Doolittle is the third studio album by The Pixies, released in 1989. Compared to their previous two releases, this one had slicker production thanks to Gil Norton, a Briton who had previously worked with the Pixies' 4AD Records labelmates and New England neighbors Throwing Muses. At the same time the band rocked louder and harder than ever. It's also noteworthy as the band's first album for their American distributor, Elektra Records.
The result brought the band a lot of attention. Doolittle made the top ten in the UK, while also charting in the US and France. It's been acclaimed as a favorite by PJ Harvey and Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, among others. The opening track, "Debaser", ended up being a particularly important track in the Pixes' legacy: David Bowie's thrash/grunge supergroup Tin Machine made the song one of their concert staples (Bowie himself was a huge Big Name Fan of the Pixies), and Cobain cited it as Nirvana's main musical inspiration for their 1991 Breakthrough Hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit". It is also their most popular album, being certified gold (sales of over 500,000 copies) in 1995 and platinum (sales of over one million) in 2018 by the RIAA.
Doolittle was named #227 on the Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.
- "Debaser" - 2:52
- "Tame" - 1:55
- "Wave of Mutilation" - 2:04
- "I Bleed" - 2:34
- "Here Comes Your Man" - 3:21
- "Dead" - 2:21
- "Monkey Gone to Heaven" - 2:56
- "Mr. Grieves" - 2:05
- "Crackity Jones" - 1:24
- "La La Love You" - 2:34
- "No. 13 Baby" - 3:51
- "There Goes My Gun" - 1:49
- "Hey" - 3:31
- "Silver" - 2:25
- "Gouge Away" - 2:35
- Black Francis - Vocals, guitar
- Kim Deal - Bass, vocals
- David Lovering - Drums, vocals
- Joey Santiago - Guitar
There is a trope so long (so long, so long):
- Alliterative Title: "La La Love You"
- As the Good Book Says...: One of Black Francis' favorite themes, violent Old Testament stories, is represented here. "Dead" references David and Bathsheba, while "Gouge Away" was inspired by Samson's death.
- Design Student's Orgasm: A monkey with arcane charts and formulas, by graphic artist Vaughan Oliver.
- Eye Scream: "Debaser" mentions "slicing up eyeballs".
- Fairy Tale Motifs: The first line of "Tame" is "Hips like Cinderella", which is matched in the second verse by "Fall on your face in those bad shoes."
- Faking the Dead: "Wave of Mutilation":Cease to resist, giving my goodbye
Drive my car into the ocean
You'll think I'm dead, but I sail away...
- Green Aesop: Black Francis says that he didn't intend "Monkey Gone to Heaven" to have an environmental message, but it's easy enough to pick one up.There was a guy
An underwater guy who controlled the sea
Got killed by ten million pounds of sludge
From New York and New Jersey.
- Hartman Hips: The subject of "Tame" has "hips like Cinderella."
- I "Uh" You, Too: "Hey":"Uh", said the man to the lady
"Uh", said the lady to the man she adored
And the whores like a choir
Go "uh" all night
And Mary, ain't you tired of this?
- In the Style of...: "Here Comes Your Man" has a lot of The Beatles in it. The band probably knew that "I Feel Fine" was the first pop single to incorporate feedback.
- Miniscule Rocking: "Tame", "Crackity Jones", and "There Goes My Gun" are all under two minutes.
- New Sound Album: This was the band's first album with Gil Norton and has a more polished production compared to Surfer Rosa.
- Number of the Beast: In "Monkey Gone to Heaven" Black Francis says "The devil is six" three times.
- One-Man Song: "Mr. Grieves", "Crackity Jones"
- One-Word Title: "Tame", "Dead", "Hey", "Silver". Also Doolittle itself.
- Pater Familicide: "Wave of Mutilation" was inspired by reports of Japanese businessmen getting their families in the car and driving into the ocean.
- Record Producer: Gil Norton, whose poppy style contrasts greatly with Steve Albini, the producer of Surfer Rosa.
- Sanity Slippage Song: Frank Black's insane laughter during "Debaser" makes this song one.
I'm not black like Barry White, no, I am white like Frank Black isSo, if man is five and the devil is sex that must make me sevenThis honkie's gone to Heaven note
- The "slicing up eyeballs" on "Debaser" is a shout-out to Luis Buñuel's Un Chien Andalou, which is directly mentioned with the half French/half Spanish title "un chien andalusia".
- In "Fire Water Burn" by Blood Hound Gang the song "Monkey Gone To Heaven" is referenced:
- Singer Namedrop: In "Monkey Gone to Heaven", Francis says "Rock me, Joe!" just before Joey Santiago's solo.
- Step Up to the Microphone: "La La Love You" is a duet between Kim Deal and David Lovering.
- The Stoner: "Gouge Away":You stroke my locks
If you got some.
- Storyboard Body: "No. 13 Baby":Black tear falling on my lazy queen
Got a tattooed tit say number 13.
- Stylistic Suck: The video for "Here Comes Your Man", with the weird effects and Francis and Deal just opening their mouths (without even attempting to lip sync) during their respective singing parts.