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Series Part 2: All About TOPICAL VITAMIN C ---- L-AA & Derivatives
This post will cover topical use of vitamin c and it's derivatives.submitted by Aayu07 to IndianSkincareAddicts
Link to the previous post.
Topical Use of vitamin C has been proven to be beneficial in many many studies. I am quoting all the studies I could find, and listing all the benefits as well.
Topical use of Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid/Ascorbic Acid) has been proven to:
There have been A LOT of studies on topical vitamin C. I have extracted and link a few I found relevant that support it benefits at THE END of this post.
There is enough evidence to believe that topically applied L-ascorbic acid is beneficial.
While most people treat Vitamin C like an acid, it's mechanism isn't exactly similar to AHA's. L-ascorbic acid is a form of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) that is recognisable as vitamin C in the skin. Topical use adds to the existing concentration of Vitamin C in the skin.
Thus, once it penetrates into the skin, it cannot be washed off/neutralised. However, some actives applied togetheat the same time can change its performance/form.
L-ascorbic acid is a hydrophilic charged molecule so it doesn't easily penetrate our lipid (hydrophobic) barrier. For optimal penetration of the epidermal barrier, aqueous formulations of ascorbic acid must be at a pH which is below the pKa (4.2) of ascorbic acid itself. Thus, L-ascorbic acid must be formulated below the PH of AT LEAST 4 for it to penetrate in our skin.
Although ideally around 3-3.5 increased penetration without excessively compromising the skin barrier.
The prime concentration depends on the formulation and associated delivery method. It is a general agreement that concentration needs to be more than 8% to be bio-available and effective. According to this study, varying concentrations from 5% to 30% were applied to pig skin(similar integumentary system approach).
It was observed that vitamin C concentration was maximum at 20% and anything above 20% surprising cause depletion in tissue concentration levels. Thus anything below 8% and above 20% is usually seen to be sparse or superfluous.
There are many stability issues with L-ascorbic acid solutions. An L-ascorbic acid solution is highly unstable and is prove to oxidation to dehydroascorbic acid(DHAA) and degradation to 2,3-diketogulonate in high temperature, light, heat, high ph, presence of oxygen and catalytic amounts of metal ions. This makes the solution progressively turn in colour from clear to yellow, to deeper shades of orange as it continues to degrade.
Ascorbic acid or ascorbate in its ionised form is called L-ascorbic acid. Our skin recognises L-ascorbic as ascorbic acid. Our body (and skin) also contains an oxidised form of ascorbic acid which is Dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA). A high amount of vitamin C found in normal skin is in the form of dehydroascorbic Acid. This study shows that DHAA penetrated faster than L-ascorbic acid even. DHAA may not necessarily be bad and can be converted back to ascorbic acid in the presence of glutathione & thiol-containing reducing agents such as cysteine, homocysteine, 2-mercaptoethanol, and DTT, already present in our body. However, in the presence of water DHAA may be irreversibly hydrolysed to 2,3-diketogulonate and further degrade to Erythrulose. Erythrulose is a chemical used in fake tanning.
But “Aap Chronology Samajhiye” with this representation -
L-AA is first oxidised to DHAA (which can be reversed in our skin). Oxidation means a reaction with the free form of oxygen molecules. Remember we learnt this in the last post. So oxidation can happen if L-AA is exposed to UV/oxygen in the environment at high temperature. However, DHAA can be reversed to AA in our skin because the presence of network antioxidants like glutathione that's already present in your skin. Check out this diagram to understand how that works. However, when DHAA comes in contact with water it hydrolyses to 2,3-diketogulonate. Which cannot be turned back into AA due to the 5 hydrogen ring rupture. L-AA will not directly convert to 2,3-diketogulonate. It has to first oxidize then hydrolyse.2,3-diketogulonate may be further converted to other byproducts by other processes.
Lab muffin made a post on this.
It is possible that DHAA may not convert to Erythrulose in our skin.
In conclusion, there is a lot of ambiguity around oxidised L-ascorbic acid and further processed byproducts.
No studies have evaluated the benefits and side effects of these oxidised and degraded compounds.
