Frank Black (album)

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Frank Black
Studio album by Frank Black
Released March 8, 1993
Recorded 1992
at The Clubhouse, Burbank, CA
Genre Alternative rock
Length 46:29
Label 4AD/Elektra
Producer Eric Drew Feldman, Frank Black
Frank Black chronology
Frank Black
(1993)
Teenager of the Year
(1994)

Frank Black is the first solo album from the American alternative rock musician Frank Black. The album was recorded in 1992 and released on 9 March 1993 via 4AD, after the breakup of the Pixies.

The album was similar in style, both musically and lyrically, to the Pixies' last album Trompe le Monde. Frank Black was characterized by a focus on UFOs and science fiction. Two singles from the album - "Los Angeles" and "Hang on to Your Ego" - were released in 1993.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link
Entertainment Weekly (B-) link
Nude as the News (Very Positive) link
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars link

Recording and production[edit]

While the Pixies' 1991 album Trompe le Monde was being recorded, Black, known as Black Francis at the time, had discussions with the album's producer, Gil Norton, about a possible solo record.[1] He told Norton he was keen to record again, even though he had no new material; as a result, the two decided on a covers album. However, by the time Francis visited a recording studio again in 1992, he had "plenty of tunes and musical scraps".[2]

He collaborated with Eric Drew Feldman of Pere Ubu to record new material; they began by trimming down the number of covers to one, The Beach Boys' "Hang On to Your Ego".[3] Feldman became the album's producer, and played keyboard and bass guitar on several songs,[4] with former Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago on lead guitar.[5] Francis recorded the album during the hiatus and breakup of the Pixies in late 1992 and early 1993. He then adopted the stage name "Frank Black" (inverting his old persona "Black Francis") and released the results as Frank Black in March 1993.[6]

The song "I Heard Ramona Sing" is featured in the 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, as well as its soundtrack.

Music[edit]

Frank Black was characterized by a focus on UFOs and science fiction, although he explored other eclectic subjects, such as in "I Heard Ramona Sing", a song about the Ramones.[7] The album was similar in style, both musically and lyrically, to the Pixies' albums Bossanova and Trompe le Monde. Feldman later said that the first record connected his solo career with Trompe le Monde, "but at the same time it is an island, like nothing else he [Black] did".[8]

In live performances, Black said the song Czar was about folk singer John Denver, particularly his energy crisis-era activism and his unsuccessful attempt to become a space tourist.

A sample of Los Angeles.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Frank Black except track 3, written by Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame and Terry Sachen (in the album sleeve the song is erroneously credited to Brian Wilson and Tony Asher).

  1. "Los Angeles" - 4:08
  2. "I Heard Ramona Sing" - 3:40
  3. "Hang On to Your Ego" - 3:24
  4. "Fu Manchu" - 3:02
  5. "Places Named After Numbers" - 2:52
  6. "Czar" - 2:42
  7. "Old Black Dawning" - 2:02
  8. "Ten Percenter" - 3:28
  9. "Brackish Boy" - 1:35
  10. "Two Spaces" - 2:25
  11. "Tossed" (Instrumental Version) - 4:09
  12. "Parry the Wind High, Low" - 4:32
  13. "Adda Lee" - 2:00
  14. "Every Time I Go Around Here" - 3:31
  15. "Don't Ya Rile 'Em" - 2:52

Personnel[edit]

with guests:

Charts[edit]

Chart (1993) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[9] 9
US Billboard 200 117

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak positions
US Mod
[10]
1993 "Los Angeles" 6
"Hang On to Your Ego 8
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Gil Norton was the producer of the Pixies' records from Doolittle onwards.
  2. ^ 4AD. "4AD - Frank Black". Retrieved 2006-11-29. 
  3. ^ "Rolling Stone: Frank Black: Frank Black : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. 1993-04-01. Retrieved 2006-11-29. 
  4. ^ "The Captain Beefheart Radar Station - Eric Drew Feldman Discography". Retrieved 2006-11-29. Eric Drew Feldman (bass, keyboards, synthetics) 
  5. ^ Frank, Ganz, 2005. p. 187-8
  6. ^ "4AD - 1993 Releases - Frank Black". Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  7. ^ "4AD - Frank Black (page 2)". 4AD. Retrieved 2006-12-02. 
  8. ^ Frank, Ganz, 2005. p. 188
  9. ^ "FRANK BLACK | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved October 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Frank Black Album & Song Chart History | Billboard.com". Billboard. Retrieved October 6, 2013. 

External links[edit]