Los Angeles

Album: Frank Black (1993)

Songfacts®:

  • In our interview with Frank Black, he described this song as, "Loosely a sci-fi poem with a kind of Blade Runner outlook, i.e., futuristic Los Angeles."

    Black filled the song with disjointed images of Los Angeles, including the "pouring sun" and a popular LA pastime: counting helicopters.
  • This was the first single Black released as a solo artist; his group the Pixies broke up earlier in 1993.
  • Frank Black had a specific motivation for writing this song: An executive from his record company 4AD was flying in for a listen, and Black needed something to play him.
  • Black is from Boston, but he spent plenty of time in Los Angeles. Where would his apocalyptic visions of the city come from? Well, while the Pixies were making their Bossanova album, they were in Los Angeles on October 17, 1989 when a massive earthquake struck, sending the band scampering out of the studio.
  • Black's Pixies bandmate Joey Santiago played guitar on this track. Other musicians included Nick Vincent on drums and Eric Drew Feldman on bass.
  • Black made a video for this song that through low-budget digital magic, showed him riding a hovercraft on land. The clip got some airplay on MTV's alternative music show 120 Minutes.

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