Songs to the Siren

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Planet of Sound


28th May 1991 (single), 3rd September 1991 (LP)🇺🇸

The first single from the fourth (and last until the band later reformed) Pixies album, this is the tale of an alien who picks up transmissions from Earth.

They head over to find the source, the “planet of sound”.

I met a guy in a rover
He said, “It’s one more over
It’s just there where you’re bound”
This ain’t the planet of sound.

But the alien has what we programmers call an “off by one error”, and arrives at Mars instead - they arrive “somewhere renowned for its canals and colours of red”, before meeting the guy in a rover who tells him “it’s one more over”.

A lot of Pixies fans will prefer the earlier stuff, particularly Doolittle, but Trompe Le Monde was their finest hour for me. A load of tracks about space and aliens - a theme pervasive enough that some called it a “concept album”.

Pixies have more sophisticated songs than this, but this has an energy and some fine lyrics that elevate it towards the upper end of their output.

An aside: The first time I saw them play was 1st May 1988 at the Town and Country Club, in Kentish Town, London. A truly magical night, they “co-headlined” (supported, basically) Throwing Muses who were promoting their magnificent second album “House Tornado”.