Frank Black 93-03, a chronological anthology of Frank Black’s work covering the Pixies’ front man’s nine solo albums recorded during that time period, will be released in the U.S. on June 12 through Cooking Vinyl.
The two-disc set will include a bonus CD of live tracks recorded during Black’s Fall 2006 North American tour, as well as a brand new Black Francis track, “Threshold Apprehension,” from his forthcoming Bluefinger album due for release in September.
“There is totally a narrative arc to my solo career,” Black said. “It sounds trite, but in basic language this is what’s happening on these songs: It’s me breaking away from the Pixies and finding myself as a solo artist, finding a band again and forging that together, then losing it and my marriage, and finally getting my obsession with two-track recording out of my system. It’s a total arc.
“As compilations go, it has less in common with The Best of Blondie, The Beatles 1962-66, The Beach Boys 20 Golden Greats, and Rolled Gold than it does the best of The Residents. I felt a little sheepish when my manager suggested a Best Of: I’m not exactly known for my hit records. But then, I didn’t get into this to have hits. I did it to be a maverick, to be underground, to be part of that world as opposed to the Top 40 world. I wanted to be an artist and a musician, not to get invited to parties. It’s about being true to yourself.
“But I’ve got a big back catalogue, and so for the uninitiated, Frank Black 93-03 is a good place to start. It just sounds like a regular Frank Black album because all my records are schizophrenic in tenor ? fast song, slow song, country song, punky song. Although it’s boring to say, ‘I think it’s very representative of who I am as an artist’, it really is!”
Tracks on Frank Black 93-03 include: “Los Angeles,” “Ten Percenter,” “Czar,” “Old Black Dawning,” “Abstract Plain,” “Speedy Marie,” “Headache,” “Freedom Rock,” “Men in Black,” “All My Ghosts,” “Bad Harmony,” “Hermaphroditos,” “Velvety” and “California Bound.”
The live tracks on the “Frank Black 93-03” bonus discs were recorded Oct. 27, 2006, at Mr. Small’s in Pittsburgh and on Nov. 6 at the Distrikt in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, Nov. 6, 2006.
Along with Black on guitars, featured players include guitarist Duane Jarvis, bassist Eric Drew Feldman, and drummer Billy Block.
The bonus disc on the European and Japanese packages, which will be released June 4 through Cooking Vinyl, will each contain a different track listing.
Using his early-Pixies-days nom de rock Black Francis, this September will see the release of a brand new album, “Bluefinger,” which was inspired by Dutch painter Herman Brood. That album’s first single, “Threshold Apprehension,” will be available on Frank Black 93-03 and as a digital download beginning May 7. It will be released as a limited edition 7″ single and digital download bundle beginning May 25.
As Black Francis, Boston-bred Black was one of the architects of modern rock as front man of the Pixies, whose “loud-quiet-loud” dynamics, primal scream intensity and free-ranging compositional style exerted a huge influence on alternative music.
His solo recordings as Frank Black demonstrated his artistic restlessness, embracing alternative pop and avant-garde rock with equal fervor; he continued exploring this territory with a new band, The Catholics, for several years before journeying to Nashville to create 2005’s critically-acclaimed Honeycomb with producer Jon Tiven.
In 2006, he re-teamed with Tiven for the more intense, upbeat “Fast Man Raider Man,” working with suc