Surfer Rosa & Come On Pilgrim
Work began on the Pixies' first mini-album, Come On Pilgrim, for three consecutive days during March 1987. Funded by Francis' father, the $1000 sessions were mixed over a further three days, eventually resulting in The Purple Tape. Copies were sent to interested parties, including local promoter Ken Goes (who immediately became the band's manager) and Ivo Watts-Russell, head honcho at 4AD. Ivo was so impressed with the recordings that he signed the band and released eight of the tracks from the original demos as Come On Pilgrim, housed in a distinctive sleeve by 4AD's resident design company, 23 envelope.
For the band's next album, Ivo brought in Big Black frontman and sound engineer Steve Albini to unleash "lazy evil" into the Pixies sound. The resulting Surfer Rosa featured many gems, none more so than Kim's instant classic ‘Gigantic’. An uneasy physical presence dominated ‘Bone Machine’ and ‘Broken Face’, while ‘Cactus’ was spiked with T Rex's ‘The Groover’ and inspired by a prison inmate's pleas for his girlfriend to rub her dress with blood and send it to him. Then there was the brief comic book heroism of ‘Tony's Theme’ and an extended reworking of ‘Vamos’. The album was completed in a fortnight, apart from some vocal mixes added afterwards.
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