Music / Surfer Rosa
A Gigantic good record!

"A die-cast metal fossil of misplaced draft, with or without the fucking production. Everyone who has ever commented on Surfer Rosa has said that the production's amazing. I agree with that, but the songs are so strong that it wouldn't have mattered if you'd listened to it through a boom-box. I was completely nihilistic up until about four or five years ago, when I first heard this. It changed my attitude. It made me finally admit, after being into punk rock for so many years, that I finally liked other styles as well. It made me finally admit that I'm a music lover. Their music reminded me of the music that I always wanted to do - and was doing - before I got into punk rock eight or nine years ago."
Kurt Cobain, who named Surfer Rosa his second favorite album of all time, after Raw Power by The Stooges. He later hired Steve Albini to produce In Utero for Nirvana.

Surfer Rosa is the first full-length album by The Pixies, released in 1988, generally considered one of the all-time best (alternative) rock albums with celebrity fans such as Kurt Cobain, PJ Harvey and Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins. It's best known for the underground hits "Gigantic" and "Where Is My Mind?". The album was listed at nr. #317 in Rolling Stone's Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

  1. "Bone Machine" (3:02)
  2. "Break My Body" (2:05)
  3. "Something Against You" (1:47)
  4. "Broken Face" (1:30)
  5. "Gigantic" (3:55)
  6. "River Euphrates" (2:33)
  7. "Where Is My Mind?" (3:53)
  8. "Cactus" (2:16)
  9. "Tony's Theme" (1:52)
  10. "Oh My Golly!" (1:48)
  11. "Vamos" (4:18)
  12. "I'm Amazed" (1:42)
  13. "Brick Is Red" (2:00)

And you'll ask yourself (while reading these tropes): "Where is my mind?"

