lead singer/songwriter embarked on a solo career after he broke up the band in early 1993; actually, he began recording his solo album
he told the band the news. Working with former
occasionally heads into the ferocious post-punk guitar territory that marked such landmark albums as
, but more frequently he plays up his considerably underrated melodic side. His self-titled 1993 debut album was an adventurous sketchbook of pop styles ranging from surf rock to heavy metal; from
pop to new wave.
. Although it received favorable reviews and had an alternative radio hit with "Headache," it slipped off the charts two weeks after its release.
parted ways with Elektra and 4AD in early 1995, signing a new record contract with American in the U.S. and Sony in Europe. He released his first album for American and Sony, the hard-rocking
, in January 1996.
had hoped for, selling considerably less than his two previous efforts.
Early in 1997, American was forced to close briefly as they straightened out their financial problems. Black
was lost in the shuffle. He had recorded an album with the Catholics
-- essentially just a renamed version of his The Cult of Ray
supporting band -- but was unable to release it due to American's problems. Eventually, he wrangled himself free from both American and Sony. Early in 1998, he signed with Play It Again Sam in England, and he released Frank Black and the Catholics
that spring. He was left without an American record contract until spinART picked up the album for release in the U.S. in August. Pistolero
followed in 1999. Dog in the Sand
was issued two years later. In 2002, Black
returned with two albums, the ambitious Black Letter Days
and The Devil's Workshop
, a more laid-back effort. Show Me Your Tears
, which was inspired by Black
's therapy sessions, followed a year later.
He returned to prominence in 2004 with a Pixies
reunion, a project that included North American tours that spring and fall; an appearance at the Coachella festival; dates in Europe and the U.K. that summer, including a performance at the T in the Park festival; Pixies, a DVD retrospective; a new best-of collection, Wave of Mutilation: The Best of Pixies
; and last but not least, the possibility of a new Pixies
album. That fall, Frank Black Francis
, a double-disc set of early Pixies
demos and reinterpretations of Pixies
songs by Black
and the Two Pale Boys
, arrived in the midst of all this activity. The Pixies
reunion tour continued into 2005; that summer, Black
, a collection of songs recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, featuring performances by session greats such as Spooner Oldham
, Reggie Young
, Anton Fig
, and Steve Cropper
. He reunited with this crew and added a host of other guest stars for 2006's sprawling double-album Fast Man Raider Man
, which he supported with a string of dates opening for Foo Fighters
Though 2007's Bluefinger was a concept album about the life and death of Dutch painter/punk rocker Herman Brood, it featured some of Black
's most ferocious rock in years -- so much so, in fact, that it was credited to his Pixies
persona Black Francis
. Frank Black
returned the following year with The Seus EP, which preceded the mini-album SVN FNGRS, a set of songs inspired by the Irish legend of Cúchulainn. In 2010 Black
, still working under his Black Francis
moniker, released the sexually charged NonStopErotik and a five-disc, limited-edition version of his music for the 1920 silent horror movie The Golem
, directed by Carl Boese and Paul Wegener. In 2011, a single-disc version of The Golem and a B-sides collection, Abbabubba, arrived. Paley & Francis, a collaboration with longtime friend Reid Paley with contributions from Muscle Shoals aces Spooner Oldham
and David Hood, was also released. In 2012, a pair of live releases, Live at the Melkweg and Live in Nijmegen, were released by Bureau B Records.