Although, the presence of antioxidants like ferulic acid, glutathione, vitamin e, etc. has been shown to increase the stability and efficiency of L-ascorbic acid serums. These called network antioxidants because of this reason. Again check out the diagram linked above to understand more.
To improve stability, the delivery mechanism also plays an important role. The right delivery mechanism can help prevent oxidation and conversion to other forms. Novel delivery mechanisms may also improve penetration along with stability. New delivery mechanisms to deliver L-AA without oxidizing are bein developed. This study advocates using liposomal technology patented by Sesdema to deliver sodium ascorbate deeper into the skin. Many skincare companies are developing new anhydrous bases to disperse L-AA to prevent oxidation. Here is another study of a new delivery mechanism.
However, an independent comparative study comparing different forms and delivery mechanisms of topical ascorbic acid has not been conducted.
So in conclusion:
Owing to these stability, penetration and delivery issues with L-Ascorbic acid formulas, new derivatives of Ascorbic acid were developed.
Now my field of experience is not even remotely linked to bio-chemistry so I am not going to go in detail about the biochemical pathways that are hypothesised for their efficiency. I will, however, try to compare popular derivates and their performance/properties in brief based on information available on the internet.
A comparative analysis of various Vitamin C Derivatives
Let's be honest that picking one among the sea of options is intimidating. Fairly, it comes down to personal preference and availability.
While choosing though there are certain things you should keep in mind. Only L-ascorbic acid has been studied for over 40 years now and has consistently proven to be advantageous topically.
Due to its highly unstable nature,
Anhydrous variants are another great option. There are some limitations with anhydrous versions as well though***.*** Since AA is acidic and gritty in itself, these formulas can sting and sensitize your skin. Many people break out while using high concentration L-AA for the first time. Its highly acidic nature can compromise the skin barrier. It's best to start with a lower concentration and gradually make your skin acquainted to L-AA. This can also be achieved by using L-AA a few times a week in the start and adding barrier healing skincare products to your regime.
Most people experience a slight stinging when they use L-AA based products. There is a difference between stinging and burning although. If your skin feels like it's burning, it's best to step back, stop use and choose a diluted version/low concentration formula.
Burning is a strong irritation that feels different from tingling. It is a strong discomfort which may be coupled with redness, itching and touch sensitivity. It basically feels like your skin is on fire. Please immediately wash your face with water to wipe off remains of the product and apply soothing, gentle products containing restorative ingredients like aloe, snail mucin, ceramides etc.
It is best to patch test L-AA based products before applying it all over the face to understanding the way it reacts with your skin. Our mod u/avaale has made an amazingly detailed guide about patch testing. Please check it out to understand more about patch testing.
In conclusion, L-AA may not be the best option for everyone due to its stability and skin sensitizing issues. If that is the case, you can still get some benefits by incorporating vitamin c derivatives. There is a catch though. Not all derivates are equal and not enough comparative studies have been conducted to conclude which one is the most superior form.
However, by understanding the nature of the ingredient coupled with the anecdotal evidence we can understand a few things:
This chart may help you come to some conclusion:
A graphical representation to make your decision easier.
Another important detail: Almost all vitamin C formulations stay in your skin for up to 72 hours. Metals like iron and copper are known to destabilize and cause unwanted biochemical reactions with AA. Thus is it best not to use copper peptide formulation with vitamin C to maximize their benefit. By not using Copper peptide, I mean not just applying them together at the same time but also not using them in the same duration. So if you wish to use copper peptide you can rotate by using it for the first 3 months of the year and next three months using vitamin C and so on.
