Sonic Youth – “Sister” LP
Released by SST Records in 1987, their fifth album. A style and sound that was still centered around innovative guitar dissonance and free-form crescendos, but an increased inclination towards conventional pop-based song writing elevated the Sonic Youth sound to new heights of popularity and critical acclaim. The choice of studio (recorded at Sear Sound, entirely on analog tube equipment, giving it its characteristic “warm”, vintage feel) and the choice of cover version (‘Hot Wire My Heart’ by Crime) are good indicators of their new approach: remaining uncommercial and uncomprimising whilst also embracing traditional pop/rock principles. From the very first guitar chord strums of the album’s opening track, “Schizophrenia”, you have nearly the whole of the 1990’s underground/alternative rock music being sketched-out before you.