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Dirty

4.5 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 21, 1992
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$5.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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A must-buy for any teen or twentysomething who considers themselves the least bit cool. With Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore swopping leads, it's a beautifully paced disc exploding with beatific beats, white-noise assaults and great, grungy pop ("Sugar Kane," "Chapel Hill"). --Jeff Bateman
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 21, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000003TA9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,758 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Dirty and Daydream Nation are the only two Sonic Youth albums I own, but they are both utterly amazing, though for different reasons. In the case of Dirty, its for cooler-than-cool, disaffected post-punk and grunge-pop. More song-based and straight-ahead rock than the somewhat proggy Daydream Nation, its nevertheless tempered with fine bursts of white noise, magical guitar duelling, grinding riffs and propelling, heavy bass.
Everyone mentions '100%' and 'Sugar Kane', and both are good, the former a driving, posturing, cool punk number and the latter a radio-friendly, poppy rock song. However this album by no means stops there. Springing to mind is the utterly wonderful 'Theresa's Sound-world' which builds from quiet, reflective melody to a wall of beautiful, heavy, ear-bleeding noise. 'Drunken Butterfly' is propelled by a catchy riff (recently ripped off by Cooper Temple Clause for their single 'Promises Promises') and an earnestly ironic chorus of 'I love you, I love you, I love you, what's your name?'.
Their political drive comes to the fore on the slower, but equally menacing 'Youth Against Fascism', which contains sneering vocals, a monster of a bass sound and guitars that sound as if they are being ritualistically tortured rather than played. The album veers from creepy ('Shoot', 'On The Strip') to all-out punk ('Orange Rolls, Angel's Spit' and the cover of 'Nic's Fit'). The more commercial 'Chapel Hill' sits alongside 'Sugar Kane' nicely, but every track on here has a sense of melody. Then there is a bit of lunacism, like the strange and twisted closer 'Creme Brulee'.
Every track on this album digs its own musical furrow and the album is all the better for it as despite its length of 15 tracks each one is worthy of high acclaim.
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Format: Audio CD
Countless critics site Daydream Nation as Sonic Youth's premier album, but I would choose Dirty. My love for Sonic Youth stems from the layers they add to a simple Rock/Pop song while still making it accessible to the general public, and not the elitest artist or musician. For me, Dirty is that album. It shows you can be different, but still write beautiful music. Take "Sugar Kane" or "Purr". Both tracks contain elements of pop masterpieces, but in the style of Sonic Youth.
My favorite track on the album is "Chapel Hill", which is a great example of Sonic Youth in general. It's a well written rock song broken up by a minute and a half of guitar solo in the form of noise and distortion. Also wonderful is "Theresa's Sound-World", a track that opens quietly and builds into an intense wall of distorted guitars.
If you don't own a single Sonic Youth album but you're still big into early Alternative artists like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins or the Pixies, pick up Dirty. Or, if you're into Built To Spill, Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Modest Mouse... and for some reason don't have this album, you should. Sonic Youth is, no doubt, listed as an influence of all these groups. This is Sonic Youth's best selling album for a reason, and that reason is that it's one of the most appealing album to mainstream rock fans. This album (or Experimental...) is a great starting point for someone who doesn't own a Sonic Youth album.
1 Comment 25 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on April 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
While Dirty is possibly one of the greatest "rock" albums ever made, you shouldn't let the term fool you. Refusing to be restrained by mainstream requirements, Sonic Youth uses a deep rock foundation to enhance their music, not limit it, which results in a record that is jarring, surreal, abrasive and calming all at once. Perhaps inspired by the antics of their more straightforward peers, i.e. Mudhoney and Nirvana, Dirty definitely marks the beginning of a more riff based approach for the consistently abrasive New York Ensemble, but while bands like Mudhoney and Nirvana quickly embraced an entirely formulaic method of songwriting, Sonic Youth merely uses this style to bring the jagged edges and metallic skronk of their vision to the forefront. Therefore, none of the classic SY elements are lost as the band further explores the concepts of repeated bludgeoning power chords overlaid with impassioned vocals and the results nearly defy description. Although every member of Sonic Youth is able to get into the driving grooves of tracks like "Purr" or "100%," they also feel right at home while indulging in psychedelic, feedback laden meditations such as "Theresa's Sound World" or "JC," thereby straddling the gap between the fierce testosterone riddled world of rock and the brooding, experimental underbelly of Avant Garde. The diverse assortment of styles and the wide range of sounds cleverly placed side by side makes Dirty an experience that keeps the listener attentive, lulling him or her into a relaxed calm at one moment only to bombard his or her ears with brutal guitar fuzz the next. An album that can overwhelm as much as entice, Dirty is a complex array of various ideas and motives, which makes classifying it as a great rock album an incredible oversimplification.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
And EASILY THE BEST ONE FOR INITIATES!!!!

Sonic Youth, along with the Pixies, were one of the formative influences on everyone's faves- wunderkind- Nirvana. They were both touring together around the time this was coming out. Wow. SY even borrowed the producer (a little history: Butch Vig produced most of the sound-sculpted seminally influencial ((like it or not)) albums of the early 90's- he was the co-inventor of the Kevin Shields Sound"- that furious wall of distortion you hear on Nevermind, Siamese Dream, Loveless...) for this classic.

This was their 2nd release for DGC, and boy did they take advantage of that. You can hear the advancement of production values. Now- whether you want to hear sound qulaity on an SY album is totally up for debate. Whether you think that their brand of noise-rock should go for accessibility is also a debatable argument. I stand by this release, all of it a gorgeous, furious, precision-tuned masterpiece. I remember being 13, hearing 100% and thinking- I want an album that sounds like THAT- THE WHOLE THING!!! Lurchingly sanguine and Demented fuzzed out bassline and two gnomic guitars just wailing- keening with scraps of noise, fire, a maelstrom of sonic brutality pouring out of the desperate amps... Wow. That one track (which concerns the death of their friend, Joe Cole (see Hank Rollins book, "Now watch Him Die," his best easily) makes thIs worth picking up.

You may be bewildered by their approach- but what sounds like utter hell is truly a very finely crafted sculpture of sound. One that they are able to reproduce with fairly meticulous and faithful renderings- live. Each song sounds utterly different, conjures a variety of images and scenes for the mind's perusal.
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