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Smart Bar Chicago 1985


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sonic youth the eternal

The Eternal is Sonic Youth’s 2009 celebration of newfound freedom. After many years signed to an ever precarious corporate label, the band has been liberated and is releasing this CD with their friends at Matador. Inspirations ran high in preparation for the recording. Abandoning the time tested routine of writing and rehearsing a cycle of songs in one time ... Read more in Amazon's Sonic Youth Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Nov 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Goofin
  • ASIN: B009B1UXUQ
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,274 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Hallowe'en 5:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Death Valley '69 7:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Intro / Brave Men Run (In My Family) 4:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. I Love Her All The Time 5:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Ghost Bitch 5:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. I'm Insane 5:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Kat 'n' Hat 3:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Brother James 2:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Kill Yr Idols 2:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Secret Girl 3:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Flower 2:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. The Burning Spear 5:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Expressway To Yr Skull 9:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Making the Nature Scene 3:42£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Live multi-track recording of NYC legends.... Rare photos and liner notes galore.... Features the never-properly-released track Kat n Hat ....Vinyl includes digital download coupon.... In the fall of 1985, Sonic Youth were touring the States following the release of their Bad Moon Rising LP. This show at Chicago s Smart Bar was recorded on 4-track cassette and consists of live versions of most of the songs from that album, early performances of Secret Girl and Expressway to Yr Skull (later to be released on Evol) and a rare, never-before-released live rendition of Kat n Hat. Mixed and mastered by the band from the original tape source, this single-CD / double-LP edition includes liner notes by Gerard Cosloy and Sonic Youth engineer Aaron Mullan, plus unpublished photos by Pat Blashill and Steven Koress. The ideal archival offering would meet a list of criteria: it should be an unreleased and sonically compelling recording of an amazing performance, which not only sheds some light on the known Sonic Youth catalogue for the serious aficionado, but also captures the attention of the general fan. It s a pretty tall order, but I think this tape from Chicago 1985 fits the bill.... [I]t s the earliest live multi-track of a Sonic Youth show known to exist. Having now listened to this tape maybe 100 times, I can say this: it s a killer show. The material was mostly released on the studio album Bad Moon Rising. The album is brilliant, but the material is also so visceral and improvisatory that it greatly benefits from the additional perspective offered by a live recording. Kim s vocals, more detached on the album, are fierce here. Sheets of feedback insanity on the album which I always assumed to be lucky studio accidents turn out to be actual parts that Lee and Thurston can re-create at will. The album was recorded with Bob Bert on drums, but this show was one of the first after Bob left and Steve took over. Bob s primal stomps doubtlessly propel the studio versions. But, hearing these parts as interpreted by Steve s systematic pummelling illuminates the crucial transition to the Evol and Sister albums and beyond. We do get a taste of Evol too, with an early performance of Expressway To Yr Skull and the first known live performance of Secret Girl, plus an instrumental version of the rarely performed, and never released, Kat n Hat. Aaron Mullan 2012

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Sep 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Recorded around the same time, I saw them, not in Chicago, but supporting the Jesus and Mary Chain at the Hammersmith Palais. Over the years they have produced as many albums as the Fall, and I never got round to listening to them.

For me the early period remains a hallmark and Daydream Nation a watershed. After that album, lauded for its breakthrough, I became lost. The angular chaotic guitar patterns were honed and toned into six pack structures. Mega stadium air punching beckoned.

However, in retrospect, they never succumbed, even though they garnered the laurels of success. Still trying to stay true to themselves, forever fighting the demons of corporate molding, whose will entailed erasing all the rough edges and filling in the cracks meant the band forever steered near to the beast but to their credit remained distinct. Just like The Fall, they never caved in.

This collection rounds them up at the epicentre, a time when they had moved from free form drones and harmonics to a more brutal structure without being toned down. It has all the faves from Bad Moon Rising and a sprinkling from Evol, two albums played to maximum distortion whilst forever remaining clear as crystals in sound harmonics.

So sing along to Expressway to your skull, Halloween, Death Valley, Love her all the Time and listen to the band rise above the crowd and play those Branca type chiming appregios in keys of pure sound drone. Haunting, brutal, angry and aspiring, qualities all building in tones throught the tunes.

Sounds as good as the album.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Sonic as sonic as ever!!!! LIve register, seminal songs seminal period a lot of energy and punk atmosphere,. a lot of noise and the band continues playung their best live performance ever!!!! Recommended!!!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chris on 31 Dec 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of the most innovative bands ever. This performance shows how they were one of the artists that took music to a different level, up along Pink Floyd, Stockhausen and many others. Buy and enjoy
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Right before they hit their first peak 19 Dec 2012
By dmcgurgan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Vinyl
It's a pretty decent recording of Sonic Youth from 1985. The crazy, seemingly out-of-tune wailing of the guitars is juxtaposed against traditional structure and melodies. The energy of the band is strong throughout and its evident that this is a moment in time when SY was about to become really flippin' good. Fidelity is not perfect, nor does it need to be. If you are a Sonic Youth fan, you will understand this. Liner notes are brief, few pics from the gig. Does what it sets out to do. Can't wait to hear which live recording/era/session they release next.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
great live cd. 12 Feb 2014
By Steven R. Severance - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
THis cd captures Sonic Youth in a great place of their career. THe music is loud and full of energy. IT used to be all the officially released live cd's had terrible sound. It is great to finally have one that doesn't sound like a cassette tape that has been left on the dash board of your car for ten years. Most of the tracks are songs that appear on Bad Moon Rising but the drummer is steve Shelly not Bob Bert. Enjoy.
this is the best sonic youth release 1 Feb 2014
By Thomas W. Yates - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
......and they cranked out a lot of great records, so thats really saying something

absolutely amazing live performance

can not recommend this highly enough. so good.
don't overlook this cd: it is messy and beautiful 29 Sep 2013
By simpcity - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am kinda stunned to be the first person to give this five stars.

If I had been at this show in person, I doubt I woulda complained about bar talk in the background, and I am not going to complain about it here and now. It is very difficult to catch the feel of any live show, and live music and studio music do not exactly coincide. Live albums show you more or less transparency of the recording process.

For example Live & Cuddly preserves not only the audience participation but Wright Brother call-outs to their recording crew. Here, the ambient sounds of a bar are almost polished and refined, snatches of conversation and alcohol talk pass over your experience of the band. The band is, I think, very well miked, and the drumming is superb.

There is not a bad song on here. I love Expressway To Yr Skull. I was reminded of The Diamond Sea off Washing Machine in the sheer exuberance of the sounds. I hope Sonic Youth put out any other recordings like this that they can, especially mid '80s stuff like this.
Majors start somewhere 18 Oct 2014
By WrightReview - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
A totally great picture of a band on its way up. Even though the tape started late, it still shows how Sonic Youth was developing its sound.
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