Pixies frontman Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV - aka Black Francis (pre-’93)/Frank Black (post-’93) - doesn’t exactly look like a rock icon. Even in the Pixies’ early days his style could be described, at best, as ‘geography teacher chic’.
Yet Black’s inherent weirdness, his shrill shriek, penchant for singing in Spanish and obsession with lyrical themes like religion, incest and UFOs have had an immeasurable effect on the past two decades of alt-rock. Kurt Cobain and Thom Yorke both counted him as a big influence - without him rock music in the ‘90s would have sounded very different.
Listen: Pixies - Where Is My Mind? (live in London, 1988)
"Pixies are the greatest band of all time and Frank Black is a legend! I'd vote for him, Mick Jagger second." (Thanks, Ben)