31 Songs, 2 Hours 18 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sonic Youth had been progressively flirting with conventional song structures with each successive album, so when the group signed their first major label record contract their fan base worriedly waited to hear the results. It had become customary for underground bands making the big leap into the major league system to lose what it was that made them special in blatant attempts to capture a wider audience. However, this was Sonic Youth. And while tracks such as “Kool Thing” (the album’s single, featuring a humorous cameo from Public Enemy’s Chuck D), “Dirty Boots” and “Mote” feature broadly appealing guitar hooks, there is no clean-up in the band’s overall sound; their experimental edge can still be heard in the odd tunings and expanded instrumental passages. There’s goofy noise rock (“Scooter + Jinx”), self-conscious hipster praise for lite-FM’s Karen Carpenter (“Tunic (Song for Karen)”) and a song about UFOs (“Disappearer”). A decade later, the “Deluxe Edition” was issued with a generous addition (a near tripling) of eight-track demos, produced by Dinosaur Jr.’s J. Mascis and Don Fleming, alongside b-sides, outtakes and rehearsals that show the grittiest side of the group, surely to satisfy their most hardcore fans.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sonic Youth had been progressively flirting with conventional song structures with each successive album, so when the group signed their first major label record contract their fan base worriedly waited to hear the results. It had become customary for underground bands making the big leap into the major league system to lose what it was that made them special in blatant attempts to capture a wider audience. However, this was Sonic Youth. And while tracks such as “Kool Thing” (the album’s single, featuring a humorous cameo from Public Enemy’s Chuck D), “Dirty Boots” and “Mote” feature broadly appealing guitar hooks, there is no clean-up in the band’s overall sound; their experimental edge can still be heard in the odd tunings and expanded instrumental passages. There’s goofy noise rock (“Scooter + Jinx”), self-conscious hipster praise for lite-FM’s Karen Carpenter (“Tunic (Song for Karen)”) and a song about UFOs (“Disappearer”). A decade later, the “Deluxe Edition” was issued with a generous addition (a near tripling) of eight-track demos, produced by Dinosaur Jr.’s J. Mascis and Don Fleming, alongside b-sides, outtakes and rehearsals that show the grittiest side of the group, surely to satisfy their most hardcore fans.

TITLE TIME

More By Sonic Youth