Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Year by year: 1989


It used to be one of life’s simple pleasures – listening to “Tame” at full volume. In public transport. On the way to the university. “Debaser” was good as well, but nothing came close to the exquisite chorus of “Tame”. I haven’t done that in years, opting instead for “Here Comes Your Man” that may or may not be the greatest pop song ever written.

Bossanova remains special, but that’s mainly because it was my first Pixies record. Special albums are special, that’s the least you can say about them, but there’s no question that Doolittle is the one where the rougher edges of Surfer Rosa best meet the songwriting charms of “Is She Weird?”

The lyrics are nonsensical (unless you wish to psychoanalyse yourself – that’s according to Frank Black), the melodies are twisted and the chord progressions are fucked up. There really is no way to explain how it all works so beautifully without resorting to the ‘it’ argument. Pixies had it. You can speak for hours on end about what makes these songs so good, but I would just play you the climax of “Monkey Gone To Heaven”. 

You don’t have too many bands able to come up with something like that.