Composed by Black Francis

Song Review by

"Hey" is the Pixies' idea of a romantic ballad. A concoction of loose, jazzy guitar and meandering bass lines into an oddball arrangement that together manages to make a heartfelt comment on the bonds of love. "Hey!" Black Francis says, as if to get your attention, before being joined by Kim Deal's slinky slow bass line, then repeating, "Hey!/Been dying to meet you" to the clean, plucky funk of a popping guitar line. Francis continues the first verse, repeating "Hey!" before each line, sans any studio enhancement, lending the bone-dry words a caustic bite, sung in a sing-song whine, "Must be a devil between us/Or whores in my head/Whores at my door/Whores in my bed." Francis' voice suddenly turns to passionate yearning as he draws out the lines, "But hey, where..have..you...been.," then cracking as he strains, exclaiming, "If you go I will surely die!" The atmosphere seems to suddenly shift from lust to desperate pining, an overwhelming need to connect. The band then drops back before slowly building into a heavier chorus as Francis emphatically establish the bond, "We're chained," his voice reaching for falsetto notes, Deal, countering a backing vocal, "Chained" between each line, Santiago releasing long crying notes from his guitar. The arrangement takes another swift turn, drums petering out, holding the tempo with a patter of ticking cymbals, Santiago laying down a tastefully played solo, the bass picking up the thread, the whole band joining again, reaching another climax before coming to a complete stop. The last verse is broken down yet again, the drums reacting to Francis singing "Uh!" with distinct sexual overtones, accented with big snare drum whacks, Francis' delivery becoming more frenetic and intense, finally blurting in a high pitched rasp, "Uh!/Is the sound that the mother makes when the baby brakes!" -- the exact interpretation of which seems rather obtuse. "Hey" was played frequently on tour and can be found on several different live bootleg albums. A particularly good rendition appeared as a single supplement to the now defunct British rock weekly Sounds, entitled EP 1: The Sounds Machine, recorded live at the Town and Country Club, May 1st, 1988.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Doolittle [Video] 1989 4AD
Timeless Stars 1991 Speedball 3:11
Death to the Pixies 1987-1991 1997 4AD 3:54
Pixies at the BBC 1998 Elektra 3:17
Rough Diamonds 199? Blue Moon 3:19
Live at the Town and Country Club 1988 2004 4AD
Wave of Mutilation: The Best of Pixies 2004 4AD
Twelve Final Shows: Live in Washington, D.C. - 12/8/2004 2005 Pixies 3:37
Sell Out 2005 Rhino
Acoustic: Live in Newport 2006 Eagle Vision
Live at the Paradise in Boston 2006 Eagle Vision
Zack and Miri Make a Porno [Music from the Motion Picture] 2008
Original Soundtrack
Bulletproof / Verve 3:30
Minotaur 2009 Artist in Residence
Acoustic & Electric Live 2010 Eagle Rock
Various Artists
Varèse Sarabande 3:33
Gold [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Original Soundtrack
Concord / Varèse Sarabande 3:32
blue highlight denotes editor's pick