12], Production and mixing began on November 28. The band relocated to Carriage House Studios, a residential studio in Stamford, Connecticut, to oversee production and record further tracks. [59] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. [34], The surrealist and abstract images throughout the album booklet are linked to the album's content. Shop Vinyl and CDs and complete your Pixies collection. However, at Norton's advice, Francis slowed down the tempo. [62], The sudden loud to quiet dynamic present on Doolittle, most notably in "Tame", has been very influential on alternative rock. [58], Reaction to Doolittle was positive in general, with the album garnering praise from several major music publications. Doolittle brought the Pixies a wider audience by countering every unusual turn with a moment of sweetness. 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