The Pixies have officially raised the bar on the classic album reissue. Come June, fans will be able to get their hands on Minotaur, a tricked-out box set featuring all five Pixies studio albums, reinterpreted artwork, videos, a 54-page book and tons more. Of course, those fans will also need to be rich fans. Or at least permanently employed, because this one is going to cost you.
The five classic Pixies albums -- Come On Pilgrim (1987), Surfer Rosa (1988), Doolittle (1989), Bossanova (1990), and Trompe le Monde (1991) -- will be featured on both editions of the reissue, the limited edition and the deluxe edition. Minotaur will be available for pre-order starting June 15. The Minotaur Deluxe Edition will run you $175, while the Minotaur Limited Edition will cost $450.
The Deluxe Edition comes with all five albums on 24k layered CD and Blu-ray along with reinterpreted artwork by Vaughan Oliver, the graphic designer who created all of the artwork that accompanied the Pixies' studio albums, a DVD of a Pixies 1991 performance at the Brixton Academy in London, the group's videos, possible live tracks and a 54-page book, all housed in a custom slipcase.
The Minotaur Limited Edition version will include everything in the Deluxe Edition, as well as all five albums on 180 gram vinyl, a Giclee print of Oliver's artwork, and a 72-page hardcover book, all in an oversized custom clamshell cover. Here's a little more on the all-new artwork.
Vaughan Oliver - who was the resident album designer for the Pixies' British label 4AD - explains how he assembled the now instantly-recognizable album covers for the band. "My starting point would always be the music, reading the lyrics, talking with the band - what their preferences were, in film and painting. With the Pixies, it was work that was always close to my heart and my own personal aesthetic - the images that Charles [aka Black Francis] painted with his lyrics really struck a chord. His work is full of fantastic imagery that always appealed to me, and those were ideas I was trying to reflect with the packaging."
"I said, 'That was then, this is now. Why don't we do a whole new body of work? It's all born of the same lyrics and albums - it would be evolving the ideas we had in the original packages.' I worked with the same photographer who I worked with back then, Simon Larbalestier. If there were a 'fifth Pixie,' it would have been Simon - his work so suited what they were doing. Simon's gone out and shot a whole new body of work. He was a bit panicked at first, he said, 'The old sleeves - with the topless Spanish dancer, the red planet - have become iconic.' I said to Simon, 'Don't be scared. You're 20 years on, you're a better photographer. Let's take all those same things and do a new body of work.' He shot some amazing images that I think surpass what we did first time around."
Now an art teacher at the University of the Creative Arts in Epsom [in Surrey, U.K.], Oliver called upon his students for some input for the Pixies set. "I selected a team of students under my direction to work with the titles in the track listing, in a three dimensional way. Cutting the track listing out of cards, shining light through it, making the track titles from nails - all very organic. We're using the type as 'image.' There's a link when you look at them visually with the images that I'm putting next to them in the book."