on 15 June 2004
Having bought most of the Pixies on vinyl and tape many years ago, I really havn't listened to them for quite a while. Time had dimmed the memory of just how good these guys were, and it was not 'til I forked out for this "best of" that the rush of listening to their 3 minute wonders flooded back. From "Monkey goes to heaven" to "Here comes your man" it was a solid hour of pleasure. I could proselytize about their importance and how they've influenced so many bands, but that's best left to Mojo and other assorted pundits. For me its simply worth the money.
on 10 June 2004
The Pixies are dark. Their songs concern sliced eyeballs, incest and motorbike crashes. Don't let that put you off though - they're one of the most consistent, genius rock bands you will ever hear.
The first Pixies song I ever heard was 'Gigantic', and my reaction was to laugh out loud at how *good* it is. The seductive whispers of the verse turn into a fully sexual chorus, which squeezes a fourth syllable out of the word. Listen for the slightly unhinged guitar solo too, it's a Pixies trademark.
By a trademark, I mean this - The Pixies can take a poppy, rifftastic song and subvert it by dark, thunderous bass lines and biting, lurid subject matter. Or they can twist feedback into a glorious fuzz-soaked pop-rock song. None of their songs are completely straight, there's always some humour in there you won't get until the third, fourth, fifth listen. The Pixies keep you coming back for more.
Most of this best of is taken from their masterpiece, Doolittle. 'Debaser' is a punk-pop anthem, so good it can make a thousand people sing about slicing eyeballs. 'Monkey Gone To Heaven' has another fantastic chorus, but vists themes of ecological destruction and despair at humanity's waste. 'Here Comes Your Man' is the best song The Beatles never wrote. And listen to 'Tame'. Those soft verse-loud chorus dynamics sound familiar?
Nirvana. Why Nirvana suceeded where the Pixies did not is a puzzle to me, because the Pixies are more than their equal. In fact, they were such an inspiration to Kurt Cobain he was afraid people would view Nevermind as one long Pixies rip-off. And hey, you can see his point. But personally, I like (and definately enjoy) The Pixies much more. They have a real sense of humour and (something Nirvana's songs never had) sexuality. They are never unlistenable, never rock to the point of being noise. Just fantastically, deliciously dark.
Doolittle is on a par with their other albums though. 'Gigantic' is a delicious power pop moment, 'Caribou' is simply beautiful, as is 'Veloria', and 'U-Mass' is the funniest, most sarcastic song you'll hear in a long time.
That's the great thing about the Pixies. The subversion behind the apparent poppyiness, the sex oozing out of every song. To put it simply, they are and were an incredible band. The Pixies can do anything. In this compilations are riffs a thousand wannabes would kill for, and pop moments to make boybands cry. Every single song on this compilation is good. It stands up to repeated listenings, and it is beautiful. Buy it, it'll make your day.
on 2 May 2004
"The Pixies are reforming...... lets release ANOTHER best of, stick some b-sides on off of that b-sides thing we released a year back, add a fan incentive (Winterlong), and make some money!"
I'd like to say i was bitter, if only the Pixies weren't so darned GOOD! this best of'll be a great intro to the band, and even though the standards might vary a little towards the end, the first half should remind everyone what a huge influnce this lot have had on each and every band that release records today.
Still....... Doolittle might just be the better first purchase, an awesome band at their peak. Lets just hope that the reunion gets them writing again.
on 27 April 2004
This greatest hits album, brought out to celebrate the reformation of thePixies, is certainly a great deal better than the previous one, entitled'Death To The Pixies'. Now Death To The Pixies was a good enough greatesthits album, but it really focused a little too much on the Dootlittlealbum, rather than giving equal attention to each album.
This greatest hits package is a great deal better. It contains tracks fromall 5 of the Pixies albums which each have their share of great tracks.This CD also contains a number of B-sides and cover versions. However,these could already be found on the 'Complete B-Sides' album. It isslightly disappointing that there are still no new tracks buried out to beput on here (not to mention the fact that the awesome 'I Bleed' and 'RockMusic' are still not on here!!!) but that doesn't change the fact thatthis is still a killer collection of songs!
Newcomers to the Pixies would be wise to buy this album, as it containsmost of their best songs and is a great introduction to their great music.However, anyone who already owns all 5 albums and the B-sides collectionreally doesn't have much to gain from this.
Despite some disappointments, I have given this album a 5 star rating asit is still a collection of some of the best songs ever written!
on 6 May 2004
The Pixies were the most consistently brilliant group in the history of popular music. If you put together everything this band ever recorded (four albums, one EP, a few unreleased tracks and a load of B-sides), you come up with about two mediocre songs (they never did anything I'd describe as 'bad').
So this compilation, released to coincide with their reunion tour, faces the same problem as 1997's 'Death to the Pixies': how do you distil the Pixies' back catalogue onto one disc? I've tried many times myself and it isn't easy.
Let's start with the gripes. Like its predecessor, this effort shamefully neglects the band's final two albums, Bossanova and Trompe le Monde. There are bound to be notable omissions, but 'Is she weird', 'Down to the well', 'The happening', 'Hangwire', 'Letter to Memphis' and Motorway to Roswell' would be among the first songs I'd jot down for inclusion.
In addition, I've always preferred the Surfer Rosa version of 'Gigantic', and favouring 'Broken Face' (as great as it is) over 'River Euphrates' seems very eccentric to me. 'Vamos' and 'Into the white' always sounded far better live than on record, and the UK surf version of 'Wave of mutilation' is, in my opinion, more interesting than the original.
This is clearly intended as a user-friendly guide to the Pixies rather than a complete portrait, hence the inclusion of seven songs from the more poppy Doolittle. These are all great. In fact, every note on this album is perfect. Purely on its own terms, it's completely faultless.
But I can't recommend it as an introduction. If you've never heard the Pixies before, all their albums are easily available at mid-price. Buy them instead - I promise you won't regret it.
All I'm saying, pretty baby, la la love you...
on 7 June 2015
The best of the Pixies, what can I say? One of the most influential bands of all time, still touring. I bought the CD second hand as the quality of CD format is higher than that of MP3. The CD was unscratched, in perfect condition.
on 19 October 2012
If The Pixies released this album today it would go to the top of the charts. It's hard to believe this music is as old as it is. Very heavy, but very beautiful at the same time, and compelling to listen to. This music covers such a range that I reckon most people would enjoy at least part of it. My only star-loss criticism is that the version of Here Comes Your Man on this album is not as good as the remix version available on iTunes. Otherwise it's the definitive Pixies collection.
on 21 February 2013
However, for some reason, apart from a few downloads and features on compilations, I've never bought a full album. Good introduction to their work and well worth the purchase.
on 30 January 2013
A Classic Album from this group and a must have.
Great songs and really great to listen to.
I recommend this to anyone.
on 6 May 2004
I discovered the pixies via a neighbourhood friend, debaser was the song that did it. It was first on the tape he made me. Since then, I bought Doolittle, Surfer Rosa. Later on Trompe Le Monde and last year BossaNova (till then I was happy with the copy I stole from my brother ;) )
And in the meantime I got the chance to pick up come on pilgrim.
There's not really a "bad" pixies-song. I like 'em all, and most of them are assembled here on this compilation, which imho is a better oversight than previous ones. Probably I'll buy this too, to get my collection complete. Just like people who buy this compilation, will get into buying the whole backcatalogue..