The Replacements

They found it, whatever that miracle was, at least for a little while

In the 12 months from Jan 1, 1984 to Jan 1, 1985 (inclusive so I could get the Green on Red album in), the 15 unreasonably fun and variously life-changing records below were released and quickly ended up moving from my peach crates to the record player and back daily, weekly, monthly, depending on how busy I was. I spent the fall of ’84 living with my parents looking for full-time work – so there was a lot of time for music. Alphabetically:

  1. The Cramps: Bad Music for Bad People

  2. Depeche Mode: Some Great Reward

  3. The Dream Syndicate: The Medicine Show

  4. Echo & the Bunnymen: Ocean Rain

  5. The Fall: The Wonderful and Frightening World of…

  6. Green on Red: Gas, Food, Lodging

  7. Hüsker Dü: Zen Arcade

  8. Jason & the Nashville Scorchers: Fervor (EP)

  9. Los Lobos: How Will the World Survive?

  10. The Lyres: On Fyre

  11. Meat Puppets: II

  12. The Minutemen: Double Nickels on a Dime

  13. REM: Reckoning

  14. The Red Hot Chili Peppers

  15. The Smiths: Hatful of Hollow

But the one that hit harder than any of these, harder than Purple Rain, or Stop Making Sense or Three of a Perfect Pair, was The Replacements’ masterpiece Let it Be. I don’t think the record ever made it back into the crate after I brought it home. For months, it had to be at the ready, leaning against the base of the console. You could bounce, you could sway, you could laugh, you could pray. Paul Westerberg. meant. every. single. word. he. sang/croaked/screamed/survived. And Bob Stinson’s guitar was, well, it was, you know, I mean, perfect. Drunk, but perfect. Out of tune, but perfect. Perfect, but beyond perfect. It was like Warren Zevon’s London werewolf, it could rip your heart out, Jim.

The best worst thing about the record was that the so-called hit, “I Will Dare” (not here) isn’t close to the best song on the disc. A sign of the absolute ridiculousness of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is they included “I Will Dare” among their top 500 most influential rock songs, as if “Androgynous,” (sadly, not here) “Unsatisfied,” (here) “Sixteen Blue” (here) and “Answering Machine” (brutal to leave out) weren’t orders of magnitude more transformative. And their version of the KISS song, “Black Diamond” (here)… let’s just say Paul Stanley should have handed over all royalties to Westerberg, Stinson, Tommy Stinson and Chris Mars. (Stinson’s guitar on “Black Diamond” is nothing short of transcendent.) A ton of trite shit has been said about the greatness of the record and none of it sells the record short, it just sucks that those writers flail about so badly in their efforts. “Adolescent angst,” “midwestern teen rage,” “as classic as a rock album can be,” “a time piece of post-industrial youth in the Reagan era”… ughhh. Here’s my flail – in the long decade where everything from X to Run D.M.C.; Laurie Anderson to The Waterboys; Romeo Void to Metallica; Public Enemy to Pylon; Uncle Tupelo to Negativland; and The Mekons to The Lime Spiders – and a ton of the bands I’ve already prepped ICA’s for – all peaked, this is my favorite.

At the time, surely too influenced by some reviewers, I took a few listens to Hootenanny (1983), and it didn’t grab me, and then their first, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash (1981), which I plain old didn’t like (and still don’t.) I figured it took a little while for Westerberg and the band to find their feet and was really excited when Tim (1985) was released. It’s a really really solid “second record.” And it’s a miraculously good “second record” for a band just signed off an independent, Twin/Tone, to a major label, Sire. I think “Kiss Me on the Bus” (not included) is better than “I Will Dare.” “Swinging Party” (not included) is really good, “Bastards of Young” (had to be here) just short of great great and “Here Comes a Regular” (no choice, here) has left me devastated, periodically in tears, since its release… But Tim isn’t, couldn’t be, Let it Be. It took me a while to let it be just Tim.

