Sonic Youth - Sister

NME.COM feature on Sonic Youth - Sister album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.

Release date: 07 November 2005

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Sonic Youth - Sister: Wikipedia Album Entry

Sister is an album by alternative rock band Sonic Youth, released in 1987 on SST Records. It was re-released in late 1994 on DGC.

The album furthers the band's move away from noise rock towards more traditional pop structures, while maintaining an aggressively experimental approach. It received universally-positive reviews. A loose concept album (like its follow-up Daydream Nation), Sister was in part inspired by the life and works of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. (The "sister" of the title was Dick's fraternal twin, who died shortly after her birth, and whose memory haunted Dick his entire life.) The album features aggressive noise songs such as "White Kross" and "Catholic Block," plus haunting noir ode "Pacific Coast Highway". The group has regularly played songs such as "Schizophrenia," "White Kross" and "Kotton Krown" long after the album's release. In 1989, Steve Albini's short-lived band Rapeman released a song called "Kim Gordon's Panties" in response to "Kotton Krown." CD bonus track "Master-Dik" is a strange rap song which mentions Ciccone Youth; its title is a reference to New York City mastering facility Masterdisk. As usual, Moore and Gordon handled most of the vocal duties on the album, but Ranaldo sang "Pipeline/Kill Time".

The album was recorded entirely on analog tube equipment, giving it its characteristic "warm" vintage feel. Videos were shot for "Beauty Lies In The Eye" and "Stereo Sanctity." The black-and-white "Stereo Sanctity" video, featuring clips of whirring factory machinery and brief live shots of the band, can only be seen on a rare 1980s SST video compilation entitled Over 35 Videos Never Before Released.

The black area on the front cover was originally the photograph "Sandra Bennett, twelve year old, Rocky Ford, Colorado, August 23, 1980" taken by Richard Avedon, but was removed after the threat of a lawsuit. At first the picture was merely covered up with a black sticker, but on later pressings, it was deleted. The same was done with a photo of Disney's Magic Kingdom on the back cover. Very early promotional posters and pressings of the album do feature these photos, but later ones do not.

Pitchfork Media named Sister the fourteenth best album of the 1980's. NME rated it number eighty in their 'Greatest Albums of All-Time' list, and number thirty-seven in their '50 Greatest Albums of the 80's' list. In July 1995, Alternative Press magazine voted Sister the third best album of the decade spanning 1985–1995.

Personnel

* Lee Ranaldo – guitar, vocals
* Kim Gordon – bass guitar, guitar, vocals
* Thurston Moore – guitar, vocals, Moog synthesizer
* Steve Shelley – drums, programming
* Walter Sear – programming
* Bill Titus – engineer

User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License and may also be available under the GNU FDL.

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