Observations: New golden age for Pixies fans

For anyone tired of the CD box-set, the Pixies have created something to rival the rest. More than a box-set, the band are not only lending their autographs to the 3,000 copies of the new limited-edition of Minotaur, but they have also enlisted the talents of graphic designer Vaughan Oliver, renowned for his artwork which adorns all of the Pixies' albums and releases on the record label 4AD. "I know people who used to buy the vinyl records from 4AD, they didn't even know who the band was, they just bought the vinyl so they could have the artwork of Vaughan Oliver", says the bassist Kim Deal. Such was the contribution of Oliver that his signature appears alongside that of the four band members.

The colossal 25-pounder, which arrives in a clamshell container, includes all five of the Pixies' studio albums on 24k gold-plated CDs and Blu-ray discs, the band's previously unreleased 1991 performance at London's Brixton Academy, all of the group's videos, a book of works by Oliver and a print by their photographer Simon Larbalestier. If that weren't enough, the new version adds five albums on vinyl; a faux fur hardcover fine-art book of Oliver and Larbalestier's artwork and two posters.

"I like that the sheer size of Minotaur moves it into the category of being an art object as opposed to being just a CD box-set," says frontman Frank Black. "It's not necessarily something you'd put next to your stereo, but on your marble coffee table with your other art books." Drummer David Lovering adds: "It's beyond my expectations. I thought it was going to be your typical box-set, but it's monstrous."

And it has a price tag to match, at $495. The deluxe edition is a more affordable $170.

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