|Single by Pixies|
|from the album Surfer Rosa|
|A-side||"Gigantic" (New Version)|
"River Euphrates" (New Version)
|Released||August 22, 1988|
|Format||Vinyl record (12"), Compact Disc|
|Length||3:45 (album version)
3:13 (single version)
|Writer(s)||Kim Deal, Black Francis|
|Producer||Steve Albini (album), Gil Norton (single)|
|Pixies singles chronology|
"Gigantic" is a song by the American alternative rock band Pixies, co-written by bassist Kim Deal and lead vocalist/guitarist Black Francis. The song appeared on the band's first studio album, Surfer Rosa, released in 1988. "Gigantic" was released as the band's first single later that year.
Featuring Deal on lead vocals, the song is one of Pixies' biggest hits and a crowd favorite at concerts, often played as the encore. The melody line comes from Deal's simple but effective bass playing—the same bassline is repeated throughout the song.
"Gigantic" never achieved a ranking on any major charts and was their only release from Surfer Rosa. However, it was a fairly successful first hit for Pixies and maintains radio play to this day. The single version of the song appeared on Pixies' 2004 best-of compilation, Wave of Mutilation: Best of Pixies.
Lyrics and melody
According to Deal, the main inspiration for the song was the film Crimes of the Heart, in which a married woman falls in love with a black teenager and the song "Gigantic" is credited to Mrs John Murphy (Kim Deal's pseudonym at the time of Come On Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa as an ironic feminist joke).
The song's voyeuristic lyrics mostly revolve around a woman's observation of an attractive black man making love to another woman, culminating in the oddly light-hearted but sexual chorus: "Gigantic, gigantic, gigantic / A big, big love". Francis later commented on the title of the song and the chorus (in the music magazine SELECT), saying:
"A good chord progression, very Lou Reed influenced. I'd had the word 'gigantic' in my mind just because the chord progression seemed very big to me."
The melody, particularly at the beginning, differs between the album and EP version.
The song was re-recorded soon after the release of Surfer Rosa, with a slightly altered arrangement and production from Gil Norton for release as the band's first single in 1988. The single also featured a new version of "River Euphrates", from the same album. Further included were a live version of "Vamos" (a song that also appeared on mini-LP, Come On Pilgrim and their first LP Surfer Rosa) and a live cover of the song "In Heaven (The Lady in The Radiator Song)" from the David Lynch movie Eraserhead, both recorded at the Town and Country Club in London, England. The single was released in the United Kingdom on 4AD as a 12-inch vinyl and on CD. The CD version was re-issued in 1999. (No version of this single was ever released in the United States.)
The tracks were recorded with Gil Norton who produced the next album, Doolittle. The back cover of the 12 inch features a large leather glove.
- "Gigantic" (New Version) (Black Francis and Kim Deal) – 3:12
- "River Euphrates" (New Version) (Black Francis) – 3:23
- "Vamos" (Live) (Black Francis) – 3:28
- "In Heaven (The Lady in the Radiator Song)" (Live) (Peter Ivers and David Lynch) – 1:46
The California ska punk band Reel Big Fish produced a cover of "Gigantic" for 1999's Where Is My Mind?: A Tribute to the Pixies. Reel Big Fish chose to break away from their traditional sound for this cover, producing a very poppy, highly produced dance track sounding nothing like the original song. Other bands such as Belle & Sebastian, The Frames, Pavement, Gemma Hayes, The Katies, and The Hippos have also covered the song.
In 2007, OK Go covered the song for album Dig for Fire- A Tribute to Pixies.
Notes and references
- "Pixies Set Lists". Retrieved 2006-09-08.
- "Pixies/Debaser — Gigantic". Retrieved 2006-09-06.
- "SELFies: Songs & Lyrics: Titanic". Retrieved 2006-09-06.
- "The Miserable Rich — Covers EP". Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- "The Swell Season Announce New Album . ‘Strict Joy’". Retrieved 2009-12-06.
- "Surfer Blood covers The Pixies". Retrieved March 23, 2013.