The Pixies used to be one of the great contenders. They never quite broke through like REM or even Sonic Youth. But they were loved and respected. Few people frowned when they reunited in 2004, and seemed to be bigger than they ever were. Which makes reissues of their badly packaged, badly sounding CDs seem like a natural. We waited years for news. And as the Pixies played to the biggest crowds in their career, the only in-print versions of their music were shitty sounding CDs (and digital of course).

This does not change on June 15th, when A+R records releases (or as they say, reissue) the Pixies studio catalogue in a new box set called Minotaur.

It’s actually two box sets. The ‘Deluxe’ edition has all five of the Pixies studio albums, with a deluxe book and a DVD. That all sounds interesting til you see the rice tag of US$175. That’s with no remastering or bonus tracks. A quick look on Amazon in the US, you can get all 5 studio albums sounding exactly the same for around US$50.

Also, there is a vinyl version with a hardcover book, called a ‘limited’ edition. This retails for US$450.

What happened? When did the Pixies audience become the Rolling Stones audience? Are there that many yuppy Pixies fans? Pixies fans who love the band so much that they are willing to fork out so much money – surely they have all these tracks in badly mastered versions?

Expensive versions have become a trend. And for a band that have avoided trends up til now, it’s sad to see that it was this one that the Pixies chose. It’s also frighteningly un-indie.

There are two types of Pixies fans out there. The new converts who want to know what the band is about, who will not pay that much for this ridiculous package. And then hardcore fans who have all this stuff already.

Who will buy these box sets, I do not know. With any luck, this is the first step in a proper series of reissues.

You can pre-order the box set from the label, A+R, right here. Will you be buying this?

Two videos after the jump. A little trailer for the new Pixies box, and the brilliant clip to Alec Eiffel

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