Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy 25th, Surfer Rosa!

The Pixies' first full-length record hits the big two-five today.

Surfer Rosa was released in the UK on March 21, 1988, and it came out in the US that August. Sometime that summer I first heard the album's lead single, "Gigantic," on Seattle's KJET. Then that fall, my college roommate had the full-length LP, which I immediately dug (though I was disappointed that "Gigantic" was the record's only song sung by "Mrs. John Murphy"). I soon bought myself Rough Trade's import CD, which also had 1987's Come on Pilgrim EP tacked on at the end. To me, the two releases on that single disc have always run together like double album -- Rosa's "Brick is Red" flows seamlessly into Pilgrim's "Caribou."

Part of the fascination was that, at the time, the Pixies were largely a mystery to me. I had no idea what the band members looked like, nor was even sure of their real names. The CD booklet, designed by Vaughan Oliver, just had those sepia photos of a topless senorita.

Twenty-five years later, it's still my second-favorite album ever of all-time ever. This remains my number one.

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