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Destroyed Room: B-Sides And Rarities Best of

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Dec 12 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Best of
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000K7UH3I
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,872 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Fire Engine Dream
2. Fauxhemians
3. Razor Blade
4. Blink
5. Campfire
6. Loop Cat
7. Kim's Chords
8. Beautiful Plateau
9. Three-Part Sectional Love Seat
10. Queen Anne Chair
11. The Diamond Sea

Product Description

Product Description

A band-chosen collection of near-hidden Sonic Youth gems, this album brings together tracks from throughout the band's career focusing on tracks previously available only on vinyl, limited-release compilations, or as b-sides to international singles. Remastered here for the first time, it's a chance for fans to complete their Sonic Youth collection with pristine versions of tracks they'd been going nuts trying to find on their own. They asked for it... and now they're getting it.

After years of making fans track down out-of-print singles, obscure compilations, and odd Japanese import pressings, Sonic Youth have decided to take a little mercy on their hardcore fans. The Destroyed Room is a rarities album that truly lives up to the label, not just settling on a few radio edits and soundtrack cuts, but gathering songs from the band's recent back catalog that are genuinely hard to find: "Campfire" from the Grand Royal At Home with the Groovebox collection; "Razor Blade," a B-side to the "Bull in the Heather" single; and several cuts from the Noho Furniture Sessions, including the intriguingly titled "Three Part Sectional Love Seat" and "Queen Anne Chair." Fans and casual enthusiasts will no doubt be bewildered by the extra experimental outings of an already daunting band--but for completists, this is the last word. --Aidin Vaziri

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa4553e04) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa49648ac) out of 5 stars A Sonic treasure trove for fans Jan. 19 2007
By Scott Bresinger - Published on
Format: Audio CD
("The Destroyed Room" by Sonic Youth)

While it pains me to give anything less than 5 stars to a recording by what is after all the Greatest American Rock Band of the Last 25 Years--nay, the Greatest Rock Band Period of the Last 25 Years--I'll respectfully knock off one star for this collection of B-sides, demos and other sonic effluvia. This collection, you see, is mainly geared to fans of the band and other related music obsessives--newbies need not apply. If you're just looking to dip a toe into the band's very deep waters, it's better to start with SY's best-of-the-early-years collection, "Screaming Fields of Sonic Love." Those wanting to try a proper album should head straight for "Sister" (which most fans agree is actually their best album) or the epochal "Daydream Nation." The material on "The Destroyed Room" dates back no further than 1994, around the time of the underappreciated "Washing Machine" album, with the majority much more recent than that. In fact, only three of the songs here even have vocals, and one of those ("Razor Blade") is just a brief out-take. If you're already a fan, however, nothing except lack of funds should stop you from diving in, as there are plenty of Kool Things to be found, especially if you share the band's love of free improv. The lengthy instrumental workout that opens the album, "Fire Engine Dream" lets the band stretch out and just explore; needless to say, it's filled with oddly tuned textures and feedback, but also something of a groove courtesy of drummer Steve Shelley, who never receives enough credit. Naturally, SY's guitarists, Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo (the real Glimmer Twins, if you ask me) are usually front and center, trading melodic ideas, drones and all-out Sonic abandon with glee. The Kim Gordon penned "Blink" is a surprisingly subtle song that would've fit right into one of the bands proper albums, and "Campfire" is an interesting excursion into abstract electronica. Unlike many latter-day noise merchants such as Wolf Eyes and Sightings, the Youth take a more laid-back, even friendly approach to horrible noise. The days of Sonic Death have been replaced by Sonic Life (an early title for the album now known as "Rather Ripped"), which is, of all things, sunny and positive. This isn't to say that it's "easy listening" (much of the stuff here will cause most "normal" folks to run for the exits). It's just that SY aim to transport listeners rather than smother them. While that approach draws sneering comparisons to so-called "jam bands," they're far more daring than the likes of Phish. If "The Destroyed Room" were released as an "all-new" album, it would definitely be considered the ballsiest release by a major rock band in years.

The biggest treat here, at least for yours truly, is the complete, uncut version of "Washing Machine's" epic coda, "The Diamond Sea." Mind you, the original version clocked in at a huge 19+ minutes--now we get to hear it at a mind-blowing 25:48! That it never feels bloated or wasteful is testament to the band's powere. Of course it's self indulgent, as is much of this album in general, but from them, too much is never enough.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4964900) out of 5 stars Blissed-out Sonic Goodness Dec 16 2006
By David N. Dirickson - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I thank Sonic Youth for all the great music they've bestowed on us in 2006 alone...'Rather Ripped', their strongest LP since 'Washing Machine'. The "Helen Lundeberg/Eyeliner" 7-inch. The reissue of their first EP. And now, into-the-groovey double-LP-length ride on the expressway to yr skull.

The subtitle tells you exactly what's here...b-sides and rarities. The emphasis, however, is on instrumental rarities that are ultra-tuff to come by. For me, mood pieces like "Campfire" and "Loop Cat" are definite highlights here. SY took the adventurous route with 'Destroyed Room'...they could've opted for some "safer" choices like "My Arena", "Superstar" or the cover of Nirvana's "Moist Vagina" from the "Sunday" 7-inch. But no. This record will challenge you straight outta the box with the 10-plus minute "Fire Engine Dream", which manages to sound exactly like what the title suggests. Oh, and the track-by-track notes are entertaining, too.

