Related Videos

Top 10 Best Pixies Songs

VO: Matt Campbell

Script written by Aaron Cameron

Short songs, brief career, long lasting legacy. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Pixies Songs. For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs.

Special thanks to our user Renan Fernandes for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Pixies+Songs

Watch on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWFAPxMd9_M

Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript

Top 10 Pixies Songs

 
Short songs, brief career, long lasting legacy. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Pixies Songs.
 
For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs.
 

#10: “Velouria”
Bossanova (1990)

Due to the song being their first UK Top40 hit, the Pixies were forced to make a video in order to qualify for an appearance on the BBC's “Top of the Pops.” The result? A 23-second clip stretched to fit the song's 3:40 running time. The Beeb might have said they had to have a video, but no one said it had to be good! Seemingly a straightforward love song, frontman Black Francis claims it is rooted in folklore of 1920's San Jose Rosicrucians... whatever that means. It does, however, contain a pretty kickass use of the theremin.
 

#9: “Gigantic”
Surfer Rosa (1988)

Ironically given the friction between the two, the Pixies' first single was actually sung by Kim Deal rather than Black Francis. Written by Francis and Deal - then billed as Mrs. John Murphy - the song was inspired by the Bruce Beresford film “Crimes of the Heart.” In that film, a white married character has an affair with a black teenager. Depending on who you ask “Gigantic” is either a compliment to the young lad in question or, as Francis claims, a commentary on the song's massive Lou Reed like chord progression. You decide. 
 

#8: “Dig for Fire”
Bossanova (1990)

Written by Black Francis in the style of the Talking Heads, “Dig for Fire” and its quirky, hooky charm transcend its inspiration. The second single released from Bossanova, “Dig for Fire” is suggestive of the album's space and surf sounds with classic Pixies' weirdness mixed in for good measure. Most of Bossanova, an album that proved to be far more successful in the UK than the US, was written in studio. It was also plagued by recording issues, most notably poorly grounded amplifiers and a mixing console that would pick up radio stations, but only after 6PM.
 

#7: “Alec Eiffel”
Trompe Le Monde (1991)

Here the Pixies pay tribute to architect Alexandre Gustave Eiffel because, let's face it, he was way, way overdue. Eiffel, aside from the obvious, was also the mind behind the Statue of Liberty along with heaps of buildings, bridges, towers, viaducts and other structures throughout the world. As iconic as the Eiffel Tower is today it wasn't exactly a crowd pleaser in 1889 - especially among the more artistically inclined. That notion of division among artists gives the song its general theme, lyrically, while steady guitar hooks make it more fun to listen to than a lecture on French architecture.
 

#6: “Wave of Mutilation”
Doolittle (1989)

Opening with a passing reference to a Charles Manson song eventually revised by the Beach Boys, “Wave of Mutilation” only gets weirder. Per Black Francis, the song's first half deals with a Japanese businessman committing suicide by driving into the ocean after failing in business. Then, of course, it moves on to happy times with mermaids, crustaceans, and one of the only references to El Niño in song. It's as surreal as anything else the band's ever done... and that's saying something. 
 

#5: “Here Comes Your Man”
Doolittle (1989)

Written by a teenaged Black Francis, “Here Comes Your Man” was used to help secure the band a recording contract... with no plans to ever release it. Calling it wimpy, poppy and Tom Petty-esque, the band eventually did record it, but went out of their way to support it as little as possible. This includes declining an invite to appear on the Arsenio Hall show and barely committing to miming in the song's video. Despite their efforts, the song still managed to hit #3 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks, their highest chart showing to date.  
 

#4: “Monkey Gone to Heaven”
Doolittle (1989)

The surreal “Monkey Gone to Heaven” does something most enviro-protest songs don't: it rocks. It runs the gamut from ozone depletion to the greenhouse effect to pollution of the oceans while chucking in some Biblical and mythological elements for variety.  “Monkey” may not have united the planet towards a cleaner future, but it did sound amazing through a set of speakers. Joined for the first time by a string section, the single earned praise from critics and fans alike. Rolling Stone named it the 5th best song of the year and later included it among the 500 greatest songs of all time. 
 

#3: “Hey”
Doolittle (1989)

A strange little bass-heavy piece of pop magic, “Hey” was written during the band's 1988 tour of Europe. A live version of the song, in fact, was recorded in Britain and included in an issue of Sounds magazine months ahead of Doolittle. The studio version, meanwhile, was recorded in the band's home town of Boston and benefited from the album's increased yet thrifty $40,000 recording budget. It may have been recorded for pennies, but the album turned gold by 1995. Even years before the band reunited, it was still selling upwards of 1000 copies per week.
 

#2: “Debaser”
Doolittle (1989)

Based in part on the Salvador Dali/Luis Bunuel film “Un Chien Andalou,” which is the source of the eyeball slicing imagery, “Debaser” set the template for much of the grunge and alternative music movement. The song's bass intro, quiet/loud contrast, and noise-guitar solo all ended up in the Kurt Cobain song-writing lexicon, while the parent album landed the Pixies a spot on U2's Zoo TV Tour. The song's chorus, meanwhile, was originally “Shed, Apollonia!” That referred to singer and one time girlfriend of Prince, Apollonia Kotero, but Black Francis felt that kind of reference was too obscure.
 
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions.
 
“Gouge Away”
Doolittle (1989)
 
“Vamos”
Surfer Rosa (1988)
 
“Caribou”
Come On Pilgrim (1987)
 
“Broken Face”
Surfer Rosa (1988)
 
“Planet of Sound”
Trompe Le Monde (1991)
 
“Tame”
Doolittle (1989)
 

#1: “Where is My Mind?”
Surfer Rosa (1988)

It's as hard to say exactly what the song is about, although Black Francis has confirmed it was inspired by scuba diving in the Caribbean. Written by Francis while he was still a student at U Mass, the song and its parent album were produced by Steve Albini. Likely to Black's delight, Albini stuck Kim Deal in a bathroom to achieve her echoy and spooky backing vocal. Although never released as a single, “Where is My Mind?” was always a fan favorite and became a pop-cultural mainstay when it was used years later in “Fight Club.” 
 
Do you agree with our list? What’s your favourite Pixies song? For more alternative Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs