15 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s not easy keeping track of the post-Pixies output by the prolific Black Francis (a.k.a. Frank Black) but it sure is fun. Though the material on Abbabubba has never been formally released a few of the tracks have been available before on Francis’ official website. Still, it’s great to have all of this in one handy compilation. Some of the tracks are demos of songs included on other albums (“Rabbits,” “Dead Man’s Curve,” “Get Away Oil”) and some are mature, fully realized tunes that somehow never found a proper home despite their quality (“Serious Curious,” “Polly’s Into Me,” the title track). There are even three separate and distinct remixes of “The Seus” by Infadels, Charles Normal, and Bloc Party. The bulk of this collection is made up of stripped-down song sketches in which the focus is clearly on Francis’ hooks, jagged guitar riffs, and quirky vocals with “Il Cuchaiao,” “Alabaster,” and “The Water” definite highlights. Abbabubba is a must for Black Francis fans.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s not easy keeping track of the post-Pixies output by the prolific Black Francis (a.k.a. Frank Black) but it sure is fun. Though the material on Abbabubba has never been formally released a few of the tracks have been available before on Francis’ official website. Still, it’s great to have all of this in one handy compilation. Some of the tracks are demos of songs included on other albums (“Rabbits,” “Dead Man’s Curve,” “Get Away Oil”) and some are mature, fully realized tunes that somehow never found a proper home despite their quality (“Serious Curious,” “Polly’s Into Me,” the title track). There are even three separate and distinct remixes of “The Seus” by Infadels, Charles Normal, and Bloc Party. The bulk of this collection is made up of stripped-down song sketches in which the focus is clearly on Francis’ hooks, jagged guitar riffs, and quirky vocals with “Il Cuchaiao,” “Alabaster,” and “The Water” definite highlights. Abbabubba is a must for Black Francis fans.

TITLE TIME
2:31
4:11
3:32
2:56
1:49
2:22
4:42
5:14
2:36
2:38
3:42
2:11
2:42
4:34
4:44

About Black Francis

Black Francis is the stage name contrived by and for Charles Thompson during his residency in college rock band the Pixies, a period that ran from the group's formation in Boston during 1986 until the dark day in 1993 when Black Francis announced during a BBC radio interview that the group was disbanding. The other members of the Pixies such as Kim Deal were not yet wise to this, finding out a tad bit later when their now former associate faxed them a transcription of relevant parts of the radio show. Thompson's next show business identity was as Frank Black, often in the bandleading context of Frank Black and the Catholics. Publishing bean counters can watch for songwriting credits under both pseudonyms as well as under Charles Thompson; in the latter case he should not be confused with the famed classic jazz keyboardist whose works were recorded by Charlie Parker and many others. Thompson released many albums under his Frank Black moniker, but returned to the Black Francis name for 2007's Bluefinger, which was a concept album about the life and death of Dutch painter/punk rocker Herman Brood and featured some of Black's most ferocious rock in years. Still working under his Black Francis moniker, Black released the sexually charged NonStopErotik in 2010. Abbabubba, a B-sides and demos collection, arrived in 2011 along with The Golem, Francis' score for the 1920 silent film of the same name. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

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