Pixies – Complete ‘B’ Sides: #389 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Pixies - Complete 'B' Sides

So why is Pixies’ Complete ‘B’ Sides on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

I’ve already covered a few Pixies albums on this here best 1,000 albums ever project, and (spoiler!) there may be a few more coming. I’m genuinely curious if the true Pixies heads out there will be “upset” or not that I’m slating Complete ‘B’ Sides, a compilation of ‘B’ side songs, ahead of the likes of Come On Pilgrim (#455) and Trompe Le Monde (#431).  

It simply comes down to the fact that Complete ‘B’ Sides is an album I’m drawn to slightly more, and it contains songs that I have a bit more of an emotional attachment to.

If it’s not enough that I’m crazy enough to be doing this best 1,000 albums ever project, I’m also crazy enough that I found myself playing “River Euphrates – Version Two” as presented on Complete ‘B’ Sides, and then pausing it and listening to sections of “River Euphrates” as included on Surfer Rosa. There’s something about “Version Two” that sounds cleaner and more distinct, and in any event it’s simply the version that I prefer best.

Which is a long way of getting around to stating that I have great love for “River Euphrates” and it’s one of my favorite Pixies songs: it’s strange and powerful and pleasing and contains that classic soft/loud dynamic that the Pixies are so rightfully famous for. Bonus: the vocal dynamic between Frank Black and Kim Deal is just perfect.

And here’s another ever semi-sheepish admission, if you can handle it: for a long time, I assumed that Frank Black sang ride a TIRE down river Euphrates but then somehow came to believe that it “must” be ride a TIGER down river Euphrates. I preferred “tire” but felt appropriately chastened.

But, nope, it IS “tire” so therefore I feel both appropriately chastened and appropriately vindicated.

Sounds about right, weirdly enough.

Speaking of weird! “Weird at My School” is one of the most strikingly unique deep cut gems of punk rock-meets… Latin waltz (or something?) that you’ll ever find. I’m probably mangling the description of this one greatly, but I don’t care, I just love it.

Then there are the Manta Rays. Plural. That’d be two great songs: “Manta Ray,” which is not to be confused with “Dancing the Manta Ray.”

Not many songs lock into my brain like the opening lines of “Manta Ray.”

All in a day
All for me
Trek across the space
It’ll be just like they say

The spaceship climbs to cruising altitude until we get to: my manta ray is all right!

“Dancing the Manta Ray” is like a Beach Blanket Bingo song morphed into an oddball surf punk remix.

And “Velvety” is a super fun and exuberant instrumental number that shows off the pure rock chops of Black and crew.

There are also alternative versions of well-known Pixies songs on Complete ‘B’ Sides – “Vamos,” “Into the White,” and “Wave of Mutilation,” for example – but I wanted to focus on the tracks that I return to on this one again and again.

Some stats & info about Pixies – Complete ‘B’ Sides

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Punk Rock, Alternative Rock, College Rock, Boston Bands
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • When was Complete ‘B’ Sides released? 2001
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #389 out of 1,000

Pixies’ Complete ‘B’ Sides on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Pixies’ Complete ‘B’ Sides that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

It’s weird at my school.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.