on 2 March 2012
Some manage to overlook this magnificent Pixies album, forgetting that it is a cross between their crazy schizoid early albums and artsy tuneful later work. It's perfect in that regard. Kim Deal and Black Francis collaborated on most of these great tunes, and the result is best described in the first track, "Debaser". It's a great song, it's insanely catchy, *and* it convinced to watch `Un Chien Andalou'. I owe that song a lot.
The other tracks are just as great, like "Wave of Mutilation", "Here Comes Your Man" (with one of the most infectious basslines I have ever heard), "I Bleed", "Hey" and "Monkey Gone To Heaven". Man, they were on a roll back then. This album has come to epitomize everything good about the 90s, and it's an influence to countless other bands.
on 27 November 2008
A stone cold classic, what? nearly 20 years ago now!!! still sounds fresh, edgy, thrilling and perfect, all these years later!
I was lucky enough to see them in 1990 When they were at the very peak of their powers, Doolittle was the pinnacle of their recorded work, not a duff track to speak of, the tone set by one of the top 10 album openers ever, "Debaser", the rest of the album skips along at a thrilling pace, catchy riffs, Frank Black's wail, Kim Deals propelling bass, Dave Loverings funky drumming, and Joey Santiago's unique guitar riffage! The album has abarbed wire exterior, but a pure pop heart, and it's this which will bring you back, time and time again.
Forget most of the dross masquerading as "indie" these days, this is the place to start.
on 4 August 2007
This is the best put together Pixies album, whether it is best over all is arguable. It is less raw then Surfer Rosa, but more confident with well produced songs like Monkey Gone to Heaven (not the best). It also the last album that had the same dark quality. The lyrics are nonsensical (as they should be). The best tracks are Hey (the best Pixies song from any album?), Dead (a psychotic romp) and Silver (plain weird, yet hypnotic with slide guitar). Monkey Goes to Heaven, while a good song, is not worthy of it's popularity next to some of the classics on this album. Also, I don't particularly like La La Love you or Here Comes Your Man. It ends with Gouge Away, a brilliant song.
This is an album way before it's time, still unique today. I'd buy the Pixies albums in order, but if you have to pick just one, get this.
on 11 January 2001
Writing this review makes me feel old! I was in the sixth form when this came out, and having already bought and played Surfer Rosa to death, I knew this album was going to be good. I just didn't realise how good . . . If Debaser isn't the greatest opening track of all time, then I really don't know what is. Some albums take eons to get going. Within a second, this album has picked you up by the scruff of the neck, shaken you around and left you up there, stuck to the ceiling, grinning with manic joy. 15 tracks later, you want to start all over again. Loud, sexy, insane and beautiful; the perfect musical mesh of the loins, the head and the heart.
on 23 July 2001
What makes the pixies different from other alt. rock bands? Well, they were one of the first, but mainly its the greatness of the songs. 'simple but effective' doesn't quite cover it, 'simple but fantastic' is more appropriate. 'Doolittle' is a big step forward from 'Surfer Rosa' due mainly to a greater variety of styles, from the twangy 'here comes your man' and the acoustic 'silver' to the fast and furious 'crackity jones', with some glorious moments inbetween, my personal favourites being 'debaser' and 'dead'. But what really makes the difference is Frank Black's demented singing on some of the songs, notably 'no. 13 baby' and 'debaser'.
on 4 August 2012
It's easy to think that an album which is praised so often must be overrated, but in my opinion this is one of the best albums of all time (as well as having led the way for many other favourite albums of mine, e.g. Rid of Me, In Utero and OK Computer).
One of the main things that is noticeable about this album is the fact that it has a timeless quality and doesn't sound dated whatsoever. As well as the fantastic musicianship of all four of the band members, Black Francis' very unique voice is one of the best elements of this album.
Standout tracks: Hey, Tame & Gouge Away.
on 26 July 2004
First off, if you are reading this review to decide whether or not to buy this album - Buy it, please! You will never look back. Doolittle is a true masterpiece.
