Pixies

The belatedly released recording of the nine songs laid down at the band's first studio session, Pixies reveals that as early as '87, the Pixies had already come up with some of their best tunes. Pixies fans (and if you aren't one, say a novena and run to the record store now) will recognize all these songs; six of them were variously re-recorded for Surfer Rosa, Doolittle, Bossanova and Trompe le Monde, and the other three have surfaced as B-sides and live bootlegs. For these three tracks alone--"In Heaven," "Build High" and "Rock a My Soul"--Pixies makes itself 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

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