I remember the hype for Pleased to Meet Me (1987), and my disappointment. They have a song titled, “Alex Chilton,” (not included) which is super cool, “The Ledge” (totally here) is really good and I’ve included “Skyway” here as the perfect song for the slot that emerged as I built the flow of the imagined LP. But losing Bob Stinson – and, don’t get me wrong, I really like Slim Dunlap (check out his solo records The Old New Me and Times Like This, they are a ton of fun) who replaced him – felt to me like it set the soul of the band awobble. Maybe it was the influence of Sire and it’s producers, maybe it was Westerberg trying to grow up, maybe it was that the band was exhausted, maybe it was that the record came out too soon but, whatever it was, I didn’t ever have the record as part of a meaningful rotation…. But it sold better than anything they’d put out before… as did Don’t Tell a Soul (1989) – from which “We’ll Inherit the Earth – Mix 1” proved the right song to get me from “Willpower” to “Black Diamond” and “Rock and Roll Ghost” wraps things up – and then All Shook Down (1990) sold even more. But for me, excitement-wise, they were largely done.

I’ve added a bonus cut/hidden track to the ICA – Hootenanny’s “Mr. Whirly.” I guess this makes it a CD ICA rather than an LP, but what are you gonna do? As All Shook Down came out, Nirvana’s Nevermind was exactly a year away. When I was putting this together, I went back to Hootenanny, and found it far better than I remembered, almost as good as Tim, in fact. I know Kurt Cobain was intensely cognizant of his influences but, while I am in no way anything like a completist when it comes to Nirvana, I can’t recall ever having run into a Nirvana cover of a Replacements song. It kinda weirds me out. A friend who Googles random things on the internet told me all he can find about Westerberg and Cobain is that, once, they silently rode an elevator together. Contingent rather than comprehensive research but possibly indicative of something. Nevertheless, give “Mr. Whirly” a shot, I’m pretty sure it’d fit just fine on any of the four long players Curt, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic released, and maybe should have been in the Unplugged set.

As always these are the most representative songs that fit/flow together best – in my estimation – rather than a greatest hits collection. A greatest hits/favorite songs collection would be quite different as implied in parenthetical comments above.

Side A

1. Willpower, Hootenanny (1983)

2. We’ll Inherit the Earth (Mix 1), Don’t Tell A Soul (1989)

3. Black Diamond, Let It Be (1984)

4. Bastards Of Young, Tim (1985)

5. The Ledge, Pleased To Meet Me (1987)

Side B

1. Sixteen Blue, Let It Be (1984)

2. Skyway, Pleased To Meet Me (1987)

3. Unsatisfied, Let It Be (1984)

4. Here Comes A Regular, Tim (1985)

5. Rock ‘N’ Roll Ghost, Don’t Tell a Soul (1989)

Hidden Track: Mr. Whirly, Hootenanny (1983)




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.





Your Happily a Bit More Grown Up Michigan Correspondent

Hybrid Soc Prof

This is long, if you want to jump to the point where things really get started, skip the first four paragraphs…

My first experience as a radio programmer/broadcaster was as the morning classical music DJ at WSRN in/at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. Not a lot of students wanted the classical gig, and I saw it as a way to get a foot in the door in hopes of getting the Saturday night 60s show in the future. I had a half-decent knowledge of mainstream classical classics having played the violin for many years as a kid and also that the Boston Pops was something my parents would actually let us watch – as a family – after we finally got a TV (my dad assembled/soldered every transiter, resister and wire in the Heathkit TV kit he bought, because why would you want to just buy a working one?!) when I was ten.

The selection at the station wasn’t huge, but it wasn’t small either and I skimmed through it while whole sides of LPs were sent out the airwaves from the top of Clothier Hall. One day I found Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians (1978) – which had what struck me on the basis of its weird minimalist cover (maybe half presaging the sonogram on Unknown Pleasures?) – and I took it into the back studio to see what it was like. I didn’t know shit like that existed. There was both absolutely nothing and way way way too much to it. It wasn’t orchestral but, emotionally, it drew out the same emotions. I bought a copy and it was rewarding as the most fascinating close listen I’d ever done and as the perfect white noise for studying.