Some Extracts with Links to Clinical Studies/Research Journals I found relevant that support the benefit of topical application of L-AA:
23.8% L-ascorbic acid and a chemical penetration enhancer consisting of N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone and dimethyl isosorbide with iontophoresis to maximize amounts of L– ascorbic acid delivered were applied once daily, in a split-face study on twenty females (Fitzpatrick type III & IV to study the effect of Vitamin C on photoaged skin. Sixteen of 20 patients (80% experienced a score decrease of 2 or 3 grades, according to the dermatologist. Fifteen patients (75%) rated their overall satisfaction as excellent or good. Dyspigmentation, surface roughness, and fine lines on the treated side improved significantly.)) Topical 23.8% L-ascorbic acid serum is effective for the treatment of photo-aged skin and does not cause any obvious side effects. Link
A double-blind randomized trial was performed to evaluate the clinical effects and the modifications of skin relief and structure over a 6-month period of use of a cream containing 5% vitamin C (Active C®, Laboratories La Roche Posay, 92407 Courbevoie Cedex, France on photoaged skin. Twenty healthy female volunteers aged 51-59 years (mean ± SD = 55.3 ± 2.8 years, were chosen for this study. Skin regions that presented with signs of ageing, the low-neck and dorsal aspects of both forearms/ the left or right half of the upper chest and the corresponding forearm were randomly assigned to once a day application of a fingertip unit of either 5% vitamin C cream or excipient alone. Each patient received a randomized pair of identical-appearing tubes, colour-coded and labelled right or left. Among these 20 patients, 10 accepted to be biopsied on both forearms at the end of the trial, after 6 months of treatment.)) Concluded that topical application of 5% vitamin C is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for improvement in the appearance of photodamaged skin. Prolonged topical treatment with ascorbic acid, applied in an appropriate vehicle, may result in activation of a dermal synthesis of elastic fibres. - Link
Fifty female volunteers aged 30‐65 years were allocated one capsule containing vitamin C (20% w/w, vitamin E, and European raspberry (Rubus idaeus leaf cell culture extract of serum for topical application on one side of the face for 2 months, in addition to self‐use of facial skin products to evaluate the anti-ageing and brightening effects of an encapsulated serum.)) ***The study evaluated improvements in skin ageing, pigment appearance, and skin integrity but no no significant improvement of skin moisture or TEWL was observed. Link
Nineteen volunteers between age 36 to 72 years belonging to Fitzpatrick skin types I, II & III were included in a 3-month, randomized, double-blind, a vehicle-controlled study that uses a product Cellex ( L-AA serum to analyse its effect on photodamaged skin topography.) A 3-month daily regimen of topical ascorbic acid provided objective and subjective improvement in photodamaged facial skin - Link, Link
500 mL portions of vehicle; 0.5%transferulic acid; 15% L-ascorbic acid, 1% DL-a-tocopherol, and 15% L-ascorbic acid, 1% DL-a-tocopherol, 0.5%transferulic acid were applied to patches of back skin (7.5 x10cm daily for 4 days. A 1000 W solar simulator ﬁtted with a WG295 Schott ﬁlter to eliminate wavelengths less than 295 nm delivered UV radiation to the skin’s surface through a liquid light guide at an intensity of 5 mW per cm2of UVB and about 40 mW per cm2of UVA as measured by a radiometer. MED(Minimal Erythema Dose was determined as the lowest dose resulting in erythema with perceptible borders (40 mJ per cm2)of UVB). Each patch was given solar-simulated irradiation in triplicate from 2x to 10x MED at 2x MED intervals. An evaluation was carried out 24 h later. The combination of 15% L-ascorbic acid, 1% a-tocopherol, 0.5% ferulic acid provided approximately 8-fold protection and was statistically different than ferulic acid alone or the combination of vitamins C and E. - Link ; Check this if you want to learn more about MED testing.
