During their first late 1980s/early 1990s run, the Pixies released a lot of excellent B-sides in addition to their fantastic full-length albums. It was an odd recreation of one of their lesser-known but nonetheless extremely great non-LP songs.
The "War on Drugs" by the American government was in full force throughout the 1980s. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which imposed mandatory minimum terms for specific drug offences, was signed into law by Ronald Reagan in 1986. Under Reagan's leadership, the incarceration rates for nonviolent drug offenders significantly rose as well. A new video game came out during the "Say No to Drugs" movement.
NARC had its national debut in arcades in 1988. The participants in the game were those who were involved in the sale or use of illicit narcotics. The goal of the game, which resembled some sort of far-right dream, was to capture or murder (but mostly kill) everyone connected to illegal drug operations. One of the earliest games with extreme violence was NARC, which caused parents to raise an eyebrow due to its depiction of graphic violence.
According to rumors, Black Francis, the vocalist and guitarist for the Pixies, developed an obsession with Nintendo's home version of NARC while the band was recording Trompe Le Monde (1991). The Pixies were by no means a pro-drug band, and it's not quite apparent how its lead singer developed a NARC addiction.
He may have played it often during studio lulls or as a means to relieve stress by losing himself in a violent video game (tensions within the group would lead to a break up in early 1993). Regardless, we are certain that Black Francis was undoubtedly drawn to NARC's music. Francis briefly discusses the game's topic in a short comment that is widely available online and is allegedly from the fanzine Rock a My Soul.
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