I got the Saturday night 60s slot fall of my sophomore year but also took to dropping a needle on anything in the newly arrived and processed bin that looked interesting. I don’t know why, but apparently it took us a long time to get Brian Eno and David Byrne’s collaboration in My Life in the Bush of Ghosts that showed me angular, fractured, experimental world music awash with sampling, followed soon thereafter by Byrne’s impossible to genre-ize music for Twyla Tharp’s dance program, The Catherine Wheel. (It was about this time that Young Marble Giants came to campus – talk about utter excitement confusion around minimalist rock [was that rock?]) And, the next spring, Koyaanisqatsi was presented as the Fri. night movie on campus and the accelerated, decelerated, bottom-up, top-down visuals of every kind of landscape on the planet blended with ten gazillion arpeggios from Philip Glass… I was transfixed, who needed drugs, though, actually, imagine what that would have been like with a microdose or full tab?! The early 80s were nuts.

The 60s show shifted towards the thousands of cuts on Nuggets, Pebbles, Boulders, regional US, and international collections of garage/punk music and in the middle of my junior year I got the Friday night freeform show where I did what I could to model the DJs on WFMU in East Orange, NJ, who seemed to have total control over every genre and could make sets comprised of 4-6 different kinds of music cohere. I am SURE there were moments, sets, 30-minute stretches and hours that were just unlistenable but, like the guy turned into a newt in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, I got better.

I didn’t come across or discover Rhys Chatam, Glenn Branca or Z’EV’s noise music then, and when I did, I didn’t like it but it did like the band I finally discovered them through.

Sonic Youth.

Or at least after a bit of work and time spent with Evol and, almost immediately thereafter with, Sister, I liked them. I was listening to the second/first “industrial” Ministry record a lot and the Annual Village Voice Pazz and Jop Poll put Evol near the top of its list for best record of the year. It sounded like there might be overlap in their sounds, so I went back and found the original review, and then another in the NY Times (where Branca, noise, experimental classical and more got mentioned), so I bought it.

At first I was worried that this was going to be a repeat of the god-awful experience of buying Frampton Comes Alive on the basis of published praise and record sales… but it turned out to be much more akin to buying The Wonderful and Frightening World of… The Fall, because of great reviews. Everyone knows, now, what Sonic Youth are, but figuring it out in 1986 was a different thing altogether… I needed that stuff from Ministry, David Byrne, Young Marble Giants, Philip Glass and Steve Reich to help me along. The more I listened the more listenable it got, which led to more listening. The one thing that really pissed me off was that I never got to see them in NYC before I left for Santa Cruz and grad school in late summer 1987.

And so what happens, the week my seminars started at UC Santa Cruz fIREHOSE opened for Sonic Youth in a tiny little bar called OT Price’s… literally walking distance from the apartment I’d found!! I was ridiculously excited; I’d loved the Minutemen and been hit hard by D Boon’s death and had high hopes that Ed fROMOHIO would be a decent stand in, alternative, or replacement (he wasn’t.) fIREHOSE came out, played an energetic punk/post-punk set and the crowd had a good time… too nostalgic for the past I probably could have given them a better chance but, well, I didn’t. When the stage had been reset and more drinks downed, Sonic Youth came out and jumped right in.

I don’t recall the set list but they were committed. The problem was the experimental atonal, retuned sounds of New York seemed to confuse and worry the post-hippy, pop punk crowd in the bar. By the third tune the crowd was waffling, by the fourth a number had turned to conversations with friends and away from the band. By the end of the fourth the band was pissed and after five they put down their instruments and walked off. Where the hell had I moved?! The show had been really good and these surfer wankers couldn’t get it! Aaargh!!!

Now, among other things, I was completely forgetting how many spins of Evol it had taken before I could digest, appreciate and come to love it, but I was young, filled with piss and vinegar, insecure and overconfident at the same time and quite capable of being a smug shit. Put another way, after a decade in NY and NJ growing up a really intense athlete and intellectual, getting used to the Central Coast of California took some time (and it took a while for folks there to get used to me.) To their everlasting credit, the band returned after the crowd – to its credit – kept clapping and cheering for quite a while. They played 5-10 Dictators and/or Dictators-adjacent tunes, the crowd loved it and the show came to an end.

