On 14th May Demon Records will release three Frank Black albums which have never been available on vinyl before. ‘Francis Black Francis’, ‘Honeycomb’ and ‘Fast Man Raider Man’
Each is lovingly issued on 140g coloured vinyl:
‘Frank Black Francis’ will be available as 2LPs on white vinyl, ‘Honeycomb’ on translucent-honey vinyl and ‘Fast Man Raider Man’ as 2LPs on translucent vinyl.
These three releases are part of an ongoing series of twelve vinyl Frank Black / Black Francis reissues in 2021.
Frank Black Francis’ released back in 2004 includes solo acoustic demos from 1987 ahead of the first Pixies Studio session. Plus, a second LP of revisited classic Pixies songs. Disc 2 sees Black reworking a number of Pixies songs.
And as Frank Black elucidates:
“It had come to my attention that a forgotten old demo, recorded by my own hand on my own boom box in my old apartment, had resurfaced and would I be willing to release it? As a time capsule it seemed fairly interesting, but as a full release it seemed lacking for the customers; and so while I was in London, waiting for something to happen in my lovesick life, Keith Moliné and Andy Diagram, David Thomas’ Two Pale Boys, took me into their atelier and let me cry into my lager while they helped me augment the demo from the crypt. At some point, I think I took off into the night and encouraged them to do whatever the hell they wanted; I think I may have been a bit of a drag on the session. Being the consummate professionals they are (they had played on the Catholic’s SHOW ME YOUR TEARS record recently, so I know they were…very good eggs) Keith and Andy really did not have a problem with this lost man paradigm, and I think their deconstructive and self-referential art methods are absolutely lovely. Their treatment of PLANET OF SOUND remains one of my favorite versions.”
A glimpse into the early genius songwriter. It’s testament to that genius that tracks like ‘The Holiday Song’ and ‘Caribou’ sound so good stripped back to just frantic acoustic strumming and that high pitched howl from a young Frank. You can hear the DNA of each song and for those familiar, which is who the album will appeal too, will dig the bare boned nature especially played with that already lofty held material that is polyvinyl chloride.
There’s moments that echo the informal manner in which these were recorded. Moments when Frank says “going to sing the bass players part on “I’m Amazed” The demo nature comes across on track “Isla de Encanta” and in particular Frank explaining how he wants ‘Caribou’ melody to sound like.
Disc 2 is perhaps what this album is all about. A chance to hear Pixies tracks tweaked and changed by the man himself. Changing tracks into a drawn out electronic showing how Black’s influences an songwriting has changed since the early pixies days. The tracks may not be to everyones tastes and it can be quite hard to hear a favourite tracks arrangement change, sometimes to something unrecognisable.
The anger and frantic energy those Pixies recordings are full of is no longer here. Instead we get tracks like ‘Where Is My Mind?’ with its gentle waves of electronic noise, shimmering guitars and even blast of brass. It’s interesting to hear the versions of ‘Caribou’ and ‘The Holiday Song’ from disc 1 to our they are arrange here. Caribou taking on shades of lounge and The Holiday Song a horn filled garage band rendition. Even the junkyard ‘Subbacultcha’ which sounds a totally different track from its spoken word acoustic version on disc 1.
The chilled out vibes of album ‘Honeycomb’ which is also released on vinyl with Blacks crooning tenor matching his love of the singer songwriters like Bob Dylan, “my ambition to touristically pay homage to Blonde On Blonde” states Frank regarding the album. The duet of Strange Goodbye with its plodding drum beat and guitar twang and the covers ‘Dark End of the Street’, ‘Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day’ and ‘Song Of The Shrimp’ come across perfect in Blacks hands as though he write them himself. Especially the interesting lyrics on ‘Song Of The Shrimp’ One thing Honeycomb does do is show Black’s talent for his craft.
Fats Man Raider Man
Carrying on his work with some top flight American musicians from Honeycomb, Fast Man Raider Man sees Black in a more confident position following the Americana trend his work had taken him. It’s a natural progression from Honeycomb and it shows the love Black has for his fans. Making this a double album as Black throws in what seems like every song worked on during this period.
Whilst some tracks just blend into the background there are some are full of Black’s best work in this American country vein of his music. Black’s duet with country singer Marty Brown on a cover of Ewan MacColl’s ‘Dirty Old Town’ renders the track unrecognisable yet the strength of the original composition hold up with this country and western alternative. There’s even a hint of Pixies with the ringing ‘In My Time Of Ruin’
All in all these three albums sit as an introduction to the mans incredible legacy which feels so much better coming from the warmness of a vinyl record.
To purchase Frank Black Francis go to: smarturl.it/Frank_Black_Francis
To purchase Honeycomb go to: smarturl.it/FrankBlack_Honeycomb
To purchase Fast Man Raider Man go to: smarturl.it/FrankBlack_FastMan
The series of 2021 releases in full: (9 of these 12 releases have never been released on vinyl before.)
19-Feb-21 Frank Black – The Cult Of Ray (Blue Vinyl) previously available on vinyl in 1996
19-Feb-21 Frank Black – Oddballs (Silver Vinyl) b sides compilation previously available on vinyl in 2013
14-May-21 Francis Black Francis (White Vinyl) 2LP previously unavailable on vinyl
14-May-21 Honeycomb (Translucent Honey Vinyl) previously unavailable on vinyl
14-May-21 Fast Man Raider Man (Translucent Vinyl) 2LP previously unavailable on vinyl
02-July- 21 Black Francis- Bluefinger (Red Vinyl) previously unavailable on vinyl
02-July- 21 Black Francis – Live at the Hotel Utah Saloon (Blue Vinyl) 2LP previously unavailable on vinyl
03-Sep-21 Black Francis – Svn Fngrs (White Vinyl) previously unavailable on vinyl
03-Sep-21 Black Francis – Live in Nijmegen (Clear Vinyl) 2LP previously unavailable on vinyl
26-Nov-21 Black Francis – NonStopErotik ( Silver Vinyl) previously unavailable on vinyl
26-Nov-21 Black Francis – The Golem (White Vinyl) previously unavailable on vinyl
26-Nov-21 Paley & Francis – Paley & Francis (Clear Vinyl) previously unavailable on vinyl