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Sonic Youth - Goo

  by Mark Rowland

published: 20 / 8 / 2005

Sonic Youth - Goo
Label: Polyder
Format: CD


Remastered re-release of Sonic Youth's 1990 'Goo' album, spread across two CDs, and with the addition of B sides, outtakes and demos

Coming after Sonic Youth’s classic ‘Daydream Nation’, ‘Goo’ initially seemed like a disappointment for some fans, but although it wasn’t quite as good as ‘Daydream Nation’, it by all means wasn’t a bad album, and was Sonic Youth’s first to make the US Billboard album chart. It was also the first for Geffen Records, a move which would lead to other bands, including Nirvana, to do the same. Fifteen years since its original release, ‘Goo’ has been re-mastered and re-issued with plenty of B-sides, outtakes and demos, plus a tongue-in-cheek interview with the band that was released to the press only at the time. Many will be familiar with the original album. Rockier than its predecessor, ‘Goo’ includes Youth classics such as ‘Dirty Boots’ and ‘Kool Thing’, which features a cameo from Public Enemy’s Chuck D. Other tracks such as the atmospheric ‘Tunic (Song for Karen)’, the melodic yet feedback driven ‘Mote’ and the sweeping ‘Cinderella’s Big Score’ show a Sonic Youth that were still at their peak. The outtakes and B-sides are not bad either. ‘Lee#2’ is a pretty straightforward song, with a strong melody and an organ part. ‘That’s All I Know (Right Now)’ is a pretty faithful rendition of the Neon Boys original, though still manages to come off sounding like Sonic Youth. There’s also a storming live version of ‘The Bedroom’ and ‘Dr Benway’s House’, a short experimental track and the band’s contribution to William Burroughs’ album, ‘Dead City Radio’. The demos included on the second disc are basically rougher versions of the album tracks, though it is a surprise to see that some of the tracks are actually shorter than the versions on the album. ‘Dirty Boots’ and ‘Corky (Cinderella’s Big Score)’ are both longer than the studio versions, and towards the end of both tracks, it is interesting to hear them more loosely jammed out to a climax, giving them a more live feel. The ‘More Goo’ section of disc two has some interesting tracks, especially a reasonably faithful cover of the Beach Boy’s ‘I Know There’s An Answer’. Two instrumentals, ‘Can Song’ and ‘Isaac’ are pretty much what you’d expect from Sonic Youth instrumentals: feedback, strange yet beautiful chords and ever-shifting dynamics. The ‘Goo Interview Flexi’ is a strange and reasonably funny description of some of the tracks on ‘Goo’. It is, however, probably one of the most boring tracks on the album. This is a good introduction to Sonic Youth, but still has plenty for established fans, and is a good window into the making of the album through the outtakes, B-sides and demos.

Track Listing:-
1 Dirty Boots
2 Tunic (Song For Karen)
3 Mary-Christ
4 Kool Thing
5 Mote
6 My Friend Goo
7 Disappearer
8 Mildred Pierce
9 Cinderella's Big Score
10 Scooter And Jinx
11 Titanium Expose

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