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The Whitey Album Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, March 14, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 14, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000EMG9EU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,184 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Edward H. Milligan on January 22, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I bought this in seventh grade knowing that it was a Sonic Youth album, but I had no idea that it was going to be so weird. The bizarre drum machines and Madonna covers left me confused, but I kept listening because I loved how unusual it was. It's six years later and now I think it's one of my favorite albums, totally unlike anything else the band has ever done. There's definitely a lot of humor on the album, but the first side is pretty frightening, particularly the atmospheric the band creates on "Platoon" and "Macbeth". But I think the humor combined with the darkness is the album's strong point. Poetry, rap, bad new wave, Robert Palmer, Neu!, stark instrumentals, and of course Madonna join forces to make a real doozy of an album, full of beautiful moments. A must for any Sonic Youth fan or anyone willing to try something new (even when it's 13 years old.)
p.s. the wonderful Mike Watt sings lead on Burnin' Up.
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Format: Audio CD
when i first heard about this album, i thought it might be somewhat interesting. sonic youth forsaking raw power for electronic beats. the more i thought about it and listened to their other albums, the more intriguing it became. finally i bought it, because the store was out of sy's debut album. it was a trip, to say the least. it started out with an all percussion track. is it electronic, acoustic, or a combination of both? i never really considered it while listening to it. the next track was silence. kind of gives you an opportunity to think about the onslaught of the first track, which until then seemed like... something. whatever it is, it just seems more clear. then kim gordon fades in, ranting about whatever it is that she rants about. sexism, violence, love, something along and eclipsing those lines. macbeth is just crazy. hi! everybody lies somewhere between frank zappa and disco. two cool rock chicks is conversation and then a j mascis guitar solo. is there really anything more one needs than that? mike watt does a deep-voiced, laid-back version of madonna's "burnin' up" and is enough to make anyone question how evil pop music really is. thurston moore does something similar with "into the groovey", using samples from the original version. kim gordon, too, shows her pop side on her karaoke version of "addicted to love". steve shelley finally proves the existence of his vocal cords on his reading of lee ranaldo's "me & jill". "making the nature scene" was taken further than anyone ever could have imagined after the forceful version on the "confusion is sex" album. this doesn't really explain the album, but that's why people listen to music rather than just read reviews.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Did the eighties ever have a present? At this vantage point, it’s impossible to imagine the eighties--with its puffy sleeves, big hair and synth rock--ever existed as a living, breathing era. It seems as if the decade of New Coke was nothing more than a nostalgic fever dream. I remember the boom of eighties nostalgia in the early aughts (clubs even had 80s themed nights back then), but Ciccone Youth’s 1988 album, The Whitey Album, makes a case for 80s nostalgia before the decade even ended.

Ciccone Youth, as their name implies, is a one-off side project of the art-punk, no-wave band Sonic Youth. And while Ciccone Youth retains the band’s caustic experimentation, it’s distinct enough from their regular albums to justify the name change. Listening to The Whitey Album, I can’t help but think that the band is commemorating the decade from some far off future.

Named after the surname of Madonna (Louise Ciccone), the band’s only album views the decade through a funhouse mirror and then breaks it into shards. Various genres developed in the eighties, from synth-pop to hip-hop to industrial rock, are pulled and twisted until they are barely recognizable. The playful name change signals Sonic Youth’s trickster intentions, but hidden underneath the experimentation there is a real affection for the decade’s popular music.

By all accounts, Sonic Youth’s Madonna obsession was real, and the two covers included on the album push Madonna’s sound to the limit but also include sincere appreciation of her stature as a major female artist. Mike Watt of Minuteman fame joined Sonic Youth for the album, and he takes full duty on the first Madonna cover, “Burnin’ Up.” Still, it’s telling that the band chose a lesser known single to cover.
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Format: Audio CD
The Whitey Album is definitely my most favorite and apparently sought after music selection. I heard it at a friend's house this summer and have wanted it in my music library ever since. There are some familiarities in the retro-80s-flashback songs. "Addicted to Love" is one of the best 80s covers I've heard yet. It's fun, laid back and all together a well done collection of sounds. Like I said, I give it 5 stars. *****
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is recording that is well grounded in eighties pop culture, yet still sounds avant-garde. The Album is full of Sonic Youth's trademark feedback-drenched explosions of noise and beat-inspired poetry, yet this is unlike any other SY recording. Not only do most of the songs involve a beatbox and samples, there are even Madonna and Robert Palmer covers!

Humor and irreverence combines with an anything-goes approach the song structures. It sounds like the band is having a lot of fun, and that energy passes to the listener. An added bonus is the guest appearances of Mike Watt and J. Mascis.

Released around the time of Sister, this album is a glorious companion-piece to that other SY classic. If you don't own this yet, you should!
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