The Pixies

Pixies, the belatedly released recording of the nine songs laid down at the band's first studio session, reveals that the Pixies had already come up with some of their best tunes as early as 1987. Fans will recognize all of these songs; six of them were variously rerecorded for Surfer Rosa, Doolittle, Bossanova and Trompe le Monde, and the other three have surfaced as B-sides and live bootlegs. For those three tracks alone -- "In Heaven," "Build High" and "Rock a My Soul" -- Pixies is essential; meanwhile, the recording of "Here Comes Your Man" is arguably superior to its Doolittle incarnation, flintier and tuned into more of the band's compelling nervous energy. Other well-known songs are rawer, too, but otherwise, they differ little from the official recordings. Which is to say, they're great.
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Maya Singer