Personalities | The Pixies | Eighties | Rock

(Vocal/instrumental group, 1986–93, 2004–present)

One of the most important alternative rock bands ever came together in Boston with Charles Thompson IV, who styled himself Black Francis (vocals, guitar), Joey Santiago (guitar), Kim Deal (bass, vocals), and Dave Lovering (drums). Lyrically, Thompson explored religion, weird sex and sci-fi, singing with a preternaturally forceful yelp. The words were fitted to an eclectic array of styles. Punk, surf, pop, hardcore and Spanish elements all collided on a succession of superb albums: the raging Surfer Rosa (1988), 1989’s Doolittle (by far the poppiest), Bossanova (1990) and Trompe Le Monde (1991). Their stop-start dynamics were a strong influence on Nirvana. Their combination of melody and abrasiveness, and Santiago’s skewed guitar heroics, were also adopted by many indie rockers. Ultimately, Deal wanted more of her songs used. Frank Black, as he soon became in his solo career, refused. She formed The Breeders. The Pixies reunited to play ecstatically received gigs in 2004.

Styles & Forms | Eighties | Rock
Personalities | The Pogues | Eighties | Rock

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley


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