Top 10 Pixies Songs

Pixies Songs

Photo: By Stefan Svik (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Let this sentence embed itself into the mindful wonder: without the Pixies, there would be no Nirvana, no Kurt Cobain, no Radiohead, no Thom Yorke. The ascendancy doesn’t stop right there either. The Pixies have also had a personal influences on other bands such as PJ Harvey, Alice In Chains, Weezer, The Strokes, Arcade Fire, Muse, Blur, The Melvins, Pavement, and Modest Mouse, among many others; they’ve also been highly praised by legends David Bowie and U2. This is just the tip of the euphonious iceberg as far as impact is concerned; this isn’t even counting the fact that they’re in a class all their own. Their assimilation of lyrical surrealism and unconventional harmony molded them into a mountainous pleasure to every orifice of the ear canal.

The heart of the band was frontman Black Francis, who penned all of their irreverent and bizarre lyrics, along with bassist and backing vocalist Kim Deal, lead guitarist Joey Santiago, and drummer David Lovering. They were the perfect, off-kilter chemistry, giving birth to a fresh new structure of rock compositions, which was categorized by quiet-to-loud dynamics and a very fast stop-and-start tempo. They had a real surf rock modernity, with all kinds of shades of punk and noise rock; Black Francis’ effortless vocal shift between being energetically rambunctious and casually reserved only magnifies their influence on the subsequent genre’s to come.

Even though they aren’t on a prodigious scale of mainstream popularity, they’re still pretty well-known; having developed a massive cult since their early incarnation. Of course it was the patronage of people like Kurt Cobain and Thom Yorke who helped the Pixies get the recognition they deserved, but at the end of the day, that’s not what a bands legacy should be about. A band like the Pixies have achieved so much on their own through producing great music, and that’s what they should be affiliated with. So in honor of this truly underrated band, here’s a top ten list of just a small fraction of their amazing catalog of music.

# 10 – Here Comes Your Man

We open up our top 10 Pixies songs list with obviously one of their biggest hits, if not the only big hit they’ve ever had that garnered them significant airplay on college radios and MTV. Black Francis has stated that he wrote the song when he was just 15 years old, and so it was perfectly placed on their amazing Doolittle record. It harbors an instantly recognizable surf rock riff, with lyrics that speak of hobo’s freight-hopping to somewhere of better quality; their quirky storytelling here doesn’t stray away from its roots even though it’s the band’s most accessible tune. This is the song to definitely open the door for new fans.

# 9 – Rock Music

This tiny grenade of a song is classic Pixies; a two-minute explosion of heavy distortion and brusque screams. The lyrical content is so in-your-face, but it reads like a haiku; a very dirty haiku, perhaps? Just listen very intuitively and interpret it. Released on their spaced-out and glossy Bossanova, The Pixies song “Rock Music,” is a shining example of just how singularly aggressive the Pixies could be in the midst of their more melodic tendencies.

# 8 – River Euphrate

The mesmerizing flare Kim Deal’s voice adds to a song is the kind of ingredient that just wouldn’t feel right for the Pixies if it was absent. Here she takes the simplicity of the descending passage, Ride, ride, ride…., and turns it into something poignant; the overall vibe of the lyrics speaks on a hallucinogenic level about riding a tiger through the Euphrates. It’s songs like this that elevates an album like their debut, Surfer Rosa, to imponderable heights.

# 7 – Letter to Memphis

Continuing with our top 10 Pixies songs list we turn to the great track “Letter To Memphis.” With their fourth studio album, Trompe Le Monde, the Pixies were delving into other styles; Black Francis had begun to channel Lou Reed on this album, and their song structures began to get more and more unabridged.

The album, which came out at the beginning of the Grunge age, really share all of the same musical components……since they, of course, were the primordial ancestors of said genre; minus the gloom and disenfranchisement. This beautiful little single is the band at their most saddest and poetic, being about a person desperately trying to send a letter to their loved one, and doing so at all costs.

# 6 – All Over the World

The Pixies weren’t just a fiery rock band with carbonizing angst and fun: they were also a very thought-provoking band who could muster up the patience to beget a layered song. It starts with a guitar lick that almost sounds like it’s whining, before prompting the bass to sneak in with this personality that makes it feel like it’s humming. Of course, each form of instrumentation kicks it up into high gear with that congenital Pixies essence, but it’s the dreamy imagery in the lyrics that turn this song into something bigger than it already is.

# 5 – Motorway to Roswell

For a song about UFO’s, this one really doesn’t exude any of the intrinsic qualities that are associated with this kind of subject matter. It’s more along the lines of being about an alien who’s simply trying to find his way home, but ends up taking a slight detour on our planet where he’s then exploited. Plus, that lovely piano progression mixed in with their laid-back, beach vibes only sweetens the story even more.

