Tuesday, 2 June 2009


The shortened review below is down to a realisation, then the check that 2009, specifically April was the 20th anniversary of arguably one of the greatest albums ever made. Certainly in my world it is and I would assume that even if you think it wasn’t one of the gretest, you do consider it to be a great album. I am talking of the Pixies album, Doolittle. Released on April 17th 1989.
In 1989 after The Wedding Present my favourite band was Pixies, and 20 years later The Wedding Present mean nothing to me but The Pixies are still one of my favourite bands. In 1989 the world, my world was gripped by The Stone Roses who had released their debut, Manchester was kicking in doors and I have to say outside of that magnificent debut, very little from Manchester entertained me, I didn’t like dance beats clumsily tacked over Byrds influenced indie and bands proclaiming there had always been a dance element to their music, it didn’t wash. Pixies didn’t stray massively from their path and so one spring morning in 1989 I happily made my way to Herrick and Watsons, Skegness’s premier retailer of top audio delights to get my copy, on tape, of the new Pixies album Doolittle. My friend Alex was responsible for introducing me to Pixies, another band in a long line that he introduced me to and for a couple of years prior to the release of Doolittle I had been playing on rotation Surfer Rosa and Come On Pilgrim. The juxtaposition of tunes like Gigantic and Caribou sat nicely for me next to Tony’s Theme, to this day potentially my favourite Pixies song.
Doolittle had to be bought on tape as working at Butlins the only way of playing music was on a small tape player I had in my chalet. I recall vividly the first listen, and how it made me feel, and 20 years later with however many hundreds of times that album has been played, it still makes me feel that way. I always used to say that if a tally of the music I had played over the years had been kept, that album would be by far the most played. In 1989 though two albums vied for my attention, Doolittle and The Stone Roses and nothing got close to a look in.
These days if I hear a solitary Pixies song on my iPod, so ingrained is that album, but if I hear There Goes My Gun, I expect a Hey! To be shouted at the end of it, any other song seems out of place. I think there are very few albums, to me at least that are that familiar to me.
So twenty years, that slipped by by the look of it, but it shouldn’t. A truly great album that even though it was released at a time that other releases seem dated and entrenched in nostalgia, Doolittle is as vibrant and fresh now as it was then.

Debaser by Pixies

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