The picture above suggests that today’s music is taken from a strictly limited edition 10″ record on blue vinyl.   I’d really love if it was, but instead they are from a CD single.  Mind You, it’s the same four songs as can be found on the vinyl.

mp3: Sonic Youth – Sugar Kane (The Short and Sweet Version)
mp3: Sonic Youth – Is It My Body
mp3: Sonic Youth – Personality Crisis
mp3: Sonic Youth – The End Of The Ugly

Sugar Kane was released in February 1993, and was the third single to be lifted from Dirty, which had been released the previous July.  The version issued as a single isn’t all that short and sweet, coming in at a few seconds under five minutes, but it’s still a full minute shorter than the album version, with most of the reduction coming from the slowed-down instrumental section in the middle of the song.  It’s up there among my all-time favourites from Sonic Youth. It’s as near a pop song, with a rock edge, as they ever recorded, driven along at a frantic pace by both the twin buzzsaw guitars of Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, and the astonishing playing from the rhythm section of Kim Gordon on bass and Steve Shelley on drums.  It’s damn near perfect. No.  I’ll withdraw that observation. It is absolutely perfect.

The b-sides make for a good mix.

Is It My Body is a cover of one of the most popular songs ever recorded by Alice Cooper.  It’s from 1971 album Love It Till Death, and was also issued as the b-side to the hit single I’m Eighteen.

Personality Crisis is another famous song from the 70s, being the opening track on the eponymous debut album by the New York Dolls, released in 1973.  It was one half of a Double-A side single along with Trash, a 45 that was a flop back in the day but is arguably the Dolls best known song all these years later.

The End Of The Ugly is a Sonic Youth original instrumental number that was initially only available via this single but would, in 2003 be included on the ‘Deluxe’ edition of Dirty.

Sugar Kane reached #26 in the UK singles chart which, at the time, was the highest position of any Sonic Youth 45, although Bull In The Heather, released as the lead single from 1994’s Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, would reach #24.


PS : The fact this appears the day after a Sonic Youth ICA is purely coincidental.  I’ve had this one in the pipeline for a while, and it kept shifting thanks to a combination of the Cost of Vinyl new series and a range of guest contributions.

HSP’s piece on Sonic Youth that was posted yesterday should have been up ages ago.  He sent it me ages ago, but I had forgotten to covert the email into an actual piece for the blog.


  1. Great post, JC. The blue vinyl 10″ of Sugar Kane was the first – and, to my surprise having checked, only – Sonic Youth single purchase. A welcome follow up to HSP’s ICA yesterday.

  2. They were very good at covers- their versions of Superstar (The Carpenters), Computer Age (Neil Young), Electricity (Beefheart) and Within You Without You (Beatles) are all first rate, the Neil Young one especially so.

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