# 4 – Bone Machine

This is the song that opened up Surfer Rosa, and boy does it leave a lasting impression. It packs a refreshing punch that doesn’t let up, even when it comes to its offbeat lyrics; a very dark topic of discussion that deals with molestation. But its buoyant rhythm and playful vocals curb the uncomfortable lyrics and transform it into a rockin’ tune. No this is not the same as the Tom Waits song.

# 3 – Monkey Gone to Heaven

This was another one of their popular hit singles from Doolittle. It’s got everything a song needs to be a pop hit, but it also has substance…..which is just the kind of equilibrium a song needs to get its point across. It’s a crushing noise-fest that perfectly demonstrates their boundless shift into quietude, which talks about environmental pollution (once we destroy our ecosystem, all the animals, most notably the monkey’s, will die!), and even makes biblical references to the numerology of Man, God, and the Devil.

# 2 – Where Is My Mind?

If you’ve seen Fight Club with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, then chances are you’ve heard this song at the end of the movie. That movie was the turning point for them, since it introduced them to a wider mainstream audience. The main theme of the song was inspired by a trip Black Francis took where he went scuba diving in the Caribbean. With it’s well-known double-stop riff, hypnotizing croons, killer guitar solo, and surreal lyrics, this makes the song a signature classic of the Pixies, and one of the best rock songs of the last 20+ years.

# 1 – Hey

We close out our top 10 Pixies songs list with a track called “Hey.”  The Pixies album Doolittle is widely considered to be the crowning achievement of the Pixies and it’s no wonder why when there are songs like Hey on the record. Biblical themes have always been an interest of Black Francis, and this song is the most popular example of such; using references to whores, the Devil, and Mary Magdalene as a cryptic means to write a beautiful love song. Kim Deal’s chilled-out bass line and Joey Santiago’s reggae chord passages are more than enough reasons to fall madly under the songs spellbinding sway, and it’s Black Francis who commands the song by pouring his soul into every breath and every stanza. It’s definitely one of their most powerful tunes, and one that perfectly demonstrates just why the Pixies are one of best bands of their time.

Top 10 Pixies Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain creative commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with ClassicRockHistory.com. All photo credits have been placed at the end of the article. 

DMCA.com Protection Status


Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Three Days Grace Albums
Complete List Of Three Days Grace Albums And Discography
Agnostic Front Songs
Top 10 Agnostic Front Songs
Daryl Hall Solo Songs
Top 10 Daryl Hall Songs As A Solo Artist
Arctic Monkeys Albums
Complete List Of Arctic Monkeys Albums And Discography
15 Greatest Hits Albums With Best Unreleased Tracks & Non-Album Songs
18 Best Greatest Hits Albums With Unreleased Tracks & Non-Album Singles
Best Rock Albums Of 2022
Best Rock Albums Of 2022
12 Essential Jazz Guitar Albums
12 Essential Jazz Guitar Albums
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks In Your Dreams LP
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks In Your Dreams LP
Tom Verlaine Of Television Has Passed Away At 73
Tom Verlaine Of Television Has Passed Away At 73
Remembering David Crosby
Remembering David Crosby
David Crosby Dead At 81
David Crosby Dead At 81
Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming With Dave Letterman To Premier On Disney+ March 2023
Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming With Dave Letterman To Premier On Disney+ March 2023
10 Classic Rock Bands That Have Never Released A Live Album
10 Classic Rock Bands That Have Never Released A Live Album
Will Music CDs Become Collectors Items?
Why Basic Music CDs Will Become Collectors Items
Greatest Rock Bass Lines Of The 70s
Greatest Rock Bass Lines Of The 70s
Don Kirschner Rock Concert
Before MTV, There Was Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert
Paul De Lisle of Smash Mouth Interview
Paul De Lisle of Smash Mouth: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Tod Howarth Interview
Tod Howarth: Formerly of Frehley’s Comet: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Thomas Pedersen & Michael Sonne Interview
Thomas Pedersen & Michael Sonne Of Wasted: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Jimmy Marchiano Interview
Jimmy Marchiano: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Real Meanings Behind Songs On Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad Album
Real Meanings Behind Songs On Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Rihanna's Music of the Sun Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Rihanna’s Music of the Sun Album
Rihanna Albums
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Rihanna’s A Girl Like Me Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks Rock a Little Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks Rock a Little Album
Nas Albums
Complete List of Nas Albums And Discography
Carly Simon Albums
Complete List Of Carly Simon Albums And Discography
Three Days Grace Albums
Complete List Of Three Days Grace Albums And Discography
Jack White Albums
Complete List Of Jack White Albums And Discography