This is the second Sonic Youth ICA, the first (#68 from 2016, by jimdoes) is REALLY good. We share only the first tune – I Love You Golden Blue – because I pulled The Diamond Sea and Dirty Boots in favor of other tunes from Washing Machine (which meant no music from that disc) and Goo after checking the original. There are moments when I was putting this together from the 30 tunes I initially pulled out for consideration that it was really clear that Sonic Youth had a very specific sound that informed and filled a lot of their songs. It’s not that they’re homogenous, just similar enough to be quite notable if you listen to a lot of their almost thirty years of music all at once.

This compilation has an A side and a B side… all I’ll say beyond that is that I think I now believe that the quintessential Sonic Youth song is Trilogy, with B) Hyperstation – included here – the quintessence of their essence.


  1. I Love You Golden Blue, from Sonic Nurse (2004)

  2. Shadow of a Doubt, from EVOL (1986)

  3. Sunday, from A Thousand Leaves (1998)

  4. Making the Nature Scene, from Screaming Fields of Sonic Love (1995)

  5. Disappearer, from Goo (1990)


  1. Screaming Skull, from Experimental Jet Set, Trash And No Star (1994)

  2. Sugar Kane, from Dirty (1992)

  3. Incinerate, from Rather Ripped (2006)

  4. Trilogy: B) Hyperstation, from Daydream Nation (1988)

  5. Tuff Gnarl, from Sister (1987)



45 45s @ 45 : SWC STYLE (Part 3)


43. Dirty Boots – Sonic Youth (1990 DGC Records)

Released as a Single in April 1991 (Did not Chart)

‘Dirty Boots’ was the third and final release from Sonic Youth’s sixth album ‘Goo’ which some people will say is Sonic Youth’s finest hour (it’s not ‘Daydream Nation’ is but let’s not argue). ‘Goo’ was my introduction to Sonic Youth and by including this in the list allows me to reintroduce Our Price Girl to these pages, and her brother, albeit briefly.

In the late part of 1991 I was in the start of relationship with Our Price Girl, I was a naïve 16 year old who still mainly listened to whatever the NME or Melody Maker told me to listen to that week. At the time that was ‘Nevermind’ by Nirvana and a bunch of other American rock acts that had started to get some press.

One evening Our Price Girls brother, Dan picked me and her up from a pub in downtown Chatham and on the way back, ‘Goo’ filled the car. As we parked up I asked Dan what the music was and he told me – he flipped the cassette (ask your parents, kids) out the stereo and gave it to me. Have a listen he said.

At five am, I left Our Price Girls house, via, as usual, the back door, I was walking the mile or so down to the small newsagents that I worked at. The shop was run by two brothers who from now on will be known as the Indian Organised Crime Syndicate, because that is basically what the shop was a front for (allegedly in case they are reading). As I was leaving I grabbed the cassette of ‘Goo’ from the kitchen workshop and stuck it in my Walkman.

Side One Track One is ‘Dirty Boots’ and I can remember vividly walking down a track to get onto the hockey pitches behind OPG’s house as it all kicks in and every time I listen to it I am taken back there.

I can picture it now, I’m stood in this field, from which I can see most of my journey ahead. The field runs down to a path where it joins a road to the ice rink, there is a small hill to clamber down to reach the path, behind the ice rink there is a factory, (which is no longer there) where meat pies are made and the smell of them is just starting to fill the air, you can almost taste them (in fact that factory and its smells are one of the reasons I turned vegetarian at the age of 14). Beyond the factory lies the huge site of the new Tesco and the road which leads to my dad’s house and the shop.

I was 16, I was probably experiencing my first real feelings of love, and I was deliriously happy and right then, right there, I didn’t have a care in the world.

‘Dirty Boots’ was released as EP it was backed with a bunch of live tracks.

