Tuesday, April 18, 1989

The Pixies released Doolittle: April 18, 1989

Originally posted 4/18/2012. Updated 6/10/2013.

image from straight.com

Released: 18 April 1989
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) 1. Debaser (10/4/97, #23 UK) 2. Tame 3. Wave of Mutilation 4. I Bleed 5. Here Comes Your Man 6. Dead 7. Monkey Gone to Heaven (4/1/89, #60 UK, #5 MR) 8. Mr. Grieves 9. Crackity Jones 10. La La Love You 11. No. 13 Baby 12. There Goes My Gun 13. Hey 14. Silver 15. Gouge Away

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 0.5 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 98 US, 8 UK


Review: Review here The Pixies became one of “the handful of bands that every ‘90s indie band worth its salt cites as an essential influence.” PK Nirvana’s “Kurt Cobain himself acknowledged the Pixies’ influence on the soft/loud dynamic that powered ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’” RS Like Sonic Youth, the Pixies “completely deconstructed the pop format, twisting basic surf guitar chord progressions into wholly original new forms…The results could be brilliant, but also occasionally distancing.” PK

“After 1988’s brilliant but abrasive Surfer Rosa, the Pixies’ sound couldn’t get much more extreme” AMG so on Doolittle the band “reins in the noise in favor of pop songcraft and accessibility.” AMG “It’s as though the band finished touring Surfer Rosa and realized that it was taxing work to bludgeon people for an entire evening.” TM The band “find a comfortable balance between angry distortion and some of the bounciest sunshine music this side of flower power.” CS

The Boston foursome even manage some “relatively mainstream college pop-rock” PK such as on “the environmental-themed Monkey Gone to Heaven.” PK Both that and Hey “stretch Francis’ lyrical horizons” AMG making for the “Pixies’ versions of message songs and romantic ballads.” AMG There’s also “the irresistible” AMG and “straightforward jangly” PK single Here Comes Your Man. “Had The Pixies had enough of a public profile at the time, this could have been a huge hit for them.” AD

Debaser “is the quintessential sound of The Pixies in full-flight.” AD and the one which supposedly inspired “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” PK “Inspired by [Luis] Bunuel’s classic surrealist short Un Chien Andalou,” AMG switches “between quiet and loud but…much more dramatically than anything they’d done before.” AD It “is a nonstop barrage of lyrical imagery, tempo changes, and insane riffage, more or less the perfect Pixies track.” PK “Guitarist Joey Santiago has said that this is the best single-song distillation of the Pixies experience” TM and, indeed, “the band plays as though this one song is its only shot at a manifesto.” TM


The “wide-ranging moods and sounds make it one of their most eclectic and ambitious. 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.” AMG “It became one of those buzzed-about landmark records that traveled far on word of mouth. If you cared about rock noise in 1989, you needed to hear it. That's still true.” TM

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