Home Read Classic Album Review: Pixies | Pixies (aka The Purple Tape)

Classic Album Review: Pixies | Pixies (aka The Purple Tape)

The alt-rock influencers finally give some long-lost gems an official release.

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


On the list of so-called lost albums, Pixies Purple Tape is right up there at the top. Recorded during their first studio session in 1987, the 17-track demo was later carved up to create the eight-song mini-album Come On Pilgrim. But since then, the other nine cuts have languished in limbo. Until now, that is.

The seminal alt-rock outfit led by Frank Black and Kim Deal have finally given the rest of the tracks an official release. Why they waited so long is anybody’s guess; there’s certainly nothing shockingly wrong with any of these cuts. In fact, the biggest surprise on this self-titled release may be how unsurprising it is. Fans have already heard different versions of nearly all these songs, which ended up being re-recorded and sprinkled throughout later Pixies albums. Most of them — including Here Comes Your Man, Broken Face and Break My Body — sound pretty close to their later versions. And even at this early stage, the band’s trademark stop-start dynamics and spiky guitar chords — the basic blueprint for the grunge of Nirvana — were already pretty much locked in place. But even if it won’t rock your world, it’s still a nice piece of rock history from one of the ’80s most influential acts.