With a discography that stretches across 15 diverse, eclectic albums (and the Madonna-evangelising Whitey Album as Ciccone Youth), there aren't many things more intimidating than knowing where to start with Sonic Youth's sprawling back catalogue.

From 1983's implosive, atonal Confusion Is Sex right through to the four-piece's 2009 swansong, the rollicking The Eternal, such has been the all-encompassing influence on pop culture of the New Yorkers that they might have touched yr. life in more ways than you realise.

When LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy pined of how "I was there" on his brilliant ode to ageing hipsterdom 'Losing My Edge', he could just as easily have been talking about the holy quadrilogy of Moore, Gordon, Ranaldo and Shelley. After all, these guys were there: pushing forward the American underground in the mid '80s and joining up the dot-to-dot of college towns with bubbling indie scenes; giving Nirvana the leg up required to affect the '90s alt. rock zeitgeist in the way they did; finding new ways in which to generate intriguing conversations between the avant-garde and the mainstream.

In fact, if we were to proffer a theory as to what's equally as imposing as approaching the wealth of Sonic Youth material out there to delve through, it's trying to summarise it in 15 succinct tracks. As such, we've taken one key moment from each of the Youth's studio albums to offer some shade of the bountiful hues contained within: 15 screaming hits of sonic love delivered straight to yr. skull from the asphalted streets of NYC.


  • 1983 - Confusion Is Sex - 'Shaking Hell'
  • 1985 - Bad Moon Rising - 'Death Valley '69'
  • 1986 - Evol - 'Expressway to Yr. Skull'
  • 1987 - Sister - 'Beauty Lies in the Eye'
  • 1988 - Daydream Nation - 'Teen Age Riot'
  • 1990 - Goo - 'Titanium Exposé
  • 1992 - Dirty - 'Wish Fulfilment'
  • 1994 - Experimental Jet Set Trash and No Star - 'Self-Obsessed and Sexxee'
  • 1995 - Washing Machine - 'The Diamond Sea'
  • 1998 - A Thousand Leaves - 'Hoarfrost'
  • 2000 - NYC Ghosts & Flowers - 'Nevermind (What Was It Anyway)'
  • 2002 - Murray Street - 'Disconnection Notice'
  • 2004 - Sonic Nurse - 'Pattern Recognition'
  • 2006 - Rather Ripped - 'Incinerate'
  • 2009 - The Eternal - 'Antenna'