Music | Doolittle 25: B-Sides, Peel Sessions And Demos by Pixies

Surprisingly, there hasn’t been a word coined that justifiably describes and defines the iconic, American alternative rockers, Pixies.  After the shock departure of Kim Deal from the band; Black Francis managed to pick up the ashes of the fallen Pixies and find a new bass player (the gloriously talented Paz Lenchantin) to accompany him: David Lovering and Joey Santiago as they propelled themselves back into the world of music.

In June 2013: the first new material from Pixies in ten years was released, followed by their newest full-length studio album, Indie Cindy, earlier in 2014.  After a slot at the 2014 edition of the prestigious Glastonbury Music Festival and headline places at both London’s Field Day and Scotland’s T In The Park; Pixies were back at the top of their game.

With 2014 being the year of the Pixie, and the twenty-fifth anniversary of Doolittle; was it ever so hard to believe that this legendary band were of course going to end and celebrate it style? Welcome to the world of Doolittle 25: B-Sides, Peel Sessions And Demos.


Doolittle 25: B-Sides, Peel Sessions And Demos: Disc 1
Peel Sessions

From The Smiths to Adam And The Ants: Interpol to The Jesus and the Mary Chain: every artist under the sun has had the honour of performing live for the legendary DJ John Peel, and Pixies are no exception. Performing for Peel five times over the course of four years (twice in 1988) Pixies have selected the following seven tracks from the sessions to make it onto the Doolittle extravaganza:

  • Dead
  • Tame
  • There Goes My Gun
  • Manta Ray
  • Into The White
  • Wave Of Mutilation
  • Down To The Well

One of the most interesting tracks from this spectacular list is the rendition of the controversial ‘Tame‘. Previously going unreleased and unheard: ‘Tame‘ showcases Francis’ crazed vocal in full-frontal glory, instantly transporting the lucky of us back to the live shows we’ve had the chance to witness. The heavy-breathing contrast between Francis and Deal on this particular track is also extremely arousing and should commendably be applauded.

The Peel Sessions being featured on the Doolittle 25th anniversary album is essential; there to remind die-hard Pixies fans, and fans who know their name through ‘that song’ famously used on the Fight Club soundtrack, how important this band are, and how heavily they made an impact on the UK’s music scene. John Peel seen it, grabbed it and made it.

Doolittle 25: B-Sides, Peel Sessions And Demos: Disc 2
B-Sides and Demos

Doolittle, the seminal second album from Pixies, was released twenty-five years ago and, since then, has managed to be crowned NME’s second greatest album of all time, as well as scoring a solid two hundred and twenty-sixth place on Rolling Stone’s list of ‘The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time’. To put it in simple terms: Doolittle is faultlessly mega.

Arguably Pixies greatest release to date (second of course is Surfer Rosa) Doolittle and it’s phenomenal track listing doesn’t – at any point – leave the listener starving nor does it wholly satisfy the panging hunger in their bellies. Constantly teasing us: Doolittle gives the tiniest dose of excitement before snatching it away, making the listener apply their duty to pressing the repeat button constantly. A growing infatuation which grows more beautiful with age: that’s how to describe Doolittle.

Of course, for the 25th anniversary of this album, a combination of original tracks and favoured B-Sides, played (back in the day) alongside Doolittle‘s energy-radiating tracks live, wouldn’t be enough for Pixies would it… Pulling out all of the stops: the American four-piece have given fans a slice of heaven on earth: the Demo’s of both Doolittle tracks and B-Sides. Hold on to your hat; this list is about to blow you away:

  • Debaser (Demo 2)
  • Tame (Demo 2)
  • Wave Of Mutilation (Demo 1)
  • I Bleed (Demo 2)
  • Here Comes Your Man (Demo)
  • Dead (Demo)
  • Monkey Gone To Heaven (Demo)
  • Grieves (Demo 2)
  • Crackity Jones (Demo 2)
  • La La Love You (Demo 2)
  • No 13 Baby (Demo 1)
  • Hey (Demo 1)
  • Silver (Demo 2)
  • Gouge Away (Demo 2)
  • My Manta Ray Is All Right (Demo 2)
  • Santo (Demo 2)
  • Weird At My School (Demo 1)
  • Wave Of Mutilation (Demo 2)
  • No 13 Baby (Demo 2)
  • Debaser (Demo 1)
  • Gouge Away (Demo 1)

As you can see from the outstanding track listing of  the 25th Anniversary edition of Doolittle; there are two demo versions of: ‘Debaser’; ‘No 13 Baby‘; ‘Gouge Away‘ and ‘Wave Of Mutilation‘ featured. By listening to the first track, ‘Debaser (Demo 2)‘ and comparing it to the penultimate track ‘Debaser (Demo 1)‘ the changes in everything is mind-blowing. Vocals; guitar lines; messiness and rawness: everything has a new spin. That is what is so fantastic about this album: Pixies are letting us into their messy home and allowing us to rummage around and understand the serious creative process that this band have travelled through to get where they are now. Marvellously breath-taking, the second disk outdoes itself. Pixies: take a fucking bow.

If you’re in two minds of whether there is a point to Pixies anniversary edition of Doolittle then try-before-you-by over on Spotify Web Player. There’s no doubting however, that this precise selection of songs is about to blow-up and create such a racket in the arms of Pixies fans. The music and outlook of this celebrated band, who hide so much away from the public eye, is about to change forever, thanks to Doolittle 25: B-Sides, Peel Sessions And Demos. God bless this band. Long live the Pixies.

Ella Scott

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