Two different solutions were applied (2mg/cm2 to the back skin of human volunteers daily for four days. One solution was an aqueous solution containing 15% L-ascorbic acid, 1% d-tocopherol and 0.5% trans ferulic acid (C E Ferulic; the other, a vehicle control solution. On day four, solar-simulated ultraviolet radiation, passed through a WG295 Schott selective UVB band high pass filter to eliminate wavelengths less than 295 nm was administered to each patch of treated skin. The vehicle patch received 2-6x MED and the C E Ferulic patch received 2-10x MED of solar-simulated irradiation, each at 2x MED intervals. One day later, skin was evaluated by colorimeter for erythema and biopsies of 6x MED-irradiated skin were evaluated for sunburn cells. Each spot and adjacent unirradiated skin was measured in triplicate. The difference between irradiated and unirradiated skin determined the erythema. Sunburn cells were determined in formalin-fixed 8mm punch biopsy sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin.) C E Ferulic provided substantial protection against erythema.) Link
Dermal papillae is the structural junction between the dermis & the epidermis. It has been observed to flatten out with age. The influence of ageing on the density of the functional entities of the papillae containing nutritive capillaries, here in terms as the papillary index, and the effect of topically applied vitamin C were investigated by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM in vivo. There were significant decreases in the papillary index showing a clear dependency on age. Topical vitamin C resulted in a significant increase of the density of dermal papillae from 4 weeks onward compared to its vehicle. Reproducibility was determined in repeated studies.) Topical vitamin C may have therapeutic effects for partial corrections of the regressive structural changes associated with the aging process. - Link
Forty subjects with melasma were treated with C'ensil during an open-label trial over a period of 16 weeks. Each subject's skin pigmentation was assessed every 4 weeks using the Melasma Area and Severity Index (MASI and mexameter score. In addition, transepidermal water loss, skin dryness and irritation, and quality of life (Melasma Quality of Life Scale [MelasQoL] were evaluated.)) After 16 weeks, a significant decrease was noted in the degree of pigmentation based on the patients' MASI and mexameter scores.Link
Sixteen women with idiopathic melasma were included in our trial. After randomization by another clinician, they were instructed to use, at night, 5% ascorbic acid cream on one side of the face and 4% hydroquinone cream on the other side, for 16 weeks. The best subjective improvement was observed on the hydroquinone side with 93% good and excellent results, compared with 62.5% on the ascorbic acid side (P < 0.05; however, colorimetric measures showed no statistical differences. Side‐effects were present in 68.7% (11/16 with hydroquinone vs. 6.2% (1/16) with ascorbic acid.)) Although hydroquinone showed a better response, ascorbic acid may play a role in the therapy of melasma as it is almost devoid of side-effects; - Link
The study following performed on Indian subjects.
A split face, comparative study was conducted on 30 female melasma patients. After obtaining informed consent, microneedling with Tranexamic acid was done on the left side and microneedling with Vitamin C was done on the right side of the face. The improvement was evaluated on the basis of clinical photographs, MASI, Physician Global Assessment (PGA and Patient Global Assessment (PtGA at each visit (0, 4 and 8 weeks). At the end of 8 weeks, MASI, PGA and PtGA showed improvement with both tranexamic acid and vitamin C.)) The improvement was more with tranexamic acid than with vitamin C, although not statistically significant.Both TXA and Vitamin C are effective and safe treatments for melasma. -Link Link
Note: SORRY FOR THE LONG POST ONCE AGAIN!!
During my research, I found some really interesting Insights & Dupes for popular vitamin C formulas and products from manufacturer documents. I also cost/formula analysed Most Popular Vitamin C products. I even looked up all possible options for vitamin C in Indian markets.
I will try to share these insights on my Instagram soon and maybe make a post about my finding and whatever is left out in a follow-up post if I am not being lazy. There is still a lot to explore about Vitamin C. Look out for my upcoming Instagram stories if you are curious.
Note: I do not consent to anyone sharing screenshots of my posts without my approval on any social platform.
The founder of SkinCeuticals Dr Sheldon R. Pinnell conducted turnkey research in the field on Vitamin C as a topical antioxidant. His first study published on topical application of vitamin C goes back to 1991. He filed his patent for Skinceutical CE ferulic in 2005. I guess that's why it remains the most coveted formulation and has been used by other researchers in various studies. It also justifies its price I guess. The good thing is that the patent is expiring in 2025! :P Till then we can only hope and pray someone invests time and research on developing more stable formulations and makes it available to consumers!
Murray, J.; Darr, D.; Reich, J.; Pinnell, S. Topical vitamin C treatment reduces ultraviolet B radiation-induced erythema in human skin. J. Investig. Dermatol. 1991, 96, 587.
Darr, D.; Combs, S.; Dunston, S.; Manning, T.; Pinnell, S.R. Topical vitamin C protects porcine skin from ultraviolet radiation-induced damage. Br. J. Dermatol. 1992, 127, 24753.
