The Pixies - Complete "B" Sides

A few years ago one of Frank Blacks solo albums was constantly on my turntable. Of course time moves on. Cd's, Minidiscs and MP3's are all the rage and the old records collect dust in the corner. I'm something of a youngster so the Pixies were a band who continually got mentioned in the music press but sadly i'd heard very little in the way of music. A quick look through the sleeve notes and it appears that the B-side on this collection take in the 1989 to 1991 period. I was dancing around my room to Kylie and Chesney Hawks at the time - something's never change.

Begging the question. Are B-sides the new A-sides? It makes sense doesn't it. Every band you speak to comes out with the cliché "We spend just as much time on the B-side" and in some cases you can almost believe them. Look at the recent success of the Suede and Oasis B-side collections and the argument is proved beyond reasonable doubt. Without seeming cynical this album is very much an anti-thesis to the rock & roll mentality. Words like Functional, Useful and Handy come to mind. This is an album released for a very specific purpose and that is to have easy access to all those scratchy vinyl recordings on one handy compact disc. On that level its a success.

Its an album that will not see them win over any new fans but that is hardly the point. A tasty little multimedia section has the videos for the singles "Allison" and "Here Comes The Man" - they piss on everything here from a great height. While the Pixies will never make the premier league of alternative bands they are well worth a trip down to library for CD rental purposes. If you are after an essential Pixies purchase I can only recommend you buy an album proper.

Alex McCann