This was one of them

Eric’s Trip


JC adds…….Here’s a bonus of the other live tracks that backed the EP version of Dirty Boots:-

White Kross
Cinderella’s Big Score
Dirty Boots
The Bedroom


30 years ago, Spin Magazine published an article in which Kim Gordon, the bass player of Sonic Youth, interviewed the rapper LL Cool J. The original idea, certainly from Kim Gordon’s perspective was to establish that the largely underground New York noise rock scene, of which her band was probably the best known, had much in common with the local rap scene, of which the man born James Todd Smith was one of its biggest commercial success. It should be remembered that, at this point in history, Sonic Youth had recorded for a multitude of independent labels, gathering a fair amount of critical acclaim but not much in the way of sales while LL Cool J had enjoyed hit singles and all sorts of platinum and gold discs for his first three albums.

The outcome was something of a car crash. The rapper ‘s responses to the questions clearly antagonised the bassist almost from the outset as he boasts about his car collection and then makes fun of her knowledge of the emergence of the Beastie Boys out of hardcore rock into rap and the involvement of Rick Rubin, with whom LL Cool J had worked, before he talks about his love for Andrew Dice Clay, a comedian notorious for his sexist material. The lowpoint, however, had to be this exchange:-

KG : “What about women who are so into you as a sex object that they take a picture of you to bed with them and their boyfriends or husbands start freaking out?”

LLCJ : “It’s not my problem. The guy has to have control over his woman. She has to have enough respect for you to know not to do those things. It’s how you carry yourself.

Later on, he talks about his admiration for Bon Jovi and says he’s never heard of Iggy Pop and The Stooges. I’m not sure how many of his responses were deliberately designed to make fun of the interviewer or whether he was genuinely unaware of so much music history around his home city. Kim Gordon provided this addendum to the interview:-

“It seems pretty obvious L.L. doesn’t have many conversations with white girls like me. And likewise, I don’t have many conversations with rap musicians. But I have more access to his world – even if it is superficial, watching the NYC black video show on UHF or whatever – than L.L. will ever have to mine.”

Nine months later, Kim Gordon had penned a song that would provide her band with something approaching a breakthrough hit, based on her bitter experience:-

mp3 : Sonic Youth – Kool Thing

Chuck D makes a guest appearance, obviously quite comfortable about the music and politics of Sonic Youth and at the same time willing to poke fun at a fellow rapper, albeit one who was almost diametrically opposed to Public Enemy in terms of the music, the look and the acceptance by white America. It’s great fun to listen to, and it’s scary to think that it is fast approaching its 30th birthday.

The b-side to the 7” version of Kool Thing, certainly here in the UK was a cover version of a song written by Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine, and which pre-dated the formation of Television:-

mp3 : Sonic Youth – That’s All I Know (Right Now)
mp3 : The Neon Boys – That’s All I Know (Right Now)

I think it’s a fair assumption to say that LL Cool J would have been completely oblivious to this particular release.



T’internet truly is a wonderful educational tool.

Up until doing the little bit of research for this post, I had assumed today’s song was a cover of a number by The Carpenters:-

mp3 : Paul Quinn & The Independent Group – Superstar

The mighty Quinn and his just as mighty bandmates* recorded this for the 1992 album The Phantoms and the Archetypes, with it also appearing as a track on the Stupid Thing single the following year. My previous knowledge of the song stemmed from my childhood when the brother and sister duo enjoyed a Top 20 hit in late 1971 – to be honest, I thought Superstar had been a #1 record, such was the frequency with which I recall hearing it, but I’m thinking now that it was more likely one of those songs that was the subject of numerous requests over the years and I’m conflating things over an extended period.

Not that it matters.

I suppose I should have realised The Carpenters were themselves offering up a cover, given the writing credits go to Leon Russell and Bonnie Bramlett.

It turns out the song dates from 1969.  The original has a totally different type of the arrangement, with horns and a gospel style backing vocal. It was Bonnie Bramlett on lead vocal, Leon Russell on keyboards and, among others, Eric Clapton on guitar and Rita Coolidge on background vocals. There were a few more versions recorded prior to The Carpenters, including by the likes of Cher, Bette Midler and Peggy Lee. There’s also been a lorry-load of versions since 1971 across a range of genres.

Paul Quinn’s take on things demonstrates that Superstar is, when it all boils down, a torch song of the utmost quality, and it’s a rather sad tale from the perspective of a discarded groupie, one who wasn’t a career groupie interested in quantity of ‘bags’, but who thought the love and affection offered by the musician in question was genuine and meaningful.

