Sunday, 2 December 2007

Doolittle - The Pixies.


On the 17 April 1989 a wonderful thing happened. The Pixies released Doolittle. It blew me away then and it still blows me away today. From the opening track Debaser, Doolittle crashes, thrashes and tears its way through 15 tracks in a little under 39 minutes.
In his book 'Doolittle' Ben Sisario says: "Doolittle is, on the one hand among the most violent pop albums ever recorded,if not in body count then in the starkness of its calamities". How right he is. Charles Thompson (aka Black Francis, Frank Black) writes about rape, eyes being dissected (in homage to the great surrealist film 'Un Chien Andalou'), suffocation and vampirism to name but a few painful ways to die. Oh and neptune gets killed by "ten million tons of sludge..." Nice.
Thompson pushes his vocals towards mania on almost every track, whilst the grossly overlooked Joey Santiago rips the fuck out of his guitar until it screams for mercy. Kim Deal (later of the marvellous Breeders) pushes the whole thing along nicely with a thumping bass and David Lovering drumming is fantastic.
Any would be Indie kid worth their salt will own Doolittle. It is as seminal as Dark Side Of The Moon was for an earlier generation. Along with the aforementioned Debaser there are so many stand out tracks that it is difficult to pick any out for special mention. However, some of The Pixies best known songs come from this album. Monkey Gone To Heaven was the single that brought The Pixies to the attention of most of America (they already had a healthy fan base in the UK) as it was picked up by MTV and played extensively on the station for a while. Here Comes Your Man is the most accessible track on the album. It has a lovely 'Surf Guitar' lick that resembles early REM (when they were still good).
This album never fails to make me smile (despite its violent imagery). It is one of the very best albums from an era when there were bands how pushed the boundaries.There is talk of a new Pixies album following their recent reformation tour. In some ways I hope this doesn't happen as the heights of Doolittle were never quite reached on subsequent albums. Doolittle is a fine legacy to leave us. They were a great band and I'd like to remember them for being great.

3 comments:

The Soul Chef said...

ahh, Doolitle! From start to finish, a PHENOMENAL album! And since you're in that mode, what about The Sugarcubes first record. When it comes to full on assault in an album as a whole, that one stacks right up there with the best of them...

marmiteboy said...

I agree Senor Chef. Maybe one for later.

bleecher said...

Doolitle ... nice. Gets this dog howlin every time.

Thanks you Doctor.