23. Caribou – Pixies (1987, 4AD Records, Taken from ‘Come on Pilgrim’)
Has anyone heard the rumour about how Black Francis recruited a bass player for his band Pixies? No – well pull up a chair. The rumour goes that Black Francis had dropped out of college and was determined to make a living in music. He stuck a rather niche advert up in a guitar shop that stated
“Female bass player wanted. Must love Husker Du and Peter Paul and Mary”.
The only person who answered that advert was Kim Deal, and back then, she couldn’t even play the bass guitar, the rest as they say is history.
A few months later, that band with Kim recruited walked into a studio and recorded eighteen songs another rumour claims that during that recording phase the beer spent more on beer than they did on things like studios, printing costs and producers. Those eighteen songs got them signed to 4AD in the UK.
The bands first release for the label was an 8 song, 20 minute album called ‘Come On Pilgrim’. It featured largely re-recorded versions of songs that had emerged on that original session. The opening track on that album is ‘Caribou’.
‘Caribou’ is excellent and despite sounding a little aged now (but that might just be my recording of it) it remains one of the classic Pixies songs, a wonderful bled of bizarre lyrics, vocals which almost scream as they reach the chorus and guitars that thrash away like they are being attacked by a shark.
Here are a couple more tracks from ‘Come on Pilgrim’ which are again excellent – the first one ‘Levitate Me’ is a sort of tribute to the Christian rock singer Larry Norman (whose the album is named after) – the second one ‘Ed is Dead’ is about a brain damaged girl that Black Francis knew that cycled around his town with a transistor radio strapped to her bike so that she could listen to music.
Levitate Me – Pixies (1987, 4AD Records)
Ed is Dead – Pixies (1987, 4AD Records)