Alt-rock icons, Pixies, truly are a band ahead of their time, and proof that the eighties gave us more than just cheesy hair bands.
While never having achieved huge mainstream commercial success, Pixies have become legendary performers. The band formed when Joey Santiago and Black Francis shared a dorm room at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst in 1986. The duo soon recruited Kim Deal on bass and David Lovering on drums. What was created was nothing less than rock magic with the group paving the way for alt-rockers throughout the nineties. Following a concert at a local Boston venue, the band was noticed by a local music producer who persuaded the band to record their first EP, Come on Pilgrim, in 1987. Garnering attention from their touring schedule, the band continued to increase its small but loyal following and released their first LP in 1988. The album, Surfer Rosa, was released to critical acclaim and was eventfully certified gold by the RIAA. The album spawned Pixies playlist mainstays, "Gigantic," and the alt-classic "Where Is My Mind."
Following this success, Pixies booked tour dates as the supporting act for Throwing Muses on the European leg of their "Sex and Death Tour." Pixies would become heavily popular in the United Kingdom, and during this time they teamed up with UK producer Gil Norton who helmed their second LP, Doolittle. This time the band had a successful producer, an inflated recording budget, and the support of a major label (Elektra), which allowed the Pixies to emerge as mainstream rockers. The album spawned two top five singles on Billboard's Modern Rock survey and was certified platinum, becoming their highest selling album to date. Pixies concert schedule in support of Doolitle, brought the band towards the brink of exhaustion and heightened tensions between Kim Deal and Black Francis As the band mates drifted apart, they decided to put their creative energies towards side projects with Francis embarking on a solo tour and Deal forming The Breeders, who also proved to be rock pioneers.
The band regrouped in 1990 to record their third effort, Bossanova. The band toured extensively in support of the album, yet still found time to quickly record and release their fourth album, Trompe el Monde, in 1991. Both albums debuted relatively high on the Billboard 200 albums chart; however, they couldn't match the commercial success of their predecessors. Ultimately, under the burden of a hectic Pixies concert schedule and rising tensions amongst all band mates, they called it quits in 1993 and focused on side projects. Throughout the nineties, the band would be recalled as innovators in the alt-rock genre.
Amidst murmurings of a reunion throughout the music world, the band announced in 2004 that they were getting back together for a full-blown tour. Pixies booked tour dates as the headliners for The Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival in 2004. Pixies' concert schedule had the kings (and queen) of alt-rock touring the world. In sum, the Pixies Reunion Tour was a commercial success with the band selling approximately $14 million in tickets. Pixies continued to tour throughout the decade despite rarely recording any new material.
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