Album: Surfer Rosa (1988)


  • This song is about an interracial relationship between a black male and white female.
  • This is the only song on Surfer Rosa not entirely written by frontman Frank Black; he co-wrote it with Pixies bass player Kim Deal, who was using the stage name Mrs. John Murphy at the time. Deal, who sang lead on the track, took inspiration from a 1986 Bruce Beresford movie, Crimes Of The Heart. In the film, Sissy Spacek plays a married woman who falls in love with a black teenager.
  • What exactly is "gigantic" in this song is up for debate. Kim Deal has said that it is purely innocent, telling Sounds in 1988 that there was no phallic imagery intended. "My personality came out," she said. "I'm fresh and clean!"
  • In the October 1997 issue of Select magazine, Black Francis said of this song: "A good chord progression, very Lou Reed influenced. I'd had the word 'Gigantic' in my mind just because the chord progression seemed very big to me."
  • This was played as the closing number for many years at the Pixies reunion shows.
  • Apple used this song in their iPhone ad campaign "Powerful," which demonstrates how the consumer has "the power to create, shape, and share" their life when they acquire the device.
  • The song made a big impression on Kurt Cobain. He said in 1992, "I wish Kim was allowed to write more songs for the Pixies, because 'Gigantic' is the best Pixies song and Kim wrote it."

    Kim Deal reacted modestly to NME, "Well, it's better than somebody saying, 'Oh God, you suck.'"
  • Aware that Kim Deal was seeking more creative input, Frank Black set her a challenge using a circular chord sequence he'd developed. "We started doing a bit of their loud quiet loud dynamic, where we would bring things down to bass and drums, the kind of thing you'd hear on a Sisters of Mercy song," he recalled to Uncut. "I wanted to do a song that didn't change chords, like Lou Reed's Sweet Jane. So I just said to Kim, let's do a song called 'Gigantic,' this is the bass riff, quiet in the verses loud in the choruses."

Comments: 6

  • Molly from Baldwin, Nyi don't get how this song is about a dog...
  • John from Boston, MaOK - The lyrics to this song were written in my living room. Charles already named it Gigantic and asked Kim to write the rest. It was first going to be about a mall. "The Mall The Mall" instead of "Hey Paul Hey Paul". My friend John came up with "big black mess" and "big big love". We had seen Crimes Of The Heart a few weeks earlier and Kim knitted the whole thing together. Another good fact: in the studio, they put the guitar amps in the bathroom to get the really big arena sound. Brilliant.
  • Mike from Newburgh, NyActually it is NOT about a man; it is about a dog. Listen to the song carefully and it will be obvious...
  • Jenny from Streamwood, IlKim Deal sang the song because she wrote it, as stated above. And anyway Black Francis (er.. Frank Black is it now?) sang in the background.
  • Patty from China Town, United KingdomI heard that she used "gigantic" becuase of the black guy (I'm not going to paint the picture), glad to hear otherwise... it was freaking me out.
  • Andy from Norwich, EnglandThe best song by far on the album 'Wave Of Mutilation'. But why did the woman sing not the man?

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