Turns out too that one line in the original version was felt too risqué by Richard Carpenter and so he changed ‘And I can hardly wait to sleep with you again’ so that Karen would now sing ‘And I can hardly wait to be with you again”, which is the line also sung by Paul.

The song was later, in 1994, covered by a very unlikely source:-

mp3 : Sonic Youth – Superstar

It appeared initially on the tribute album If I Were a Carpenter and was also released as a single. It has been used on a couple of soundtracks and is the only known version for which Richard Carpenter has expressed a strong dislike.

Oh and *the mighty bandmates referred to at the outset?

James Kirk (ex-Orange Juice)
Blair Cowan (ex-Lloyd Cole & The Commotions0
Tony Soave (ex-The Silencers)
Campbell Owens (ex-Aztec Camera)
Robert Hodgens (ex-The Bluebells)
Alan Horne (music impresario extraordinaire)

Nae bad eh?




It was earlier this year that jimdoes, in pulling together an excellent ICA on Sonic Youth, took a deserved sideways swipe at me for never previously having featured the band.

It’s now been 35 years since Sonic Youth began to make music and 5 years since they broke up. They’re yet another act who have never appear to have been all that bothered about breaking into the mainstream or even enjoying moderate chart success, even when during the 90s they were on the roster of Geffen Records, part of the giant MCA media operations.

One of the reasons they weren’t here before the ICA is that I can’t really class myself as a fan of Sonic Youth; I’m more of an admirer owning a couple of albums and a copy of the DVD compilation of the videos they have made over the years to go with the various singles from the 90s.

One of the albums I do have is Dirty released in 1992. Or as someone once said to me, the record the band made when asked to try to come up with something as spectacular as had been delivered by Nirvana.

Dirty was produced by Butch Vig, who was of course at the helm of Nevermind.

Dirty, unlike any other Sonic Youth LP spawned four singles, two of which made the Top 30 in the UK charts.

This was the lead-off single and opening track on the LP (together with its b-sides):-

mp3 : Sonic Youth – 100%
mp3 : Sonic Youth – Creme Brulee
mp3 : Sonic Youth – Genetic
mp3 : Sonic Youth – Hendrix Necro

Released in July 1992, it peaked at #28 in the UK, and provided the band with their biggest ever success in their homeland with a #4 placing on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. While this was impressive enough for a band that had always been cult more than anything else, it was probably a disappointment to the label bosses who must have realised that Sonic Youth just wouldn’t ever make the crossover to mass popularity and millions of sales the world over.

The video was one of the first to be made by acclaimed director and occasional actor Spike Jonze.

Two and a half minutes that did more to glamorise skateboarding than just about anything else and thus made walking around pedestrianised areas in city centres a dangerous occupation forever more.

But you gotta admit its a cracking tune.




Here’s an imaginary compilation for a band that surprisingly enough, have never featured on TVV – a definite oversight from JC!

Anyway, they’ve released 15 studio albums and recorded hundreds of songs so a Sonic Youth ICA seems like a pretty daunting task – except I don’t own all those tracks and of those I do own, I only keep about 25 on my Ipod, so they are the ones I am most familiar with.

As a band they were always experimenting and always pushing their sound to new limits and because of this I think they are one of those bands that the more you listen, the more you get out of – there’s so much depth and texture to their music. They are a band that I’ve listened to for nearly 30 years (yikes!) and are the one that I always gravitate to when I am a bit drunk on long train journeys home – they just seem to make sense to me in that state.

I don’t really know the stuff from before Daydream Nation too well either so my ICA will mainly be from then onwards – maybe someone else can do me an ICA of earlier stuff from Sister/EVOL etc? Anyway, here goes – not necessarily the best, just my favourites…

01 TEEN AGE RIOT  (From Daydream Nation)

Best to get this one out of the way early – the opening track on their masterpiece and in my opinion one of the greatest songs ever recorded. I never tire of the Kim Gordon beginning whisper to this song – or the rest of it really. I saw them perform the whole of Daydream Nation a few years ago – one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to (the accompanying picture is from that show – in my opinion, one of the best rock photos ever taken – even if it was on an old Nokia phone) – you know that any show that starts with this song isn’t going to let you down. And it’s the last song that Sonic Youth ever performed together – and sadly will probably never be performed by them again – I can’t see there being a reunion any time.

