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Kim Deal is a musician who played bass and sang for the Pixies before forming the Breeders and later the Amps.
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But it wasn't until her early 20s that Deal began to gain some notice. After marrying in 1983, she and her new husband, John Murphy, moved to Boston where, in 1986, a newspaper ad calling for a bass player caught her attention. Deal auditioned and quickly was tapped to join the band. The Pixies, a groundbreaking alternative band, was born.
While often playing the shadow of the group's guitarist and lead singer Black Francis, Deal, who adopted the stage name Mrs. John Murphy, helped steer the band toward becoming a critical success. With a sound that mixed surfer rock tones with punk and their own unique alternative approach, The Pixies clearly influenced the shape and scope of the alternative rock scene of the early 1990s. Kurt Cobain told reporters that Nirvana's breakthrough song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was "basically trying to rip off the Pixies."
Tanya Donelly, and in 1990 the two formed The Breeders, an off-shoot of a project Kim and her sister Kelley had begun as teenagers. The group would eventually include Kelley Deal in its lineup.
In 1990, the group released its debut album, Pod. Not long after, the group released the EP, Safari. Like her previous work with The Pixies, The Breeders' music was received well critically, but was not a giant commercial success.
All that changed in 1993. The Pixies had called it quits and Deal, along with The Breeders (minus Donnelly, who'd left to start a new group, Belly) released a follow-up album, Last Splash. Backed by the hit single "Cannonball", the group, which also featured Jim MacPherson on drums and Josephine Wiggs on bass, became a favorite on MTV and mainstream radio.
"It was really weird to have a hit. Of course, we had a certain level of fame in The Pixies, but nothing I had ever done had been mall-kid friendly," Kim later recalled. "And Cannonball really shouldn't have been either, it wasn't that accessible. I remember being in Dayton, Ohio, in the winter of 1993, and people began to know who I was. I didn't like it. It's not because I don't like people, I'm actually very sociable—even a social animal.
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