Pod (The Breeders album)

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The Breeders Pod.jpg
Studio album by The Breeders
Released May 28, 1990
Recorded Palladium Studios, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1989
Genre Alternative rock
Length 30:35
Label 4AD/Elektra (U.S.)
4AD (UK)
Producer Steve Albini
The Breeders chronology
Safari (EP)

Pod is the debut album by the American alternative rock band The Breeders, released on the independent record label 4AD in May 1990. Engineered by Steve Albini, Pod was recorded at Palladium Studios, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Steve Albini has stated that it is the one album on which he felt he got both the best sound for a band, and the best performance from a band. It has been credited by Nirvana's Kurt Cobain as being one of the most influential albums of his life.[1][2] According to Cobain, "it’s an epic that will never let you forget your ex-girlfriend."[3]


Following Kim Deal's critically acclaimed work in the Pixies, she wanted to write songs, something she rarely got to do in the Pixies. As a result Deal put The Breeders together. The band signed to the Pixies' label and released Pod in 1990. Since Pod and the Pixies' breakup, the band has released three more albums.

The Breeders wanted to re-record the demo tape for a general release. 4AD gave the band an $11,000[4] budget and recruited Steve Albini, who had worked with Deal on the Pixies' 1988 album Surfer Rosa, to record in Edinburgh for two weeks in December 1989.

Sample of "Iris", the eighth track on Pod.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Pod's sound has been seen by critics as an amalgam of the Pixies' and the Throwing Muses' music; a combination of elliptical punk, angular pop, shattered tempos and screeching dynamics. The album features a wide range of musical styles; from the poppy "Fortunately Gone" to the hard rock of "Hellbound".

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[5]
Blender 2/5 stars[6]
Entertainment Weekly B–[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[8]
Select 5/5 medals[9]

Pod was released on May 28, 1990 by 4AD in the UK. (In the USA, it was originally released on 4AD/Rough Trade, and then in 1992 by 4AD/Elektra Records.) Although the album did not chart in the U.S., it was a minor hit in the UK, peaking at #22 on the UK Albums Chart.[10]

The album did, nevertheless, receive much acclaim from mainstream critics; The New York Times' Karen Schoemer wrote: "The angular melodies, shattered tempos and screeching dynamics recall elements of each of the women's full-time bands, but Pod has a smart, innovative edge all its own."[11] Heather Phares of Allmusic hailed the album as "a vibrantly creative debut," and praised its "creative songwriting, immediate production...and clever arrangements." Phares compared Pod favorably to the Pixies' Bossanova and Throwing Muses' Hunkpapa; Deal and Donelly's respective bands' releases at that time.[12] Rolling Stone magazine, in their profile of The Breeders, called the album "hazy and creepily erotic...[Pod was] just what college radio had been waiting for."

The praise, however, was not unequivocal; The Village Voice's Robert Christgau called the album an "art project" and implied that The Breeders did not "[sound] like a band",[13] later assigning it a "neither" rating, indicating an album that "may impress once or twice with consistent craft or an arresting track or two. Then it won't."[14] In his book The Rough Guide to Rock, Peter Buckley downplays comparisons with the Pixies, suggesting the album is "far too plodding for that."[15] In The A to X of Alternative Music, Steve Taylor says, "Deal's songs [on Pod] are not of the same quality as her Pixies work."[16]

In a 1992 interview with Melody Maker, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain named Pod as one of the records that influenced his life: "It's an epic that will never let you forget your ex-girlfriend."[17] Subsequently, in August 1993, after the release of their second album Last Splash, the Breeders were invited to open for Nirvana at several venues in Europe.[18] In July 1995, in their tenth anniversary issue, Alternative Press ranked Pod number 39 of the "Top 99 of '85-'95", a list of the best albums released during the magazine's years in print.[19] In July 2007, in a chat forum interview, Pod's engineer Steve Albini revealed that he considered the album to be amongst his best works.[20]

In 2003, Pitchfork Media listed the album at #81 on their list of [21] The Top 100 Albums of the 1990s.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Kim Deal, except where noted. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Glorious"   Deal, R. Halliday 3:23
2. "Doe"   Deal, Halliday 2:06
3. "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"   Lennon–McCartney 2:46
4. "Oh!"     2:27
5. "Hellbound"     2:21
6. "When I Was a Painter"     3:24
7. "Fortunately Gone"     1:44
8. "Iris"     3:29
9. "Opened"     2:28
10. "Only in 3's"   Deal, Donelly 1:56
11. "Lime House"     1:45
12. "Metal Man"   Deal, Wiggs 2:46



  1. ^ "Top 50 by Nirvana [MIXTAPE]". Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Cross, Gaar, Gendron, Martens, Yarm (2013). Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-7603-4521-4. 
  3. ^ Melody Maker, "Kurt Cobain of Nirvana Talks About the Records That Changed His Life". August 29, 1992.
  4. ^ Spitz, Marc. "Life to the Pixies." Spin. September 2004.
  5. ^ Phares, Heather. "Pod – The Breeders". AllMusic. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ Dolan, Jon. "Pod". Blender. Archived from the original on May 19, 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Notable music for the week of June 8, 1990". Entertainment Weekly. June 8, 1990. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  8. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 104. ISBN 0-743-20169-8. 
  9. ^ Linehan, Graham (July 1990). "Dig The New Breed". Select (1): 84. 
  10. ^ "UK Top 40 Chart Archive". everyhit.com. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  11. ^ Schoemer, Karen (July 8, 1990). "Recent Releases". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  12. ^ Phares, Heather. "Pod review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (June 1, 1993). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-24560-2. 
  15. ^ Buckley, Peter. The Rough Guide to Rock, Rough Guide. p. 136
  16. ^ Taylor, Steve. The A to X of Alternative Music. Xfm. p. 185. Xfm
  17. ^ ""Rebellious Jukebox" - Kurt Cobain of Nirvana talks about the records that changed his life.". Melody Maker. August 29, 1992. 
  18. ^ Albini, Steve. "The Breeders profile". 4AD. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  19. ^ Alternative Press (July 1995). "Top 99 of '85-'95". RockList.net. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  20. ^ "Steve Albini Drops Anonymity, Answers Questions In Poker Forum". Stereogum. July 6, 2007. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  21. ^ "Pitchfork's Top 100 Albums of the 1990s". Pitchfork. November 17, 2003. 


External links[edit]