Frank Black (album)

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Frank Black
Frank black cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 8, 1993
StudioThe Clubhouse, Burbank, California
GenreAlternative rock
ProducerEric Drew Feldman, Frank Black
Frank Black chronology
Frank Black
Teenager of the Year
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Consumer Guide(1-star Honorable Mention)[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[3]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[4]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[5]
Q4/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[8]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[10]

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.

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.[11] 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".[12]

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".[13] Feldman became the album's producer, and played keyboard and bass guitar on several songs,[14] with former Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago on lead guitar.[15] 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.[16]

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


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.[17] 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".[18]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Frank Black except track 3, written by Brian Wilson 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


with guests:



Chart (1993) Peak
UK Albums Chart[19] 9
US Billboard 200 117


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

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Phares, Heather. "Frank Black – Frank Black". AllMusic. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Frank Black: Frank Black". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 0-312-24560-2. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  4. ^ Romero, Michele (March 19, 1993). "Frank Black". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  5. ^ Boehm, Mike (March 21, 1993). "Frank Black 'Frank Black' 4AD/Elektra". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  6. ^ "Frank Black: Frank Black". Q (79): 78. April 1993.
  7. ^ Wright, Christian (April 1, 1993). "Frank Black: Frank Black". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 4, 2007. Retrieved February 18, 2010.
  8. ^ Wolk, Douglas (2004). "Frank Black". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 74. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  9. ^ Maconie, Stuart (April 1993). "Frank Black: Frank Black (4AD)". Select (34): 73. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  10. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  11. ^ Gil Norton was the producer of the Pixies' records from Doolittle onwards.
  12. ^ 4AD. "4AD - Frank Black". Archived from the original on 2006-11-23. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
  13. ^ "Rolling Stone: Frank Black: Frank Black : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. 1993-04-01. Archived from the original on 2007-02-13. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
  14. ^ "The Captain Beefheart Radar Station - Eric Drew Feldman Discography". Archived from the original on 2006-10-28. Retrieved 2006-11-29. Eric Drew Feldman (bass, keyboards, synthetics)
  15. ^ Frank, Ganz, 2005. p. 187-8
  16. ^ "4AD - 1993 Releases - Frank Black". Retrieved 2007-01-06.
  17. ^ "4AD - Frank Black (page 2)". 4AD. Archived from the original on 2006-05-12. Retrieved 2006-12-02.
  18. ^ Frank, Ganz, 2005. p. 188
  19. ^ "FRANK BLACK | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved October 6, 2013.
  20. ^ "Frank Black Album & Song Chart History |". Billboard. Retrieved October 6, 2013.

External links[edit]