In their early career, Sonic Youth was associated with the No Wave art and music scene in New York City. Part of the first wave of American… read more
Sonic Youth was reissued by Geffen Records in 2006 on CD and as a double LP, with a number of bonus tracks that brought the running time to 63:04. Added were seven songs from a live performance recorded on 18 September 1981. Most of the tracks played were based on pieces composed by the band for the Noisefest festival held earlier in 1981, while others predate the band itself, such as Gordon's song "Cosmopolitan Girl". Several of these pieces are quite different from their studio counterparts, in particular the noisy early version of "She Is Not Alone". Among the tracks is the instrumental "Destroyer", previously coveted by bootleg collectors. Also added was a studio recording of a song that also appeared in a live version, "Where the Red Fern Grows". The song, an early version of "I Dreamed I Dream", was recorded in October 1981. The studio version was an instrumental, while on the live take, Lee sang two lines towards the end. The 2006 booklet contains new photos and extensive liner notes from Branca, Edson and Byron Coley , as well as a "few notes" concerning the album from Thurston Moore . On the CD reissue, the tray card is double-sided – the side that faces out contains the track listing with a bar code and an RIAA anti-piracy notice, and the opposite side has the same track listing without a bar code or an RIAA warning. Despite the CD reissue on Geffen, logos for Neutral Records can still be found in numerous places in the package.
While there's a little bit of almost everything that has made Sonic Youth great over the years, the band hasn't put these elements together in precisely this way before. Considering how expansive their last few albums for Geffen were, The Eternal 's relatively concise songs also set it apart, but when Sonic Youth do stretch out, it's with purpose. "Anti-Orgasm" begins as a duet/duel between Gordon and Moore , who trade challenges and come-ons over free-falling guitars that become a rolling, slow-motion excursion; the track's instrumental interplay is more violent, and more sensual, than its words. "Massage the History" is even more vast, encompassing fragile acoustic strumming, distortion storms, and dead calm over its nearly ten-minute expanse. While The Eternal doesn't flow quite as effortlessly as some Sonic Youth albums, it's perfectly balanced, its raw moments tempered by the subtle "Walkin Blue" and "Malibu Gas Station," which creeps so imperceptibly toward its raging guitars that they're almost unnoticed until you're caught in their undercurrent. Sonic Youth 's freedom to follow their bliss is what holds The Eternal together; just as paradoxically, the changes they make on this album not only bring excitement to their music, they reaffirm just how consistently good the band has been -- and continues to be -- over the years.
In a contemporary review for The Village Voice , music critic Robert Christgau called Sister an album that is finally worthy of the band's aesthetic and felt that, while they have learned to temper their absent-minded musings and penchant for "insanity", their guitar sound is still "almost unique in its capacity to evoke rock and roll without implicating them in a history few youngish bands can bear up under these days".  In a negative review, Spin magazine said that the band fails to successfully mix their previous "nonsense" with "real rock tunage", as the more tempered musical approach lacks riffs and leaves their ideas sounding poorly thought-out.  The album was voted the 12th album of the year in The Village Voice ' s annual Pazz & Jop critics poll for 1987.  Christgau, the poll's creator, ranked it fifth on his own list. 
In June 2012, three songs which were intending to be released on an EP scheduled for July 4 were leaked onto iTunes. The songs were "Sonic Youth", "One Of Those Days", and "Rise Again".
Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?
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*Appears or is playable only in the 2P mode
**Stage is also playable in 2P mode
^ Dreamcast version of Sonic Adventure 2 only