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"Gigantic" is a song by the American alternative rock band Pixies, co-written by bassist Kim Deal and lead vocalist/guitarist Black Francis. The song appeared on the band's first studio album, Surfer Rosa, released in 1988. "Gigantic" was released as the band's first single later that year.

Featuring Deal on lead vocals, the song is one of Pixies' biggest hits and a crowd favorite at concerts, often played as the encore.[1] The melody line comes from Deal's simple but effective bass playing—the same bassline is repeated throughout the song.

"Gigantic" never achieved a ranking on any major charts and was their only release from Surfer Rosa. However, it was a fairly successful first hit for Pixies and maintains radio play to this day. The single version of the song appeared on Pixies' 2004 best-of compilation, Wave of Mutilation: Best of Pixies.

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Lyrics and melody

Lyrics and melody[edit]Edit

According to Deal, the main inspiration for the song was the film Crimes of the Heart, in which a married woman falls in love with a black teenager[2] and the song "Gigantic" is credited to Mrs John Murphy (Kim Deal's pseudonym at the time of Come On Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa as an ironic feminist joke).

The song's voyeuristic lyrics mostly revolve around a woman's observation of an attractive black man making love to another woman, culminating in the oddly light-hearted but sexual chorus: "Gigantic, gigantic, gigantic / A big, big love". Francis later commented on the title of the song and the chorus (in the music magazine SELECT), saying:[2]

"A good chord progression, very Lou Reed influenced. I'd had the word 'gigantic' in my mind just because the chord progression seemed very big to me."

The melody, particularly at the beginning, differs between the album and EP version.

Single[edit]Edit

The song was re-recorded soon after the release of Surfer Rosa, with a slightly altered arrangement and production from Gil Norton for release as the band's first single in 1988. The single also featured a new version of "River Euphrates", from the same album. Further included were a live version of "Vamos" (a song that also appeared on mini-LPCome On Pilgrim and their first LP Surfer Rosa) and a live cover of the song "In Heaven (The Lady in The Radiator Song)" from the David Lynch movie Eraserhead, both recorded at the Town and Country Club inLondonEngland. The single was released in the United Kingdom on 4AD as a 12-inch vinyl and on CD. The CD version was re-issued in 1999. (No version of this single was ever released in the United States.)

The tracks were recorded with Gil Norton who produced the next album, Doolittle. The back cover of the 12 inch features a large leather glove.

Track listing[edit]Edit

  1. "Gigantic" (New Version) (Black Francis and Kim Deal) – 3:12
  2. "River Euphrates" (New Version) (Black Francis) – 3:23
  3. "Vamos" (Live) (Black Francis) – 3:28
  4. "In Heaven (The Lady in the Radiator Song)" (Live) (Peter Ivers and David Lynch) – 1:46

Cover versions[edit]Edit

The California ska punk band Reel Big Fish produced a cover of "Gigantic" for 1999's Where Is My Mind?: A Tribute to the Pixies. Reel Big Fish chose to break away from their traditional sound for this cover, producing a very poppy, highly produced dance track sounding nothing like the original song. Other bands such as Belle & SebastianThe FramesPavementGemma HayesThe Katies, and The Hippos have also covered the song.[2]

The song was parodied by Self on the album Feels Like Breakin' Shit with a track titled "Titanic". The chorus mimics "Gigantic" with "Titanic, Titanic, Titanic / A big, big boat".[3]

In 2007, OK Go covered the song for album Dig for Fire- A Tribute to Pixies.

In November 2009, Brighton-based indie band The Miserable Rich covered the song on their Covers EP, alongside three other eighties covers.[4]

Swell Season vocalist Glen Hansard covered "Gigantic" live for the deluxe digital edition of their 2009 album Strict Joy.[5]

Alternative rock band Surfer Blood performed a version of the song in June of 2011 for The A.V. Club's A.V. Undercover series.

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