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Sonic Youth Extra tracks, Original recording remastered

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, March 14, 2006
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 14, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Geffen Records
  • ASIN: B000EMGA3U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,111 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Scott Bresinger on April 13, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This would be the very first EP by the band that soon became the Greatest American Rock Band of the last 25 years. It's kind of the band's misbegotten son, the ne'er-do-well. When they recorded it, they were young, still developing their sound, and relatively unfamiliar with the studio environment. As a result, the band (and many of their fans) felt it came out rather tepid: a watered down, somewhat sterile version of what they actually wanted to do. When Geffen started reissuing SY's indie albums in the mid-90's, this was conspicuously left out. One the "best of" collection "Screaming Fields of Sonic Love," Only "I Dreamed I Dream" was included, event though I for one always preferred "She Is Not Alone" (side note: if you hunger for SY-related rarities, try to track down a rather decent cover version of that tune by an industrial outfit named Borghesia). Well, they've finally gotten around to a reissue, only a few month's before the brand new album "Rather Ripped," drops. I'll be sure to review that, and I can tell you're waiting with bated breath.

Now, however, is the time to re-evaluate the EP that broke Sonic ground in 1982 (has it really been that long? Sweet Evil Jesus, these guys are almost eligible for the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame!). If you're expecting to hear a rowdy punk beast along the lines of Black Flag's "Damaged" (one of their faves from that era), you'll be disappointed. While the chiming, otherworldly guitar textures that made the band's name are in full evidence, here it is indeed restrained somewhat. What's really different is the drumming. Like many bands, Sonic Youth went through a few drummers, including future Pussy Galore pounder Bob Bert, before settling in with Steve Shelley.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I only knew about Sonic Youth from what I read in the music magazines, that were reviewing Kim Gordon's book. When I found out that Amazon had new versions of their original recordings, I had to get them to hear them play. On the positive side, good energy and passion. On the negative side, no real form and the songs ramble on and then just end.

As I am not a musician, maybe I'm missing something.
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Format: Audio CD
OK, I'll be the detractor here who didn't really get into this. First of all if you don't like the tuned down droning clashing no wave dissonance thing, this isn't where you need to be. That wasn't my problem, and considering you probably like the band already, it isn't a problem for you. The music pieces and ideas here just aren't all that well formulated and the band doesn't really have it's own voice yet. The sound isn't particularly original for it's time either. The sound and musical palate aren't really that far off from what quite post punk bands were doing. Early Joy Division, Public Image, Gang of Four, and Wire come to mind as better examples. They do seem to have an idea where they want to go, but it is a young band messing around with someone else's ideas. There are interesting sections here, though much of the recording becomes tedious after a few listens. I kept getting the feeling that the needle on my old record player had gotten stuck at the end of the song "heroin"

It's interesting were they started but I have to say this one is for completists. Who knows though, these kids might make something of it a few years down the road.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A pretty good EP. It's more or less in the style of New York Bass-driven groups of its time like ESG and Liquid Liquid. It also reminds me of Bill Laswell's Material records during this period, and Bauhaus on one track.

There's not guitar aggression so much as there is NYC dance groove here, but it sounds like Sonic Youth to me. It's weird and it's somewhat abstract and it's got dissonance and it wears its influences on its sleeve. They kept doing those things, just with more guitar and without a funky base.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm not particularly familiar with Sonic Youth and the bits I've heard from their other albums haven't really grabbed me. This does. The rhythm section wouldn't be out of place in pseudo-tribal funk, the guitars are dissonant, jangling, sometimes hypnotically repetitive, and just plain weird, and the vocals are distant, airy, lazy. Some of the best music I've heard in a good long while.
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Format: MP3 Music
This album has gotten a great reissue treatment, with the five songs of the original EP, eight extra songs (live demos, basically), and several long essays in a booklet full of pictures.

Starting off with that weird drum beat (with their pre-Steve Shelley drummer Richard Edson, making this the only album they do with this sound), the shivering guitars, and the galloping/limping rhythms, this is Sonic Youth as it was first ever hears on the SST original release. Yes, the drums are a bit jazzy, but it's all there in all its sqruonking glory. The first track is "The Burning Spear", a song that the band still plays, and the bass is heavy and groovy with a nice rhythm. We don't get any real noise until halfway through the 3:45 song, a bit before the vocals come in. "I'm not afraid to say I'm scared." "I Dreamed I Dream" has nice tonal tones, a cool little moody thing, Kim sings this spookily with Lee doing some background vocals. "She Is Not Alone" is one of those really cool, rugged songs with the jungle rhythms and the strange guitars. Very cool indeed. "I Don't Want To Push It" scrubs and scrubs, with weird jungle rhythms, boogying busily on and on, much faster than the guitars; sounds pretty crazy, man, and a bit alarming for people who thought that the strange was normal - this is stranger than strange! "I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I... know." Great crazy guitar noise and spidery innovation, with that crazy drumming the while while. YOIKS!!! "The Good And The Bad" ends the EP with some bass-led rhythms, discordant chords coming in, drone, that weird nearly-complete Sonic Youth sound is right there! THe longest song on the album, at over seven minutes, this is the one where they really stretch out and get going. Nice.
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