Pixies’ Front Man, Frank Black Releases Anthology

“Frank Black 93-03,” a chronological anthology of FRANK BLACK’s work covering the Pixies’ front man’s nine solo albums recorded during that time period, will be released in the U.S. on June 12 through Cooking Vinyl. The two-disc set will include a bonus CD of live tracks recorded during Black’s Fall 2006 North American tour, as well as a brand new BLACK FRANCIS track, “Threshold Apprehension,” which is taken from his forthcoming “Bluefinger” album, due for release in September.

According to Black, “There is totally a narrative arc to my solo career.” It sounds trite, but in basic language this is what’s happening on these songs: it’s me breaking away from the Pixies and finding myself as a solo artist, finding a band again and forging that together, then losing it and my marriage, and finally getting my obsession with two-track recording out of my system. It’s a total arc.

“As compilations go, it has less in common with ‘The Best of Blondie,’ ‘The Beatles 1962-66,’ The Beach Boys’ ’20 Golden Greats,’ and ‘Rolled Gold’ than it does the best of The Residents. I felt a little sheepish when my manager suggested a Best Of: I’m not exactly known for my hit records. But then, I didn’t get into this to have hits. I did it to be a maverick, to be underground, to be part of that world as opposed to the Top 40 world. I wanted to be an artist and a musician, not to get invited to parties. It’s about being true to yourself.”

“But I’ve got a big back catalogue, and so for the uninitiated, ‘Frank Black 93-03’ is a good place to start. It just sounds like a regular Frank Black album because all my records are schizophrenic in tenor – fast song, slow song, country song, punky song. Although it’s boring to say, ‘I think it’s very representative of who I am as an artist’, it really is!”

The live tracks on the “Frank Black 93-03” bonus discs were recorded October 27, 2006 at Mr. Small’s in Pittsburgh, PA, and at the Distrikt in Regina, SK on November 6, 2006. Along with Black on guitars, featured players include guitarist Duane Jarvis, bassist Eric Drew Feldman, and drummer Billy Block. the bonus disc on the European and Japanese packages, to be released June 4 through Cooking Vinyl, will each contain a different track listing (see below).

But wait, there’s more. Using his early-Pixies-days nom de rock Black Francis, his September will see the release of a brand new album, “Bluefinger,” which was inspired by Dutch painter Herman Brood. That album’s first single, “Threshold Apprehension,” will be available not only on “Frank Black 93-03,” but as a digital download beginning May 7, and then released as a limited edition 7″ single and digital download bundle beginning May 25. More details on “Bluefinger” to be announced shortly.

As Black Francis, Boston-bred Black was one of the architects of modern rock as front man of the Pixies, whose “loud-quiet-loud” dynamics, primal scream intensity and free-ranging compositional style exerted a huge influence on alternative music. His solo recordings as Frank Black demonstrated his artistic restlessness, embracing alternative pop and avant-garde rock with equal fervor; he continued exploring this territory with a new band, The Catholics, for several years before journeying to Nashville to create 2005’s critically-acclaimed “Honeycomb” with producer Jon Tiven. In 2006, he re-teamed with Tiven for the more intense, upbeat “Fast Man Raider Man,” working with such illustrious players as Memphis guitar icon Steve Cropper, The Band’s Levon Helm, Al Kooper, Cheap Trick’s Tom Petersson, Steve Ferrone of The Heartbreakers, Simon Kirke of Bad Company and Free, songwriter P.F. Sloane, Buddy Miller, Spooner Oldman and Chester Thompson, not to mention his touring companions Block and Jarvis.

A complete track listing for the 2-CD “Frank Black 93-03” is as follows:

Disc One:

Los Angeles (Frank Black, 1993)

Ten Percenter (Frank Black, 1993)

Czar (Frank Black, 1993)

Old Black Dawning (Frank Black, 1993)

Abstract Plain (Teenager of the Year, 1994)

Calistan (Teenager of the Year, 1994)

Speedy Marie (Teenager of the Year, 1994)

Headache (Teenager of the Year, 1994)

Freedom Rock (Teenager of the Year, 1994)

Men In Black (The Cult of Ray, 1996)

You Ain’t Me (The Cult of Ray, 1996)

I Don’t Want to Hurt You (The Cult of Ray, 1996)

All My Ghosts (Frank Black and The Catholics, 1998)

I Gotta Move (Frank Black and The Catholics, 1998)

Bad Harmony (Pistolero, 1999)

Western Star (Pistolero, 1999)

Robert Onion (Dog In The Sand, 2001)

Hermaphroditos (Dog In The Sand, 2001)

Velvety (Devil’s Workshop, 2002)

California Bound (Black Letter Days, 2002)

Massif Centrale (Show Me Your Tears, 2003)

Manitoba (Show Me Your Tears, 2003)

Disc Two

North American Live Track Listing:

Deadman’s Curve


My Terrible Ways

I’ll Be Blue

Johnny Barleycorn

Ten Percenter

Dog Gone

The Swimmer


European Live Track Listing:




Living On Soul

Burnt Out Rock ‘n’ Roll

Been All Around the World

Six Sixty Six

Horrible Day

(Do What You Want) Gyaneshwar

Japanese Live Track Listing:

Ten Percenter

Deadman’s Curve

My Terrible Ways

I’ll Be Blue




Living On Soul


I Burn Today

I’m Nod Dead (I’m In Pittsburgh)

Sing For Joy

Judyth Piazza is the host of the American Perspective Radio Program, a cutting edge radio program that is full of inspiration and information. It’s intended to help people succeed in life.

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