Sonic Youth - Hits Are For Squares
Now that the future of seminal noise rockers Sonic Youth is up in the air, this wonderful mix tape of their "greatest hits" is a real treat and a not so gentle reminder of what an incredible contribution they have made towards modern music. How ironic then, that Hits Are For Squares, a compilation spanning the band's first 30 years, handpicked by a slew of the hippest artists and musicians, was first released in 2008 through Starbucks. An indication perhaps of how these outsiders have now permeated our day to day lives perhaps? After a limited European release in 2010 the album has finally been made available on a much wider scale.
The influence they have had on music is astounding and it is quite telling that a corporate white-washed coffee-chain was originally responsible for its initial release. Artists hand-picked by the band selected the songs so while the tracks may not cover the band's entire discography, the choices for the most part are good ones. So alongside the obvious inclusions - 'Bull In Heather' (as chosen by actress Catherine Keener) from 1994's Experimental Jet Set, Trash And No Star, 'Teen Age Riot' from 1988's Daydream Nation (chosen by Eddie Vedder) and 'Kool Thing' (Radiohead's selection) from 1990's Goo - you also have a cover of The Carpenters' 'Superstar' and the excellent 'Stones' from 2004's Sonic Nurse as well as a previously unreleased track, the glorious 'Slow Revolution'. A fabulous idea for compiling a 'best of' that brings it out of the norm and throws in a few surprises. But what else would you expect from one of the greatest and most significant bands of the last 30 years?