Come On Pilgrim…It’s Surfer Rosa, a very special 30th anniversary edition of Pixies’ very first releases, is being released on 4AD on September 28. Consisting of the eight-track mini-album Come On Pilgrim (originally released September 1987) and the band’s first full album, Surfer Rosa (released March, 1988), plus a bonus disc of Live From The Fallout Shelter, a concert / session that first aired in late 1986.
For these reissues, Vaughan Oliver returns as designer – as with all other Pixies sleeves - to reinterpret his original artwork thirty years on, delivering a fresh take while retaining Simon Larbalestier’s iconic photographs as the centrepiece of his design. These special editions will be available as both three-CD and three-gold LP sets, both released on September 28, and a deluxe and limited three-LP box set, pressed on clear vinyl and bound in a hardback book, which will be shipping around November.
Surfer Rosa is a record made up of rage, religion, gore, incest and superheroes – a debut album so good that it’s now seen as a masterpiece. Produced by Steve Albini, it was recorded in December 1987 at Q Division in Boston, MA and includes early Pixies classics such as 'Bone Machine', 'Gigantic', 'Vamos' and 'Where Is My Mind?'. Come On Pilgrim preceded it and contains eight songs from the band’s first-ever studio session, produced by Gary Smith and recorded at his Fort Apache Studio near Boston.
These formative records showed the Pixies to be an alien breed; four oddball outsiders from Boston blending U.S. underground thrash rock, indie surf pop and Spanish-language Flamenco with the Biblical mythology of Black Francis’s childhood. They would go on to record another masterpiece in 1989’s Doolittlebut it’s the gruesome glory of Surfer Rosa, and the ruined sexuality of its cover image (a topless Flamenco dancer in a crumbling Mexican bar) that set a fresh blueprint for an indie rock dynamism that not only planted the seeds of grunge (Kurt Cobain would admit that he was trying to imitate the record while writing Nevermind) but of much of the best rock music made since.
Pixies will be performing a five-night stand of special anniversary shows to celebrate at London’s Roundhouse where the band will perform Come On Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa, start to finish. The five-consecutive-night stand begins Tuesday, October 30, and will feature Black Francis (vocals, guitar), Joey Santiago (guitar), David Lovering (drums) and Paz Lenchantin (bass, vocals). All five shows have already sold out.