Sonic Youth

~ Group


Sonic Youth are a four-piece band from New York. Emerging from the no-wave movement, their experimental noise distinguished them from other underground bands of the 1980s. Their signing to DGC in 1990 was unusual in the creative freedom given in the contract, and proved that it was possible to remain true to an independent ethic while on a major label.
See also Ciccone Youth.

Annotation last modified on 2007-05-28 23:09 UTC.


Sonic Youth was an American rock band from New York City, formed in 1981. Their most recent lineup consisted of Thurston Moore (guitar, vocals), Kim Gordon (bass guitar, vocals, guitar), Lee Ranaldo (guitar, vocals), Steve Shelley (drums) and Mark Ibold (guitar, bass guitar). In their early career, Sonic Youth was associated with the no wave art and music scene in New York City. Part of the first wave of American noise rock groups, the band carried out their interpretation of the hardcore punk ethos throughout the evolving American underground that focused more on the DIY ethic of the genre rather than its specific sound.

The band experienced relative commercial success and critical acclaim throughout their existence, continuing partly into the new millennium, including signing to major label DGC in 1990 and headlining the 1995 Lollapalooza festival. Sonic Youth have been praised for having "redefined what rock guitar could do", using a wide variety of unorthodox guitar tunings and preparing guitars with objects like drum sticks and screwdrivers to alter the instruments' timbre. The band is considered to be a pivotal influence on the alternative rock and indie rock movements.

In 1999 their music reached a new audience interested in 20th-century classical music and experimental music with the release of SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century, a double album of covers of avant-garde recordings that featured works by avant-garde classical composers such as John Cage, Yoko Ono, Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, George Maciunas, Cornelius Cardew, Nicolas Slonimsky and Christian Wolff as played by Sonic Youth along with several collaborators from the modern avant-garde music scene, such as Christian Marclay, William Winant, Wharton Tiers, Takehisa Kosugi and others.

In 2011, Ranaldo announced that the band was "ending for a while" following the separation of Moore and Gordon. Thurston Moore updated and clarified the position in May 2014 "Sonic Youth is on hiatus. The band is a democracy of sorts, and as long Kim and I are working out our situation, the band can’t really function reasonably."

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1983 Confusion Is Sex Sonic Youth 4 14
1985 Bad Moon Rising Sonic Youth 4.25 8
1986 EVOL Sonic Youth 4.35 10
1987 Sister Sonic Youth 4.75 9
1988 Daydream Nation Sonic Youth 4.75 11
1990 Goo Sonic Youth 5 11
1992 Dirty Sonic Youth 3 9
1994 Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star Sonic Youth 3 4
1995 Washing Machine Sonic Youth 3.5 5
1998 A Thousand Leaves Sonic Youth 5 3
1999 SYR 4: Goodbye 20th Century Sonic Youth 2
2000 NYC Ghosts & Flowers Sonic Youth 4 1
2002 Murray Street Sonic Youth 4
2004 Sonic Nurse Sonic Youth 5
2004 Hidros 3 Mats Gustafsson & Sonic Youth 1
2006 Rather Ripped Sonic Youth 4
2009 The Eternal Sonic Youth 4 6

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1994 Screaming Fields of Sonic Love Sonic Youth 3
2006 The Destroyed Room: B-Sides and Rarities Sonic Youth 5 3
2008 Hits Are for Squares Sonic Youth 1
2009 14 Tracks: The Other Side of Sonic Youth Sonic Youth 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1991 Hold That Tiger Sonic Youth 2
1992 Live at the Continental Club Sonic Youth 2
1995 Live Venlo, Holland Sonic Youth 1
1995 1993-07-14: Blastic Scene: Lisbon, Portugal Sonic Youth 1
2009 Battery Park, NYC: July 4th 2008 Sonic Youth 1
2012 Smart Bar: Chicago 1985 Sonic Youth 2

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1995 Made in USA Sonic Youth 1
2011 Simon Werner a disparu Sonic Youth 3


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1984 Death Valley '69 Sonic Youth 4 1
1985 (Over) Kill Yr Idols Sonic Youth 1
1986 Flower / Halloween Sonic Youth 1
1986 Halloween II Sonic Youth 1
1986 Starpower Sonic Youth 4 2
1988 Silver Rocket Sonic Youth 1
1990 Disappearer Sonic Youth 1
1990 Kool Thing Sonic Youth 4 1
1992 100% Sonic Youth 3
1992 Youth Against Fascism Sonic Youth 3
1993 Sugar Kane Sonic Youth 2
1993 Drunken Butterfly Sonic Youth 1
1993 Cotton Crown Sonic Youth 4 1
1994 Bull in the Heather Sonic Youth 1
1994 Yesterday Once More / Superstar Redd Kross / Sonic Youth 1
1995 The Diamond Sea Sonic Youth 1
1996 Little Trouble Girl Sonic Youth 2
1998 Sunday Sonic Youth 2
2003 Buddy Series, Volume 1 Sonic Youth / Erase Errata 1
2006 Helen Lundeberg / Eyeliner Sonic Youth 1
2009 Hang Them All / No Garage Jay Reatard / Sonic Youth 1

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