Phillips, C.L.; Combs, S.B.; Pinnell, S.R. Effects of ascorbic acid on proliferation and collagen synthesis in relation to the donor age of human dermal fibroblasts. J. Investig. Dermatol. 1994.
Colven, R.M.; Pinnell, S.R. Topical vitamin C in ageing. Clin. Dermatol. 1996, 14, 227–234.
Pinnell, S.R.; Yang, H.; Omar, M.; Monteiro-Riviere, N.; DeBuys, H.V.; Walker, L.C.; Wang, Y.; Levine, M. Topical L-ascorbic acid: percutaneous absorption studies. Dermatol. Surg. 2001, 27, 137–142.
Darr D, Combs S, Dunston S, Manning T, Pinnell S. “UV photoprotection by combination topical antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E”. J Am Acad Dermatol 2003; 48: 866-874.
Fu-Hsiung Lin 1, Jing-Yi Lin, Ravindra D Gupta, Joshua A Tournas, James A Burch, M Angelica Selim, Nancy A Monteiro-Riviere, James M Grichnik, Jan Zielinski, Sheldon R Pinnell **2**005 "Ferulic acid stabilizes a solution of vitamins C and E and doubles its photoprotection of skin" Oct;125(4:826-32. DOI: 10.1111/j.0022-202X.2005.23768.x.)
Murray, John & Burch, James & Streilein, Robert & Iannacchione, Mary & Hall, Russell & Pinnell, Sheldon. 2008. A" topical antioxidant solution containing vitamins C and E stabilized by ferulic acid provides protection for human against damage caused by ultraviolet irradiation." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 59. 418-25. 10.1016/j.jaad.2008.05.004.
/r/QOTSA Official Band of the Week 29: PIXIES
Not for nothing, but I’m pretty sure that the singer in that description would be Taylor Momsen.
...but I digress.
The founding member of this week’s band once advertised for musicians who liked the music of Hüsker Dü and Peter, Paul, and Mary. In fact, the band is a study in contrasts - in style, in volume, in lyrical subject material, and from album to album. They are a band that never hit it big, but who influenced lots and lots of artists who did.
That's right. As requested, this week's featured artist is Pixies.
Wait, don’t you mean THE Pixies?
Nope. It’s Pixies. Just Pixies. That’s their name. Just like the name of the nation is Canada, not The Canada. Just one name, like Madonna and Xzibit and Sting and Prince and Eminem and Lorde. Like, if you put the word ‘the’ before any of those artists (The Eminem ?), it dramatically changes the meaning, so they are definitively known just by the one word.
Yeah, I wish it felt less awkward, but it is what it is.
So you know how you sometimes say that the time has come? As in, the time has come for a female, asian, black Vice-President? Well, that time for Pixies was really in the mid-1990s when Grunge and Alternative Rock ruled the airwaves.
That’s why it is such a bummer that they broke up in 1993.
Formed in Boston in 1986, Pixies were an incredibly influential and innovative band who truly paved the way for acts like Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins and Weezer and Radiohead. They were an evocative and eclectic mix of rock and folk and punk and laid-back surf sounds, with multiple vocalists and musical genres. Their lyrics ran the gamut from reincarnation to extraterrestrials to pop culture to mutilation. The band was founded by Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV. Recognizing that his name sounds like a Disney villain, he changed it to the uplifting and somewhat culturally insensitive Black Francis. Seriously, I’m not certain you could do something like that today.
Black Francis grew up as the son of bar owners in California and was influenced by his parents’ love of Folk music and Christian Rock. He was not exposed to Punk or Rock until his teens, which may explain on some level why the band’s music can veer so wildly from one style to another. After spending some time in Puerto Rico, he met co-founder Joey Santiago at the University of Massachusetts in the early 1980s.
Santiago was born in the Philippines in 1965. His family moved to America to escape Ferdinand Marcos in 1972. Santiago was obsessed with Iggy Pop and The Velvet Underground as a teenager and learned to play guitar. One evening at Uni he heard loud guitar cranking out down the hall and rushed to join in. It was Black Francis. The two bonded and became friends and roommates. They went to concerts - notably, Black Flag - and were inspired. Black Francis was a singer and guitarist and set about turning his life experiences into songs.