But let me say this. When I found out that 'Destroyed Room' was going to contain the full 26-minute version of "The Diamond Sea" complete with alternate ending, I just about "done a double backflip", to quote Roger Miller. I listened to this track today while fighting my way through Tulsa Christmas shopping traffic, and it prevented me from losing my patience and killing fellow motorists. God, what a song.

You may be saying, "Well, if it's so damn good, why only 4 stars and not 5?" I like to keep the 5-star rating meaningful, so I don't give it to every record that blows my skirt up. 5 Stars means 'Blonde on Blonde'. 'Velvet Underground & Nico'. 'Fun House'. You get the idea. Surely you will understand.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4964d38) out of 5 stars Forget Rarities, SY Releases 'Oddysseys' Dec 16 2006
By Justin Legg - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The anticipation of new Sonic Youth discs are always welcomed events amongst fans in the know and 2006 has been an absolute deluge of the old, the new, and in this case, the odd. SY's latest offering is 76 minutes of ear-opening rare compilation tracks and album outtakes spanning from 1994-2004 (no earlier, no later).

It's reasonable to state that SY's website description to "Destroyed Room" was a bit misleading. Often times a b-sides/rarities comp is an uncohesive stew of songs 'not good enough' or 'too different' from a particular group's current art mindset. While The Youth has already tagged 2nd disc outtakes unto "Goo" and "Dirty", this release looked to be a culmination of the throwaways from SY's most recent seven albums.

Thankfully in a twist of rote expectations, "Detroyed Room" is different from hodge-podged outtake anthologies and plays very similar to the stylings of the inward-looking SYR series. Only three of the eleven songs on "Destroyed Room" contain lyrics (2 by Kim, 1 by Thurston) and the other eight are somewhat challenging instrumental compositions that stemmed from album session jams or focused peices specifically meant for concept compilation albums. The mind-bending instrumentals, most notably from the "Sonic Nurse" era, are angluar and rare-tuned oddysseys that demonstrate how this band glides into recording a new record.

In addition to quality music, the "Destroyed Room" booklet is not closet material for you portable cd-casers and/or I-Poders. With a track-by-track analysis, the mystery behind the sounds is explained well enough to leave the listener to do just that, LISTEN, and not question the band's intentions. Having read the band commentary, it'S obvious what The Youth has opted out to offer on this release; straight up experimental jamming.

FYI - Depending on what kind of SY fan you are this could be a warning or a letdown; this disc DOES NOT contain any noise freakouts. But on the otherhand, this disc does not offer great insight to polished outtake songs that are complete with verse/chorus/verse structures. Overall, this disc is good middle-of-the-road material. Spend the money and vote for peace (see the booklet for that reference).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Middle America - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The 25-minute version of The Diamond Sea is reason enough to own this record filled with mostly instrumental tracks. Only complaint is not enough Lee Renaldo-penned stuff.
By Surferofromantica - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Well, this is one cool album of 11 b-sides and rarities, most of which are instrumental. It's 77 minutes long, 1/3 of that being taken up by a 25 minute-long version of "The Diamond Sea" (which is incredible - you can never have too much Diamond Sea). The opening track "Fire Engine Dream [#]", a Sonic Nurse sessions out-take, has a cool driving beat, and no matter what dissonance enters the picture, it really just gloms and gloms!! "Fauxhemians" comes from All Tomorrow's Parties 1.1, and it's a funky jazzy breakdown. Nice bass solo! "Razor Blade" is a cool short song by Kim, an outtake from the Experimental Jet Set, Trash & No Star sessions. "Blink" is a cool thing that Kim sang for the Pola X soundtrack, with weird mellow accompaniment. It sounds like something that they recorded on one of their major CD releases, not sure which song… "Campfire" has a lot of cool sounds, some of which sound like bottle rockets going up in the air. A geeky number. "Loop Cat" is a whole bunch of weird loopy sounds - weird, weird weird… and highly experimental throughout. "Kim's Chords" is a funky instrumental that snakes out and has fun. Very nice indeed, so nice that it became a bonus track for the Japanese edition of Sonic Nurse. "Beautiful Plateau" is a bit noisier, with a lot of great wild edge, growing spastic and over-the-top!! Another Sonic Nurse bonus track. "Three-Part Sectional Love Seat [#]" sort of wanders on pretentiously. Nice track, though, a minor release thing, it goes one and on, often shuffling, and sometimes just noise-ing. Fades right out. Great! "Queen Anne Chair" is pretty funky and it gloms along nicely. All the parts come in at the "2-3-4". The interplay is fantastic, and the musicians fix together quite wonderfully. Love it!!

The final track is 25 minutes of Diamond Sea/heaven. Worth the price of admission alone, even if just to hear Thurston say the words "blood crystallize to sand". Great progressions, wonderful noise - love it dearly!!!!!

The booklet is nice, with a gorgeous picture of a destroyed room on the cover, and every page after that devoted to two songs on the album, with a close-up of some part of the album cover (not sure if they have any connection to the songs or not, or if they're just random).