A wise English teacher once told me, “If you don’t like Sonic Youth, you’re a big fucking tool.” I couldn’t agree more with his sentiment. Thus, the following breakdown of their greatest works:
Sonic Youth (1982)
Though this five-song EP was the world’s first introduction to the band (albeit without longtime drummer Steve Shelley), it’s my most recent purchase. After listening to it over and over on my way to class in the last week, I find myself wondering how the hell I went my whole life without it. Despite missing the lush dissonance of their later efforts, this EP contains more than a trace amount of trademark sonic funk.
Daydream Nation (1988)
If you haven’t heard of the album synonymous with greatness, you probably don’t know much about music. This was my first taste of Sonic Youth. It remains my favorite Sonic Youth album and is still one of the sexiest albums ever. Whether you’re into the front end (“Teenage Riot”) or the back end (Eliminator, Jr.”), this album sounds good in all the right places.
I included this LP because, out of the entire Sonic Youth catalog, Goo seems like Kim Gordon’s most standout album. Her evocative lyrics shine throughout the album, but it’s on songs like “Kool Thing” and “Tunic” that her voice is most powerful.
Sonic Nurse (2004)
Among their most recent releases, Sonic Nurse proves that creativity doesn’t necessarily die with age. This LP is full of surprises. “Dude Ranch Nurse” and “I Love You Golden Blue,” my favorite songs on the album, are drastically different yet equally awe-inspiring.