Sonic Youth | Artist

Sonic Youth | Artist

Tags: Era_1980s, Gender_Combo, Genre_Indie, Origin_USA, Type_Artist

Sonic Youth was an American rock band formed 1981 in New York City by Thurston Moore (guitar), Kim Gordon (bass) and Lee Ranaldo (guitar). Steve Shelley followed a series of short-term drummers in 1985 and rounded out the core line-up. Improvisational musician Jim O'Rourke was also a guest member between 2000-05. The band emerged from the experimental no wave art and music scene in New York, together with artists such as Glenn Branca, before evolving into a more conventional rock band and becoming the most prominent of the American noise rock groups. During their early days the band formed a friendship with fellow New York noise rock band Swans The bands shared a rehearsal space, and Sonic Youth embarked on its first tour in November 1982 supporting Swans. Their first two albums generated some good reviews but by their third Bad Moon Rising (1985) the band had developed a coherent sound. The 1988 double LP Daydream Nation was a critical success that earned Sonic Youth substantial acclaim. The album came in second on the Village Voice poll and topped the year-end album lists at NME and Melody Maker. In 2005, it was one of 50 recordings chosen by the US Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. In 1990, Sonic Youth released Goo, their first album for the Geffen label. The album featured the single "Kool Thing" on which Public Enemy's Chuck D made a guest appearance. This record was considered much more accessible than their previous works and became the band's best-selling record to date. Between 1986-92 Sonic Youth delivered five noise rock masterpiece albums: EVOL (1986), Sister (1987), Daydream Nation (1988), Goo (1990) and Dirty (1992). Following this creative run, the band's recorded output was somewhat patchy but they released three more excellent albums: Washing Machine (1995), Murray Street (2002) and Sonic Nurse (2004), before splitting in November 2011 when the marriage of Moore and Gordon ended. Sonic Youth is considered a pioneering band in the noise rock and alternative rock genres. Their music has also been labelled experimental rock, indie rock and post-punk. The band's sound was characterised by their course guitar sound, which employed unusual tunings. Michael Azerrad wrote that early in their career "the band could only afford cheap guitars, and cheap guitars sounded like cheap guitars. But with weird tunings, those humble instruments could sound rather amazing – bang a drum stick on a cheap Japanese Stratocaster copy in the right tuning, crank the amplifier to within an inch of its life and it will sound like church bells".

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Featured Albums: Sonic Youth

Related Artists: Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Jim O'Rourke, Glenn Branca, Chelsea Light Moving

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