Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Jun 23rd 2009 12:00PM by Benjy Eisen
"If you're not really interested in the art angle then this is probably not for you," Francis tells Spinner, unapologetically. "I would recommend that you just go burn the records off the internet if you just want to hear the music."
His caveat is based on the fact the the limited-edition set, which is a hefty 25 pounds, comes in a '2001: A Space Odyssey'-inspired clamshell, and includes a 96-page hardcover fine-art book of new Pixies artwork and photos, two posters, and additional bells and whistles. But it doesn't really offer hardcore Pixies fans any music that they haven't heard before or that they don't already own (except for, notably, a live DVD and Blu-ray from the band's 1991 show at London's Brixton Academy).
"The music contained basically consists of the five albums," he explains. "To put it in a more romantic way, you could say that those five records are the Pixies' manifesto. B-Sides and that kind of thing qualify only as extra banter, but are not really part of the manifesto."
Fair enough. But that's not to detract from the fact that the box set is a worthy collector's item for fans. It's a piece of Pixies art. That's really what it's all about and that, says Francis, is all about the band's graphic designer, Vaughan Oliver, who has been the band's only visual artist since the beginning. He designed all five album covers and, for the box set, redesigned them as well.
"There are some bands that have their own visual ideas; we just don't," says Francis. "I'm not David Byrne. I'm just who I am. And so this guy Oliver has represented the band and because it's the only visual representation of the band's music, it has sort of by default become the visual image of the band. It's very artsy and it's a bit surreal and it's a bit creepy and a bit playful at times. It's all very appropriate to the band's attitude about music and art in general."
The deluxe-edition offers everything on 24K gold-plated CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, while the limited-edition of 3,000 (all signed by the band) is expanded to include 180-gram virgin vinyl and other design upgrades. They retail for $175 and $495, respectively. So, um, yeah ... but damn if it isn't the perfect holiday gift for your hip uncle.