Monday, June 29, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 36)

36. "Headache"
Artist: Frank Black
Year: 1994

This will be a short one since Black was in a certain band you may have heard of that might still be coming up on the countdown. Oh, so you are already familiar with the Catholics? I kid. Here's my question of the day: How many Frank Black/Black Francis albums did you buy before calling it quits? Black has had roughly 18 studio albums since the Pixies went on what would best be described (in hindsight) as a lengthy hiatus. I loved those first two long players Black did when he was still with 4AD, and there were several songs from the airy self-titled debut and the tighter followup, 'Teenager of the Year,' considered for the countdown, especially "Los Angeles," I Heard Ramona Sing" and "(I Want to Live on an) Abstract Plain." I went with "Headache" for Black's manic delivery and its commercial accessibility. It was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

For those who were fans, do you remember what a great time this was? We were still basking in the afterglow of one of the best bands of all time, Black's solo work was unimpeachable, and Kim Deal's former side project had exploded. In 1994, there seemed to be no end to our good fortune. Anyway, to answer my own question, the last album I bought was 'The Cult of Ray' in 1996, and I didn't even end up keeping it. Then I quit Black cold turkey. Part of my '90s malaise, I suppose. Feel free to let me know if you think that was a mistake.


TheRobster said...

I quit after Teenager Of The Year, but rediscovered him with Dog In The Sand, which to me is is finest non-Pixies work. Bluefinger is also a cracking album, the one where he found his scream again.

Listening to the stuff I missed, I relaise their is some really good stuff in there, but he never exercised much quality control. Instead, it was just album alfter album, some not very good, some OK and some much beter than average. I reckon Dog in The Sand is his best post-Pixies work, and Bluefinger his best solo album. Still love the debut though.

Brian said...

Thanks, Robster. That's exactly the kind of recap I was looking for. As I recall, you were a pretty big supporter of Indie Cindy too, which I also never got around to picking up last year.

kevinpat said...

Alright I'll admit, although I am a BIG fan of youknowwhatband, I never really listened to Frank Black's solo work. There I said it. But my good friends here are giving me something to think about…… As always THANKS!!! This monkey's gone to heaven.

Brian said...

I can't believe it. Another one that was a HUGE fan of the Catholics. Ha! Seems we might both have some catching up to do.

Anonymous said...

I faded very quickly. In fact I was losing interest by the time of the last Pixies album. My loss probably
Swiss Adam

george said...

I've got the Frank Black and The Catholics debut, Teenager of The Year, Honeycomb and Show Me your Tears. Teenager was the first I bought, and it is very good, but the other, they have their moments, and remain rarely played.

Scott said...

Considering Pixies are one of my favourite bands I do not have any Frank Black albums. Listening to Headache today and reading some of the comments makes me think I may have made the wrong decision after Pixies disbanded.

Brian said...

This was certainly an enlightening string of comments. I have to admit I didn't consider fans of Pixies ignoring those early Black records. More on this a little later in the countdown. Thanks everyone.