I was first introduced to the band The Pixies after hearing 'Where is my mind' a superb song from 'Surfer Rosa' on the soundtrack to the 'fight club' movie. From there I was completely hooked.
Doolittle is the first album I listened to in its entirety by The Pixies and it would certainly not be the last. From the unforgettable bassline of 'Here comes your man' to the demented 'Dead' and 'Tame' to the equally brilliant and unusually beautiful 'Hey'. This album has it all, it is utterly faultless. I find it bizzare that many songs on the album convey such emotion, dark & twisted or heartfelt alike, considering the unexpected subject matter eg. 'Hey' is about fucking.
And when you really get into the album, read the lyics - very unusual stuff indeed - Bible stories, French B-Movies, Tatooed tits, Masicism, the lot! Although an unfortunate absense of Black's UFO-orientated mateial - another of his bizzare fixations!
All in all, i have to say this is my favourite album of all time and I'd bet bet my bottom dollar there are coutless others who would agree going on the other glowing reviews that you will find here and for that matter anywhere else on Doolittle. Without the Pixies, our Planet of Sound as we know it would be a very different place. Surfer Guitars, Catchy as hell Riffs, Wooping, Howling, Pop Weirdness and just genuine, genuine inivatite thinking and practice has propelled the Pixies as well as alternative rock as a collective into the stratosphere and produced so many new figues in the last decade. Basically, buy Doolittle!
5 Stars. Enjoy.
on 13 January 2002
The Pixies had energy and invention that most other bands of the past 20 years can only dream of. They made records with the straight 2 guitars, bass and drums setup that sound unlike any other. For the occasional truly great band that bring something new and fresh, a sound unlike any that came before where you can't add all the influences together and see who they're copying, there are a dozen or more flacid immitators. Several bands of the 90's built their career on imitating the Pixies et al, and doing it badly. What the Beatles, Stones and Velvet Underground were to those that came after, the Pixies are to the 90's and beyond. Only the other great Boston band of the 80's, Throwing Muses, and more recently the Afghan Whigs can bear comparison.
"Doolittle" then, probably the most scathing and wildly ragged rock record of any decade. Sure there are mellow moments, and they're probably the low points on what is nevertheless an always great record. From the opening Debaser, with its' ferocious and insane vocal over skin peeling guitars, to the closing anger and fire of Gouge Away, there's no pause for breath or mediocrity. Filler? Ha!
Inbetween there are a half dozen gems. Tame, I Bleed, Mr. Grieves, No. 13 Baby fall into the short-sharp-shock of guitars blazing out wonderfully off-kilter rhythms and melody over big Black Francis' mad searing and unique vocal "delivery", with Kim Deal's sweet backing vocals and harmonies wrapping around the wall of sound. You can almost hear them grining behind the music, demonic smiles knowing they're onto something special. You'll never hear anything like it.
For all the fire and razors, there are softer moments like Key, Here Comes Your Man and La La Love You. Key is maybe the standout track with its devotedly manic duet. Indeed, there's such great energy between Francis and Deal that drives the record along at a bullet's pace. One gets the feeling they're really playing for each other, not the record or the listener, and completely in love with what they're doing.
With all the great signpost records of the past 20 years, you can usually name-check a couple of obvious reference points. With the Pixies though, this is near impossible. What makes a band special is its' ability to make records that sound distinctly their own. Using the straight 2-guitars, bass and drums combination, they still came up with 4 albums that were Pixies and nothing else. If you had to look for influences, there's some Velvet Underground in there in the sweet melodies and vocals and some Husker Du for those searing guitars and the rage of Black Francis. Even then, it all comes out of the mix sounding like nothing ever released before. The essential all-out rock band of the 1980's, the equal of anything that preceeded them, the Daddy of virtually everything that they spawned.
