Pixies

Here Comes Your Man

Composed by Black Francis

Song Review by

One of the purest pop songs in the Pixies' oeuvre, "Here Comes Your Man" was one of the anchors of the band's 1989 masterpiece Doolittle. In contrast with the fractured compositional style the band became known for, "Here Comes Your Man" follows a straightforward verse/pre-chorus/chorus structure, with a short instrumental break in the middle -- the very definition of a perfect three-and-a-half-minute pop single. Although it sounds simple, the arrangement is actually quite layered, usually featuring three to four guitar parts -- the fat-toned, slightly twangy electric that plays the song's main riff; another clean-toned electric that plays chiming arpeggios; a heavily distorted guitar used to add the band's trademark noisy texture, although in this song it's relegated mostly to the background; and a strummed acoustic guitar that sticks to fully voiced chord progressions. The overall effect, though, is light, almost even airy, and each guitar moves in and out of the song enough to leave plenty of space for the others. There are flashes of typical Pixies dissonance here and there, but overall, the song isn't really as angular or spiky as much of the material that built the band's reputation. It's almost impossible to decipher what the song is about (hopping a train?), but it isn't really necessary to do so. For one, the music is so tightly constructed and catchy that the song would work almost regardless, and for another, the lyrics are so full of quirky images that the abstract playfulness is more than enough to endow the song with a particular feeling or mood. "Here Comes Your Man" epitomizes everything that was great about the best late-'80s alternative rock: utterly unique in personality, creating musical worlds of its own, yet still eminently melodic and accessible.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Doolittle [Video] 1989 4AD
Here Comes Your Man [US] 1989 Elektra 3:21
No Image 1991 The Swingin' Pig
Death to the Pixies 1987-1991 1997 4AD 3:12
Maximum 80's 1998
Various Artists
Elektra 3:23
On the Edge [Razor & Tie] 2000
Various Artists
Razor & Tie 3:22
Complete B-Sides 2001 4AD
Pixies 2002 Cooking Vinyl 3:06
Live at the Town and Country Club 1988 2004 4AD
Wave of Mutilation: The Best of Pixies 2004 4AD
Live in Minneapolis, MN 2004 Disc Live 3:54
Twelve Final Shows: Live in Washington, D.C. - 12/8/2004 2005 Pixies 3:10
Origin 2005 Imperial Records (Japan) 3:06
Sell Out 2005 Rhino
Sounds of the Underground [Time/Life] 2005
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:22
Bairro Alto: Noites Loucas Anos 80 2006
Various Artists
SL Entertainment
Acoustic: Live in Newport 2006 Eagle Vision
Minotaur 2009 Artist in Residence
Acoustic & Electric Live 2010 Eagle Rock
Indie Anthems [Demon] 2017
Various Artists
Sony DADC
blue highlight denotes editor's pick