Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock > Punk > Alternative > Sonic Youth - Goo (Deluxe Edition CD Set)

Sonic Youth – Goo (Deluxe Edition CD Set)


Sound: B+     Music: B+     Extras: B+



Did Rock Music fail the world?  Did all of its promise become squandered as it became too big for its own good?  In the 1980s, the mainstream and real Rock Music began to split in two.  Forget about Punk being pushed underground or the Corporate Rock that Classic Rock survived until its collapse in the early 1990s.  There is that other part of pure Rock that has become too lost for the good of all and helped make Hip Hop possible, the dominant genre (despite being in so much trouble as this review posts) that is NOT responsible for Rock’s problems.  Sonic Youth is one of those great Rock bands fortunately still with us, but their ever amazing, enduring 1990 album Goo is still one of the remarkable achievements in Rock and has been issued in yet another special edition release.  This time, it is a double CD set from Universal Music’s Deluxe Edition series.


Until now, the prized CD version of the album (yes, vinyl gets issued of this one and their catalog all the time) has solely been the long out of print 24K Gold edition issued by the original Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs.  That Original Master Recording was one of their later releases before they went out of business, though a remarkable new version of the company is alive and kicking with various CD and SACD releases all the time, some of which we have reviewed.  Now, here is a new set of Goo with some amazing bonus tracks.  The songs are:


CD 1:


1)     Dirty Boots

2)     Tunic (Song For Karen)

3)     Mary-Christ

4)     Kool Thing

5)     Mote

6)     My Friend Goo

7)     Disappearer

8)     Mildred Pierce

9)     Cinderella’s Big Score

10)  Scooter + Jinx

11)  Titanium Expose


Out-takes, B Sides & Rehearsals

12)  Lee #2

13)  That’s All I Know (Right Now)

14)  The Bedroom

15)  Dr. Benway’s House

16)  Tuff Boyz



CD 2:


8 Track Demos

1)     Tunic

2)     Number One (Disappearer)

3)     Titanium Expose

4)     Dirty Boots

5)     Corky (Cinderella’s Big Score)

6)     My Friend Goo

7)     Bookstore (Mote)

8)     Animals (Mary-Christ)

9)     DV2 (Kool Thing)

10)  Blowjob (Mildred Pierce)

11)  Lee #2


More Goo

12)  I Know There’s An Answer

13)  Can Song

14)  Isaac

15)  Goo Interview Flexi



For those who do not know, the band consists of Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Jim O’Rourke, Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley.  I always thought this was one of the great albums of the 1990s and it could be said that grunge, particularly Nirvana and Pearl Jam, owe some kind of nod to the combination of commercial and critical success this album had before grunge broke.  If you want to hear how great Sonic Youth really is, compare the great final studio recordings of their hits to the demo versions.  Amazing and you can see from the original titles how bold they were being right off the bat.  They have all this talent and have never sold out.


Now to address the main songs, what follows are the songs and more recently, Universal issued a DVD of the band’s Music Videos called Corporate Ghosts: The Videos 1990 – 2002 that contained 23 clips from their career to date.  Amazingly, the first 11 were from Goo.  As a fun bonus for fans and the interested alike, the director and content for each Video is included after a brief reflection on each song:



1)     Dirty Boots - The guitar opening is one of the most familiar and recognized in all of Rock as part of a great record that builds up at just the right pace and speed.  (Tamra Davis) – Live clip with gags in audience is not bad.


2)     Tunic (Song For Karen) – A Karen Carpenter tribute that is the peak of a cycle of recognition that her work and their “Soft Rock” music had a darker streak that it was getting credit for.  (Tony Oursler) – Videotaped with wacky opening of the five members holding giant letters spelling SONIC.  An anti-Video tribute to The Electric Company.


3)     Mary-Christ – Subversive rocker that speaks for itself, but has to be heard to be appreciated.  (Steve Shelley) – Another anti-video shot on bad black and white tape, then mixed with other images.


4)     Kool Thing featuring Chuck D – Media-minded song takes ironic distance from consumer culture and has fun with it.  (Tamra Davis) – The same with the Video as Kim dawns those Marilyn Monroe-via-Warhol spandex in the best Debbie Harry tradition, then sings to her cat.  Very amusing.  Shot with Canon Scoopix 16mm camera.


5)     Mote – Long piece about distance and isolation with Moore’s solid lead vocal also known rightly as Bookstore.  (Ray Agony) – Another anti-video with fuzzy monochrome images and inserted clips.


6)     My Friend Goo – Crazy title song about crazy title friend (a fellow musician) is fun and Kim’s vocals just get more and more outrageously heated.  (Dave Markey, Joe Cole, Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore) – Funny taped clip where Kim lip-syncs to a vinyl copy of the song.  It’s surprising more acts have not come up with this one.  Funny dancing too.  Mike Watt & Joe Cole also star.


7)     Disappearer – Yet another great cut and another Moore song about distance, physically and existentially.  I think this may even continue Mote’s theme and is evidence that this is a concept album on some level, if not in a full-blown sense.  (Todd Haynes) – Also included in a much blurrier “director’s cut” in the supplement section of that DVD release, one of the best clips in the set covers diner drive-in trips and being on the road.  Demands repeat viewing.


8)     Mildred Pierce – Hilarious record that simply rips open the implied wildness of Joan Crawford in her Academy Award winning role as a kindly mother who may have to get down and dirty.  Crawford was usually the femme fatale in Film Noir and highly competitive beyond that, so it is also about her, her persona, reputation, iconography and womanhood in general.  Think about this after you hear it.  (Dave Markey) – Sophia Coppola is hilarious doing a mocking in-the-camera Joan Crawford in this nicely shot monochrome clip for a really fun song.  Sally STP also stars.


9)     Cinderella’s Big Score – A song about the morning after, maybe before that time period arrives.  (Dave Markey) – Not bad clip that eventually adds concert footage.  Good camerawork too.  Chris Cohen & Bill Bartell also star.


10)  Scooter & Jinx [from the film Money Love] – Short but effective instrumental piece.  (Richard Kern) – A very short clip that is not exactly a Music Video, but enough of one to include.  Linda Serbu & Karen Disney also star.


11)   Titanium Exposé – Concluding track with both lead vocalists turns out to be a nod to Nancy Sinatra’s 1960s hits (maybe even You Only Live Twice) in the band’s unique style.  Some of this might be more obvious in the demo version.  (Phil Morrison) – Before you can say “fishheads”, the Video turns into a TV opening, and then the song goes fourth.



Of course, the audio is PCM 2.0 16Bit/44.1 kHz Stereo throughout and all of it sounds great.  No SACD or DVD-Audio has been issued of the album, but it sounds as good as it possibly could in this format and will give anyone a new appreciation for the practical classic it is.  There is also an excellent booklet with two great essays, technical details about the set and terrific stills.  Goo is one of the strongest in the Deluxe Edition series, which says something because of its extremely high standards and the great sets that Universal has issued to date.  Add the DVD-Video of Corporate Ghosts: The Videos 1990 – 2002 and you could not have a better pair of titles on Sonic Youth for your collection.  Hope Universal issues more of their albums this way.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com