The first Sonic Youth album to appear after their mentees Nirvana made alternative rock a potentially profitable endeavor, 1992's Dirty found SY dialing back a bit on the relative polish of Daydream Nation and Goo and using grunge as their license to dig deeper into their love of expressive noise. But along with the gritty "Drunken Butterfly" and "Purr," they found room for the curious beauty of "Theresa's Sound World" and the political broadside of "Youth Against Fascism."
Released in 1984, following the apparent dissolution of Pink Floyd, this is an accessible, well-honed rock album. Backed by a crack band featuring drummer Jeff Porcaro, bassist Pino Paladino, and keyboardist Anne Dudley, the songs show a refined pop sensibility--especially in the hit "Blue Light," while Until We Sleep" is rippling with synthesizers and cavernous drums. In addition, Pete Townshend wrote the lovely "Love on the Air," and the propulsive "All Lovers Are Deranged."