Members: Black Francis, Joey Santiago, Kim Deal, David Lovering
Genre: Alternative rock
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Albums: Come On Pilgrim (1987); Surfer Rosa (1988); Doolittle (1989); Bossanova (1990); Trompe le Monde (1991)
Hits: "Monkey Gone to Heaven" (1989); "Here Comes Your Man" (1989); "Velouria" (1990); "Head On" (1992)
Other: Broke up before the alternative rock boom of the 1990s they helped create. Reunited in 2004.
When the Pixies formed in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1986, their sound was like something never heard before. Their eclectic mix of punk, alternative and indie rock had a significant impact on Nirvana and many of the other popular bands of the early 1990s. Although they broke up in 1993 amid inner turmoil, they reunited in 2004.
The Pixies are fronted by lead singer and guitarist Black Francis, who teamed with fellow guitarist Joey Santiago when the two were attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the early '80s. After dropping out of school, Francis and Santiago joined bassist Kim Deal and drummer David Lovering to complete the lineup.
The band's debut album, Come on Pilgrim, was released in September of 1987. It featured a modest eight tracks and enjoyed substantial success in the United Kingdom. Although it failed to earn a significant following in the U.S., Come on Pilgrim peaked at number five on the UK Indie Album Chart. Their first full-length album, Surfer Rosa, was released not too soon after in 1988 and garnered a flurry of critical acclaim. The album featured a wide mix of song styles and contained some of their most famous songs in the band's history. "Gigantic" and "River Euphrates" were both popular tunes, and the song "Where Is My Mind" became famous when it was featured in Fight Club more than 10 years after its release.
While the Pixies were growing in popularity in the United States, they had earned a loyal following in Europe and reached a new level of critical success by extensively touring much of the continent. Their third album, and second full-length release, Doolittle, was released in April 1989 and marked a change in sound for the band. Songs such as "Here Comes Your Man" and "Monkey Gone to Heaven" were unlike anything the band had previously released, and still enjoyed praise from critics and fans alike. After the production of two more albums, one in 1990 and one in 1991, the band took an indefinite hiatus two years later.
In 2003, it was announced the band would reunite for a tour in 2004, and they have since been recording new music, including the single "Bam Thwok, " which performed well on the UK charts. Francis has said they are currently recording their fifth album and fans will eagerly be awaiting its release in the coming year.