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Daydream Nation

4.5 out of 5 stars 201 customer reviews

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Daydream Nation (Deluxe Edition)
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Audio CD, November 23, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation - Cd

Amazon.com

The essential New York rock band of the post-punk era, Sonic Youth care as much about the quasi-symphonic, microtonal art-guitar music of composers like Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca as they do about the rock-song form, and with Daydream Nation, they struck their greatest balance between the two. The songs hover gorgeously for extended lengths, letting guitarists Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo intertwine fragile tonalities as carefully as it's possible to do at wall-shaking volume, while Moore and bassist Kim Gordon's untutored voices disaffectedly intone words that flirt with pop stupidity, high-art eloquence, and urban cool. When they bear down and rock, they do it with a blurry intensity that finds gorgeousness at the heart of discord. --Douglas Wolk
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 23, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen Records
  • ASIN: B000003TAL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,568 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Daydream Nation is clearly Sonic Youth's breakthrough album. A two lp set that focused all their previous ideas into one cohesive and brilliant album. The songs are stretched out more (though still song length)giving more of an idea of what they sounded like live. Music at this time was stuck in pop doldrums. Sonic Youth, which had built up a cult following, after the release of this album were then signed by a major label and brought all the indie rock bands into the light eventually including one that was just getting a start in Seattle that would soon eclipse all of them in popularity. However, back to Daydream Nation. The sprawling, though in no way self indulgent quality of the album took Sonic Youth into a new direction. Now, in getting the deluxe reissue treatment,it sheds new light on the album. On the 2nd disc you not only get live versions of all of the songs on the album (and Sonic Youth live takes what they do in the studio to a new level) but rarities as their version of "Within You, Without You" which was previously only available on a rare tribute album. If Daydream Nation were released for the first time this year, it would be one of the best albums of the year and with this deluxe reissue, in many ways it is.
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Format: Audio CD
I remember the day well. It was the day after Thanksgiving, 1989, and I was out shopping for CDs. "Rolling Stone" had just listed their top 100 albums of the '80's, and #45 on that list was "Daydream Nation." I liked what I had read, so I picked up the CD, and was blown away. From the opening track "Teen Age Riot" to the final "Trilogy," it's a non-stop stream of consciousness ride. The sheer guitar power of the duo of Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo make this a tour de force of white noise and feedback. Many groups thought that Sonic Youth would be the group that led the "alternative" wave of the early '90's that was instead championed by Nirvana, and in a way, Sonic Youth had a hand in that, since Nirvana were proteges of the band. Indeed, Courtney Love met Kurt Cobain through Sonic Youth bassist (and Thurston Moore's wife) Kim Gordon, who produced Hole's first album. Although I believe that "Sister" is the best Sonic Youth album, this one is likewise a masterpiece, an excellent starting point to discover one of the most underrated bands in rock history.
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By A Customer on November 22, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Earlier criticism of this album's abundance of "guitar noise," in my mind, is unsubstantiated. While "sound experimentalism" plays an important role in DN, it never takes center stage in the album. I dislike the term "experimentalism" because it implies that the songs were recorded during the "trial and error" process. This is not the case- DN is an album of carefully crafted songs. DN is a *product* of trial and error, and song structure is what truly takes center stage here- not guitar effects.

You can't deny the underlying rhythm in each song. Each song has a beauty of its own. Each song moves the listener in a different way.... and that's what's really important!

In my opinion, DN should be the first Sonic Youth album you get- it'll bring the other great discs that followed (such as Goo and Dirty) into the proper context. It really is their best, even though it is not initially "easy listening." Get over it. Listen to it a few times with an open mind. DN is substantial, elegant, intelligent, and solid, with twists and turns scattered throughout. Do not let this one miss your ear!
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Format: Audio CD
The fifth album (more or less) by The Best Rock Band of the Last 25 Years should need no introduction, and indeed if you're interested in buying the deluxe edition of Sonic Youth's "Daydream Nation," I can presume you're probably already a fan. You already know how the album summed up and then changed the course of the underground rock movement of the 80s, how the ample attention of critics, then music fans, then record labels set the stage for the alternative rock revolution of the 90s--oh well whatever Nevermind and yada yada yada. If, however, you haven't already drank the Kool-Aid (and you should!), some brief notes about the "basic" edition...

"Daydream Nation" is still hailed as Sonic Youth's grand masterpiece, and yeah, it still holds up as such (confession: it's my second favorite SY album after Sister), even if it doesn't seem as radical today as it did when it came out. Sure, there are swirling whirlwinds of oddly-(de)tuned guitars and feedback fading in, out and sometimes interrupting the songs, but make no mistake, there are definitely songs to be found here. The openening "Teenage Riot" is, for its galloping drums and lyrical cheekiness (imagining Dinosaur Jr's J. Mascis as president, or so Thurston Moore has said) basically a melodic and even hummable pop song. Even a more "experimental" song like "The Sprawl" has a certain immediacy, with bassist/vocalist Kim Gordon saying straigt out "does f**k you sound simple enough?
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