Debaser (3:07)

Cover of Doolittle

From Doolittle and 137 other releases

“Debaser” is a song by the American alternative rock band Pixies, and is the first song on their 1989 album Doolittle. The song was written and sung by frontman Black Francis and was produced by Gil Norton during Doolittle’s recording sessions.

“Debaser” was later released as a single in 1997 to promote the Death to the Pixies compilation. The single appeared in three forms: live, studio and demo.

The lyrics are based on a French surrealist film by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí called Un chien andalou. The film notoriously opens with a scene in which a woman’s eye is slit by a razor, which is referenced in the song lyric “Slicin’ up eyeballs/I want you to know.” According to Black Francis:

I wish Buñuel was still alive. He made this film about nothing in particular. The title itself is a nonsense. With my stupid, pseudo-scholar, naive, enthusiast, avant-garde-ish, amateurish way to watch Un chien andalou (twice), I thought: ‘Yeah, I will make a song about it.’ “Un chien andalou”… It sounds too French, so I will sing “un chien andalusia”, it sounds good, no?’

The title “Debaser” references the fact that Un chien andalou debases morality and standards of art, according to Black Francis. In the earliest version of the song, the line “un chien andalusia” was originally “Shed, Appolonia!”—a reference to the co-star in the Prince film Purple Rain.

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  • BackspaceW

    l..l

    18 Nov 4:40am Reply
  • jobbyfingers

    girl your so groovy

    7 Nov 2:18pm Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    Baseo

    8 Oct 8:15pm Reply
  • breakherlegs

    "Slicin' up eyeballs, ah ha ha ho!" XD "Dunno about you, but I am Un Chien Andalusia!" Just great.

    7 Oct 9:09pm Reply
  • tomrud73

    DEBASER!!!

    9 Sep 7:45pm Reply
  • HK91

    Bunuel would be proud.

    27 Aug 4:50pm Reply
  • Davin_S

    I wanna be, be a debaser!

    18 Aug 2:19am Reply
  • RBotl

    absolutely

    4 May 9:36am Reply
  • koziatek

    still one of the best songs of all time

    19 Apr 11:37pm Reply
  • serpentshade

    One of the best muscinematic songs ever penned & performed. God, I love Frank Black's shriek-singing here.

    8 Mar 2:32am Reply
  • rafqueiroz

    Dali and Buñuel would be proud of this.

    26 Feb 8:33pm Reply
  • Malkamillian

    I speak French, and I know this song is about a dog and a toilet.

    25 Feb 3:00pm Reply
  • joshsaussey

    Such a powerful opener of a track. Really picks things up from what is a fantastic record.

    9 Feb 7:28am Reply
  • thesarahrosie

    Girlie so groovy HA HA HA HO!

    7 Feb 6:45pm Reply
  • notaplatypus

    GIRLIE SO GROOVY I WANT YOU TO KNOW

    4 Feb 4:38am Reply
  • serpentshade

    Ahh, this song...this album! The absolute best of the Black Francis vocal screech. 'Slicin' up eyeballs, ha ha ha ho!'

    30 Jan 6:45pm Reply
  • blackcordelias

    HA HA HA HO

    14 Dec 2013 Reply
  • PlzDontBan

    i would prefer a rawer sound without the poppy female vocals tbh

    3 Dec 2013 Reply
  • quanmandetil

    Kim's backing vocals contrast so well with Black Francis' manic screams

    27 Nov 2013 Reply
  • dinkydauisshit

    last night my suitemate was flipping through channels on the tv and i heard some program with this song playing in the background and some loud & terrible actor screeching "DID YOU KNOW THAT THEY BASED THIS SONG OFF OF A SALVADOR DALI SHORT FILM CALLED UN CHIEN ANDALOU" and i could tell it was the shows halting attempt at being cool and hip and it made me vomit

    11 Oct 2013 Reply
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