By 1986, the duo had a decision to make: drop out of school and go to New Zealand to see Halley’s Comet, or form a band. They chose to found Pixies. They put the aforementioned advertisement out in the paper to get a bass player and met Kim Deal, the band’s female co-singer. Kim Deal and her identical twin sister Kelley Deal grew up listening to Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. Kim became a prolific songwriter as a kid and learned the guitar. Sister Kelley played the bass and drums. Kim borrowed Kelley’s bass for the audition and nailed it.
Pixies offered Kelley Deal the drumming gig but she declined, not feeling like she was ready. Don’t feel too bad for her though - she moved to California to pursue a career in computer programming. No shit, true story. When that didn’t pan out, she picked up the guitar and joined the band The Breeders. So that turned out alright for her.
Pixies hired David Lovering to sit behind the kit because he was at Kim’s wedding reception. Kim’s husband recommended him. Lovering is (if you can believe it) an accomplished magician who has actually performed under the name The Scientific Phenomenalist.
Geez, man, save some ladies for the rest of us.
The dude was working at Radio Shack (fuck, he had all the dating advantages) and graduated with a degree in electronic engineering and had a job to build lasers. He drummed on the side for fun with a few bar bands. Goddam chick magnet. Lovering was also able to secure his parents’ garage as a rehearsal space. Honestly, is everything this man ever did an absolute amazing move of male seduction? Side note: this fucker was such a goddam stud that after Pixies broke up, he TURNED DOWN an opportunity to drum for the Foo Fighters.
Some guys have all the luck.
With the lineup set, the band started to get gigs in small bars in Boston. At one of these, they were discovered by record producer Gary Smith. Smith - who would later work with Billy Bragg and 10,000 Maniacs - knew talent when he saw it, and got the band into the studio to do some recording.
This series of recordings came to be known as The Purple Tape, because of the color of the background. The work was done over a period of three days and produced 17 tracks. SEVENTEEN. That is an enormous outpouring in a 72-hour period. Pixies’ new manager and local promoter Ken Goes took those recordings and shopped them to a number of record labels. One label, 4AD, took an interest and signed the band. Eight of the tracks from the Smith recordings were made into an EP called Come on Pilgrim, their first official release. Two of the tracks on the EP were sung in Spanish and two were about incest. Yep, you read that right.
Pixies followed up their 1987 EP debut by spending ten days in the studio recording their first full length album, Surfer Rosa. Two tracks on the album - Gigantic and Where Is My Mind? - were released as singles in 1988. The mix of hard distorted rock and bizarre lyrics with peaceful pop melodies made it unlike anything else in music at the time. Their fresh sound (and perhaps the racy cover) brought the band legit airplay on college radio in the US.
Over in Europe, though, the album rocketed up the Indie charts. Just like health care and no need for gun ownership, Pixies were much more popular in Europe than in their own country. Pixies toured heavily in support of the album, and found a growing number of fans of their unique sound. Surfer Rosa also had an impact on a number of artists, most notably Kurt Cobain. Cobain would state that the album Nevermind was directly inspired by it. Well, I guess both albums did have nudity on the cover, so there is that. Cobain went so far as to hire the producer of Surfer Rosa, Steve Albini, to work on In Utero.
The album Doolittle was released in 1989 and picked up right where Surfer Rosa left off. This is because Francis was writing songs for the album while the band was touring. Doolittle got the band signed to the major label Elektra. It spawned the singles Debaser, Here Comes Your Man, and Monkey Gone to Heaven. Songs on it covered disparate subjects like gouging out eyes and murdesucide as well as environmentalism and biblical stories. This album is like taking one song off of each King Gizzard album and trying to mash them together. It is like David Lynch doing meth and then magic mushrooms and then coke, one after another.
It was wildly popular in the underground scene and hit #8 on the British charts. Here Comes Your Man even charted in the US. It actually sold decently and was a moderate success overall. But what is really most notable about the album is not so much a single song, as their use of dynamics. Pixies pioneered the sudden swings of loud to quiet in songs, and made it their thing.