BEST BIT: 1.22 When Thurston’s guitar kicks in – all euphoria excitement and adrenalin and the promise of what’s to come.

02 SUNDAY  (From A Thousand Leaves)

Sonic Youth are so good at the whole quiet/LOUD/quiet thing – heaven knows how they make all that noise with just their guitars – but they do and I love it.

BEST BIT: 2.21 When it kicks off into that noisy squall – magic.

03 THE EMPTY PAGE (From Murray Street)

I really got into this song after Kim Gordon used it as a reference point in her autobiography. Again it’s got that quiet/LOUD thing going on – there’s a bit of a theme developing here!

BEST BIT: 3.34 Thurston’s voice when he sings “The empty page has wasted down”

04 OR (From Rather Ripped)

Almost my favourite Sonic Youth song – probably no2 after Teenage Riot mainly as that’s got history and it’s the songs you love in your early years that are generally the ones that influence you most. Anyway, I digress – I love the words and the sense of menace and yearning and resignation in this song – I think that’s what it is anyway!

BEST BIT: 2.28 The way Thurston says “Rock” – it really does rock.

05 BROTHER JAMES (From Death Valley 69)

Time for a Kim Gordon song – I’ll admit I first listened to this song because of the name – I’m a sucker for songs with my name in them and believe me there’s loads. This is kind of the opposite of the previous song – Kim Gordon sounds seriously pissed off – screaming the lyrics. Sonic Youth are one of those bands where they are all such great musicians and such a unit that it’s hard to say what stands out – on this track it’s all perfect.

BEST BIT: 2.30 Kim screaming “I don’t wanna hang around” and then things just get faster

06 DIRTY BOOTS (From Goo)

Ok lets play the hits. I remember leaping around indie discos to this song and moshing when they played it – I’m sure there’s plenty of TVV readers that did the same. I’m in danger of repeating myself – Thurston Moore sounds great, Steve Shelley nails it, Lee Ranaldo does his thing and Kim Gordon holds it all together impeccably – almost the perfect Sonic Youth track, if there weren’t so many classics to choose from. Every one of them was at the top of their game when they recorded this and it shows.

BEST BIT: 3.05 HA! Enough said.

07 CANDLE (From Daydream Nation)

I could’ve chosen pretty much any song off Daydream Nation – they are all good but this is one that I played to death in my youth and so was a real highlight for me when I saw them perform it.

BEST BIT: 0.00 The beginning – I love the melody that leads into the song.

08 SACRED TRICKSTER (from The Eternal)

Another Kim song. Where the title of her book ‘Girl In A Band’ comes from.

BEST BIT: 1. 14 Uh-huh Uh-huh. Just because.

09 I LOVE YOU GOLDEN BLUE (From Sonic Nurse)

Sonic Youth do dreamy. Kim Gordon whispering the words – none of their trademark distortion – and in her book it’s a song she says she loved singing.

BEST BIT: 5.46 You expect it to get faster and drown you in feedback but Kim Gordon just whispers the title of the song.

10 THE DIAMOND SEA (From Washing Machine)

At 20 minutes long this is the song that just keeps giving – it’s a showcase for the whole band and encompasses just about every aspect of the Sonic Youth sound. An epic to end my ICA.

BEST BIT: Seriously? All of it.

mp3 : Sonic Youth – Teen Age Riot
mp3 : Sonic Youth – Sunday
mp3 : Sonic Youth – The Empty Page
mp3 : Sonic Youth – Or
mp3 : Sonic Youth – Brother James
mp3 : Sonic Youth – Dirty Boots
mp3 : Sonic Youth – Candle
mp3 : Sonic Youth – Sacred Trickster
mp3 : Sonic Youth – I Love You Golden Blue
mp3 : Sonic Youth – The Diamond Sea

Love from jimdoes