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Sonic Youth Get “Dirty” Again

Two-CD reissue digs up rare and unreleased recordings

A deluxe two-CD reissue of Sonic Youth’s 1992 recording,
Dirty, will be released on March 4th. The album will
include eleven previously unreleased rehearsals and demos as well
as a handful of b-sides. New liner notes, obligatory in the reissue
realm, will also be a part of the package, including essays by
Sonic Youth guitarists Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, and a piece
by journalist Byron Coley.

“There’s lots of sort of weird stuff that we had on eight track
tape, like demo things, working out songs,” Moore told Rolling
Stone
earlier this year. “And there’s a couple of pieces that
never came to fruition during the songwriting of that record that
we discovered that we thought were kind of interesting. We weren’t
too interested in putting live stuff on there, though there is live
material out there. But it would take forever to go through it and
search for the good stuff.”

Among the additional material is “Stalker” (previously available
only on the double-vinyl version of the album), and rehearsal
recordings of “Little Jammy Thing,” “Stalker,” and two songs,
“Youth Against Facism,” and “Wish Fulfillment,” that ended up on
Dirty in different formats. Eight of the rehearsal songs
have never been released: “Barracuda,” “Dreamfinger,” “New White
Cross,” “Guido,” “Moonface,” “Poet in the Pit,” “Theoretical Chaos”
and “Lite Damage.” B-sides include “Genetic,” “Hendrix Necro,” “The
Destroyed Room,” “Is It My Body,” “Personality Crisis,” “The End of
the End of the Ugly” and “Tamra.”

Dirty marked a new phase for the band. After releasing
their first six albums independently, Sonic Youth signed with
Geffen and issued Goo in 1990. In the two years that
followed, the group played a role in getting Nirvana signed to the
label, and Dirty reflects some residual synergy from a
joint tour between the two bands. Sonic Youth enlisted producer
Butch Vig (who produced Nirvana’s Nevermind) to record the
album, which featured a (relatively) more mainstream sound for the
experimental rock ensemble.

“I do enjoy [digging through old recordings] in a way, but at
the same time I find it exasperating because we had to listen to
all these things and make choices and there’s so much to
listen to,” Moore said. “And I don’t really like to listen to my
stuff. When we make a new record, every once in awhile before it’s
out, I like putting it on, just to sort of marvel at it. But after
the years go by, I don’t really pull out any of our records and
listen to them. There were moments on Dirty that I could
hardly even remember where we were at that the point. It was ten
years ago.”

Sonic Youth will have to dig deeper than ten years for the next
two reissues. Universal, which is reissuing Dirty, also
has plans to re-release Goo and what is widely considered
the band’s masterpiece, 1988’s Daydream Nation, both with
a bonus CD of rare and unreleased extras. A release date has not
yet been set for either reissue.

In the meantime, the band continues to plug its 2002 release,
Murray Street. A five-date tour of Japan is next, starting
with a two-night stand at Tokyo’s Akasaka Blitz on February 17th
and 18th.

Dirty track listing:

100%
Swimsuit Issue
Theresa’s Sound-World
Drunken Butterfly
Shoot

Wish Fulfillment
Sugar Kane
Orange Rolls, Angel’s Spit
Youth Against Facism
Nic Fit
On the Strip
Chapel Hill
JC
Purr

Crème Brulee

Bonus material:

Is It My Body
Personality Crisis
The End of the End of the Ugly
Tamra
Little Jammy Thing
Lite Damage
Dreamfinger

Barracuda
New White Kross
Guido
Stalker
Moonface
Poet in the Pit
Theoretical Chaos
Youth Against Fascism
Wish Fulfillment

In This Article: Sonic Youth

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