Unfortunately, the pressure of recording the album and the constant touring were leading to cracks in the band. Deal and Francis began to bicker and spat almost constantly. This escalated to the point where Francis hurled a guitar at Deal during a concert, and Deal refused to perform. The source of the conflict was songwriting: Francis wanted creative control and so did Deal. The tension grew so high that the band took a break. Francis did a solo tour in that time and Deal went off to found the band The Breeders - the same one sister Kelley would join.
Since Deal found a creative outlet elsewhere, she came to accept that Pixies really had only one singer: Francis. After a hiatus of over a year, the band came back together to record the album Bossanova. With a sound more like Surf Rock and songs about space aliens, it was another departure from the norm. It was also the first Pixies record to not have any songs by Deal.
That just made it more popular in Europe. No kidding, it went to number 3 on the UK Charts. Two singles from the album - Velouria and Dig for Fire - got ample airplay. They once again began to tour, and once again hit the grind of the road.
The band entered the studio one last time in 1991 to record Trompe le Monde. The most notable thing about this record - apart from it being their last studio album - was how little it featured Kim Deal. One reviewer said it was “...essentially Black Francis’ solo debut.” Bossanova had no songs written by her, but still had her as a vocalist. This record pushed her into the harmony role. Trompe le Monde had four singles: Planet of Sound, Alec Eiffel, Letter to Memphis, and Head On (apply directly to the forehead). The record got them great gigs, including opening for U2 on the Zoo TV tour.
Abruptly in 1993, Pixies came to an end. Black Francis simply announced on BBC - without even telling the other members of the band - that they were over. The constant touring, the bickering, the strain of recording and the changing dynamic as Deal was slowly squeezed out of the band had given rise to conflict that overshadowed any growing success they had achieved.
From 1993 to 2003, the band members fell into solo projects (or magic performances) and it seemed like things were pretty bleak for fans. Unless you liked pulling rabbits out of hats, I mean. Then you were golden.
But in 2003, they decided to
But the tensions slowly rose over time and by 2013, the band announced that Deal was no longer a member. The slow breakup that had begun with Bossanova was finally formalized. She was replaced by Kim Shattuck from Pandoras, who was in turn replaced by Paz Lenchantin of A Perfect Circle. Lenchantin was made a permanent member of the band in 2016.
The lineup with Lenchantin has done more than tour: they no-shit released new music in 2016. The album Head Carrier was no mere collection of EP tracks; it was a legit new record. And they followed this up last year. The album Beneath the Eyrie dropped in September of 2019 and once again moved the band in new directions.
The influence of Pixies cannot be understated. Kurt Cobain loved them. U2 still love them. Radiohead swear by them. The late great David Bowie was a huge Pixies fan and when touring with his side project Tin Machine in 1991, Bowie and the boys covered Debaser. He also covered the song Cactus on his 2002 album Heathen.
Even if you don’t care for them without Kim Deal (when is Nick coming back?), you gotta love that they are still making music.
Links to QOTSA
Pixies’ current bassist Paz Lenchantin was in the band A Perfect Circle with resident QotSA vampire and guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen. Lenchantin is also credited as playing the strings on Mosquito Song.
Josh did a radio show a number of years ago discussing the history of the band.
Dave Grohl thought so much of Dave Lovering’s magic act (these are the Daves I know, I know...these are the Daves I know) that he offered him a chance to drum for the Foo Fighters.
Velouria - probably the laziest video ever made
Gigantic - Live in 1988
Gouge Away - live on BBC in 2019
Monkey Gone to Heaven
Wave of Mutilation - UK Surf and Original
Where Is My Mind - Oh look! I have eyes on a locomotive.
Hey - Seriously Lumineers, Pixies did it first and weirder.
Here Comes Your Man - Clearly they didn't have the room for lip syncing in their 50$ video budget.
Show Them Some Love
Yeah, I know I made a big deal about it not being THE Pixies, but it turns out that /pixies was already taken and is a private subreddit...which leads me to believe that this is some kind of short hair fetish club.
Really, your guess is as good as mine.
Band of the Week #1-25
The Jimi Hendrix Experience