While the UK scene blossomed with the Manic Street Preachers and Radiohead (among a host of others), since the Pixies split in the early 90's, the US music scene has been sadly lacking, rolling around in its' own image. While Nirvana took the mantle with their brand of bland verse-chorus-verse-chorus fashion setting, the Smashing Pumpkins gave a taste of could-of-been-great before time-travelling up their own inner space, all before the awful immitative adolescent dirge that followed from Green Day and Offspring, few bands came out of the States with anything approaching the heights of Black Francis and co. One has to dig deep to find the cream atop the sour milk. Only Kristin Hersh and her Throwing Muses, The Flaming Lips and perhaps The Afghan Whigs with their own masterpiece, "Gentlemen", have come close to the energy, passion and creative originality of the Pixies. There have been great records, sure, but few if any great bands. There's little hope that the Stooges-I-Mean-Strokes can fill that hole.
While Surfer Rosa, Come On Pilgrim and the under-rated Bossanova are classics on their own terms, this remains the pinacle achievement of 4 people at the peak of their powers. An inventive guitarist like no other in Joey Santiago, the great rolling bass and sweet vocals of Kim Deal, the machinegun drumming of David Lovering and the one-off manic scorching vocals of Black Francis. The Pixies. Rock Music.
on 10 June 2012
Long story but due to complicated circumstances have been listening to music mainly from MP3 for 2 years, and have just upgraded my system so I can once more listen to my albums direct from CD. Coupled with this the player I've bought (Marantz Pearl Lite) plays SACD and this is the first disc in that format I've ever bought or heard. This leads me to a number of conclusions:
1. MP3 is atrocious quality and really fit only for headphones on the move.
2. Whining record companies need to stop bemoaning falling sales and promote CD as the superior format. If your hi-fi is even half decent the difference isn't just a matter of taste, it's glaringly obvious. MP3 is flat, over compressed, and in terms of reproducing what the artist intended, a huge step backwards.
3. Having been blown away by this SACD of an album I've loved for years I'm really sad to see that a quick search on Amazon seems to point to the fact that the format seems to be dying on it's skinny digital a**e.
Don't think there's much point telling you how good this album is. One of those times when a genius/lunatic manages to use sound and words to take you somewhere nobody even dreamt existed before. Been nothing like it before or since.
So in summary:
-if you've never heard The Pixies try this, Bossanova, or even Trompe le Monde. There's no accounting for taste but I can promise you won't feel bored, cheated or patronized.
-MP3 is fine for a portable format but if you love music do yourself a favour and buy the CD (they've never been cheaper!).
-Record companies get off your self pitying a****s and promote the valuable product you have.
-Shame I've discovered SACD just as it goes to join Betamax!
on 5 August 2014
It's the Pixies. Of course it's good. t's before the malaise of 'Bossanova' and 'Trompe le Monde' set in, and the songs represent the peak of the Pixies songwriting formula, and the perhaps peak of their musical identity. . Personally, I find their previous effort 'Surfer Rosa' more compelling in terms of songwriting, but 'Doolittle' is an excellent rock album. Beneath the many lively and exquisitely strange songs lies Frank Black's dark sense of humour, leaking into them in the form of his surreal and twisted lyrics. Black makes wide use of religious imagery on the album. Two guitars, Black's chugging Telecaster and guitarist Joey Santiago's angular Gibson Les Paul lead sounds, complement each other extremely well. Bassist Kim Deal captures fantastically simplified bass-lines, complemented by the band's trademark loud-to-quiet, letting the bass and drummer Tom Lovering to carry the songs during verses or choruses. Some songs are catchy pop masterpieces, others strange squealing laments, many are frenzied, hysterical pieces of genius. The Pixies managed to create a perfect antithesis to the rehashed, dull and extremely embarrassing heavy metal and hard rock that dominated the musical charts at the time. Be prepared to set aside any desire for cliche songs or indie rock tunes. You simply won't get them here, you hipster Expect screaming, singing, squawking distortion and fantastic Beatles-style melodic hooks.
All in all, pretty good.