  • Album Title Drop: "Oh My Golly"
    Besando chichando con surfer rosa
    Oh my golly!
  • As the Good Book Says...: "River Euphrates". The Euphrates is a river in Mesopotamia (present day Iraq), made famous by the Bible.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Oh My Golly" and "Vamos" have Gratuitous Spanish.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: "Gigantic", about a well-endowed black man.
  • Body Horror:
    • "Bone Machine"
    Your bones got a little machine
    • "Broken Face".
    I got a broken face (tape speeds up and back) I got a broken face
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: They're very good at this.
    • "Bone Machine" has the line "He bought me a soda and tried to molest me in the parking lot, yep, yep, yep, yep!" (imagine those "yep!"s being barked out in the most disturbingly perky tone possible) before the second chorus.
    • "Cactus" is about a guy in prison desperately writing to his girlfriend, who quickly becomes paranoid that "the letter in your writing doesn't mean you're not dead". Initially, he just wants her to write letters back. By the end of the song, he's asking her to cut her hands on a cactus, wipe the blood on her dress and send it to him.
  • Broken Record:
    I got a broken face. I got a broken face
    TO-NY! TO-NY! TO-NY!
  • Careful with That Axe: Francis Black's screaming during "Something Against You", "River Euphrates" and "Tony's Theme".
  • Compilation Re-release: The first CD issues included their EP Come On Pilgrim.
  • Contemptible Cover:
    • The album itself, with its topless flamenco dancer.
    • The cover for the "Gigantic" single takes it up a level, with a naked baby.
  • Continuity Nod: "Bone Machine" informs us that "your bones got a little machine" and "Break My Body" also sings about bones.
  • Darker and Edgier: "Break My Body" and "Broken Face" deal with themes of incest and mutilation.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The album cover was shot in black-and-white.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: An elegant photograph showing a beautiful woman posing against a wall displaying a crucifix, torn poster and all of this shot in black-and-white.
  • Electronic Speech Impediment:
    • "Broken Face"
    I got a broken face (tape speeds up and back) I got a broken face
    • "Where Is My Mind"
    Oooooo.. Stop! Ahe (tape cut off).
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: The first 1:13 of "Brick Is Red" are instrumental. That might not seem like all that long by the standards of this trope, but the song itself only runs for 2:02.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: "Oh My Golly" and "Vamos" have Spanish lyrics.
  • Hot for Student: "I'm Amazed" opens with a snippet of Studio Chatter where Kim Deal mentions a teacher at her school who was rumored to be "into field hocker players."
  • In the Style of...: Songs like "Oh My Golly" and "Vamos" were influenced by Spanish flamenco music.
  • Last Note Nightmare: "Where Is My Mind?" ends with a final haunting moan.
  • Love Letter: "Cactus" is a subversion. It's sung from the perspective of a prison inmate who requests his girlfriend to smear her dress with blood and mail it to him.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: A jolly, peppy song about a woman taking voyeuristic delight at watching a black man's big penis.
    • Really, most of the songs. See Pedophile Priest below.
  • Mondegreen: The cover art of "Gigantic" nods to a potential one for the chorus, by showing an image of a baby next to an image of a glove. ("A baby glove"?)
    • One of the more hilarious ones is mishearing the first line of "Cactus", which happens to contain the phrase "cement floor" but due to the quiet opening is very easy to mishear as "semen floor".
  • Ms. Fanservice: The gracious woman posing as a bare-breasted flamenco dancer on the album cover.
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: According to some interpretations, "Break My Body".
  • Obsession Song: "Cactus"
    Sitting here wishing on a cement floor
    Just wishing that I had just something you wore
    I put it on when I grow lonely
    Will you take off your dress and send it to me?
  • One-Man Song: "Tony's Theme".
  • One-Word Title: "Gigantic", "Cactus" and "Vamos".
  • Pedophile Priest: "Bone Machine"
    I was talking to preachy-preach about kissy-kiss,
    He bought me a soda
    He bought me a soda
    He bought me a soda and he tried to molest me in the parking lot. Yup-yup-yup!
  • Record Producer: Steve Albini.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Gigantic" was inspired by Crimes Of The Heart in which a married woman falls in love with a teenager.
    • David Bowie covered "Cactus" on his album Heathen (2002).
    • The spelling of P-I-X-I-E-S on "Cactus" is a reference to a T. Rex song in which they do the same thing.
  • Spelling Song: "Cactus", in which the band spells out their group name between the second verse and chorus.
  • Spoken Word in Music: "I'm Amazed", where Kim Deal recounts a story in which one of her former teachers who was "into field hockey players" was discreetly fired. Francis finishes Deal's sentences, joking that her response to hearing of the teacher's activities was to try and join the team.
    • Also the "You fuckin' die, I said" outro to "Oh My Golly!" (some versions have it as a separate track). Both of these, as mentioned below, were cases of Steve Albini deciding to Throw It In!
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Kim Deal in "Gigantic".
  • Studio Chatter: "Oh My Golly!" starts off with Steve Albini: Francis' "You fuckin' DIE, I said!" between "Oh My Golly!" and "Vamos". Deal's recounting of a teacher who was rumoured to be "into field hockey players" at the start of "I'm Amazed". Both of these were a Throw It In! by Albini, who later indicated ambivalence about having done this: "It's on their record forever, so I think now they are obliged to say that they're OK with it, but I honestly don't know that that idea would've ever come up if I hadn't done it."
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: "Vamos" gives us this stanza:
    They'll come and play
    Their friends will say
    Your daddy's rich
    Your mama's a pretty thing
  • This Is a Song: "Tony's Theme":
    This is a song about a superhero named Tony! It's called "Tony's Theme!" *rocking ensues*
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Where Is My Mind".
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Their trademark.
  • Under the Sea: "Where Is My Mind?" about scuba diving.
  • Where Da White Women At?: The subject of "Gigantic" is an interracial couple. The lyrics were inspired by a movie with this subject named Crimes Of The Heart.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Most of the lyrics.
  • Your Cheating Heart: From "Bone Machine",
    You're into Japanese fastfood
    And I drop you off with your Japanese lover
    And you're going to the beach all day
    You're so pretty when you're unfaithful to me