Genre: Alternative; Punk
History: Thurston Moore and his future wife, Kim Gordon, formed the band in 1981. The group went under the name The Arcadians before renaming themselves Sonic Youth, which is derived from Fred "Sonic" Smith of MC5 and and Big Youth, a reggae artist.
Musical Style: The band is known for its radical use of tuning. Sonic Youth has a lot influences from the hardcore scene, although this isn't all that evident. My best description of their style is that they play harder than what we call "Indie" but are softer than the hardcore bands of the early' 80s.
Top Songs: "Bull in the Heather" - A classic that features Kim Gordon's great vocals and is rated 48 out of 50 in NME's Greatest Indie Anthems. "Incinerate" - A new song that is more "mainstream" than Sonic Youth's earlier recordings. "Schizophrenia" - Another catchy tune that is very much upbeat.
Best Album: "Dirty" (1992)
Why You Should Listen To Sonic Youth: You don't have to be fan of any particular genre to like Sonic Youth. With a little pop here, a little punk there, a little "indie" throw in, you should find at least one song that is suitable for you. The thing is that arguably all songs have an "alternative" edge in as so they breach what is considered mainstream in today's genres.
Grade: A+/A (Amazing)