First appearing on the Safari E.P in 1992, “Do You Love Me Now?” was revisited for the full-length Last Splash a year later. Likely unsatisfied with the first version’s arrangement, The Breeders might have simply been short of new material. (The fragmented, patchy nature of the album - especially compared to their more cohesive debut, Pod - makes a strong case for the latter explanation.)
The album version maintains the song’s original structure, while running around twenty seconds longer. This change crucially gives greater weight to the plaintive lyric, but its impact doesn’t end there. It also forms an unusual style hybrid, as the brisk harmonic movement of classic pop contrasts with a plodding tempo more typical of grunge. In another paradox, Kim Deal’s slurred vocal drifts above the chug of jagged guitars. Touches of instrumental finesse colour the performance; a delayed entry at the start of verse two (‘Does love ever end…’), casually inventive bass playing by Josephine Wiggs, and liberal use of the tremolo effect preferred by the group at this time.
As the dominant songwriter for the Pixies, Black Francis was heavily restrictive of Kim Deal’s creative influence. He may well have regretted some of his leadership policies upon hearing this song.
ALBUM: Last Splash (1993)