It’s featured before on the blog, with a backstory about how hearing it for the first time in a record shop was a big step in me changing a lot about my life……but that’s not for today.
Playing this 12″ piece of vinyl for the first time in lord knows how long, and certainly for the first time since I got the upgraded turntable and amp just over a year ago, was a real treat as Kim Deal‘s bass, Joey Santiago‘s guitar, David Lovering‘s drums and Black Francis‘ screams combined to make a sound that is beyond my vocabulary to properly do it justice.
It’s a new wave epic, groundbreaking in the way that the harsh, near industrial sounds of the traditional instruments deployed by this particular four-piece combo are enhanced in unimaginable ways by two cellos and two violins. It still remains one of the few songs that have ever stopped me dead in my tracks on my first listen while I’ve been browsing in a record store, and hearing it played so loudly again today, thanks to Villain Towers, temporarily, having no neighbours, took me back to 1989.
It also has a couple of top-notch b-sides and another which is above average. So here they are, ripped direct and at as high a quality for an mp3 as my equipment will allow:-
mp3: Pixies – Monkey Gone To Heaven
mp3: Pixies – Manta Ray
mp3: Pixies – Weird At My School
mp3: Pixies – Dancing The Manta Ray
Melody Maker, here in the UK, made Monkey Gone To Heaven its #1 single come the end of the year rundown. Rolling Stone, over in the USA, had it at #5, the same position it reached in the John Peel Festive 50, one of five entries from Pixies in that particular rundown. The record buying public weren’t so enamoured, as it only reached #60 in the singles chart
4 thoughts on “THE MONDAY MORNING HI-QUALITY VINYL RIP : Part Thirty : MONKEY GONE TO HEAVEN”
Those early Pixies EPs were exceptional but this is my favourite of them of all, including the fabulous sleeve by Simon Larbalestier and Vaughan Oliver. There was a real thrill about buying a new Pixies single back then.
Is this another case of … everbody loved it but nobody seemingly loved it enough at the time to buy it? Or, were most, like me, holding out our pennies for the imminent LP?
This was the student disco breakthrough that changed everything for the Pixies in the UK. Quite right too.
I think its chart position was down to lack of mainstream radio play. Two years later, the quietLOUDquiet aesthetic that Pixies pioneered was on every station you cared to listen to, but in 1989 it was nowhere near what the radio execs deemed acceptable for daytime airplay.
It doesn’t get mentioned a lot because the songs themselves are so interesting, but Black Francis was one of the best rock vocalists ever. Perfect example in the lead track.