SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century

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SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century
Studio album by Sonic Youth
Released November 16, 1999
Recorded March–August 1999, NYC
Genre Modern classical, experimental
Length 105:42
Label SYR
Producer Sonic Youth, William Winant, Jim O'Rourke
Sonic Youth chronology
Silver Session for Jason Knuth
(1998)
SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century
(1999)
NYC Ghosts & Flowers
(2000)

SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century is the eleventh studio album by American alternative rock band Sonic Youth. It is a double album of versions of pieces by avant-garde composers, performed by Sonic Youth and collaborators.

Background[edit]

SYR4 features works by avant-garde classical composers such as John Cage, Yoko Ono, Steve Reich and Christian Wolff played by Sonic Youth and several collaborators from the modern avant-garde music scene, such as Christian Marclay, William Winant, Wharton Tiers, Takehisa Kosugi and others.

Unlike other entries in the SYR series, SYR4's liner notes are written in English.

Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon's daughter Coco Haley Gordon Moore provides the vocals for "Voice Piece for Soprano" on disc one.

Track listing[edit]

Disc one
No. Title Writer(s) Performers Length
1. "Edges"   Christian Wolff O'Rourke, Ranaldo, Shelley, Kosugi, Moore, Winant 16:03
2. "Six (3rd Take)"   John Cage   3:03
3. "Six for New Time (For Sonic Youth)"   Pauline Oliveros O'Rourke, Gordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Moore, Winant 8:06
4. "+–"   Takehisa Kosugi O'Rourke, Gordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Kosugi, Moore, Winant 7:01
5. "Voice Piece for Soprano"   Yoko Ono Coco Hayley Gordon Moore 0:17
6. "Pendulum Music"   Steve Reich Gordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Moore 5:55
Disc two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Having Never Written a Note for Percussion"   James Tenney O'Rourke, Gordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Kosugi, Moore, Winant 9:09
2. "Six (4th Take)"   Cage O'Rourke, Ranaldo, Shelley, Kosugi, Moore, Winant 2:10
3. "Burdocks"   Wolff Christian Marclay, Wolff, O'Rourke, Gordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Kosugi, Moore, Winant 13:12
4. "Four6"   Cage O'Rourke, Ranaldo, Shelley, Kosugi, Moore, Winant 30:01
5. "Piano Piece No. 13 (Carpenter's Piece) (For Nam June Paik)"   George Maciunas Gordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Moore 3:58
6. "Pièce enfantine"   Nicolas Slonimsky Ranaldo, Winant 1:28
7. "Treatise (Page 183)"   Cornelius Cardew O'Rourke, Gordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Kosugi, Moore, Winant 3:25

Release[edit]

SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century was released on CD and vinyl. The vinyl version has a slightly different order of tracks, due to the side length constrains of the LP format. The first disc of the CD edition contains a QuickTime video of a performance of "Piano Piece No. 13 (Carpenter's Piece)", which shows Sonic Youth nailing piano keys down one by one.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 1.5/5 stars[1]
Alternative Press 4/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau (neither)[3]
Entertainment Weekly C+[4]
NME 7/10[5]
Pitchfork 8.5/10[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[7]
Spin favorable[2]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5[8]

SYR: Goodbye 20th Century received mixed reviews from critics, but most praised the group's efforts at popularizing and reinterpreting the composers' works.

Personnel[edit]

Sonic Youth
Additional personnel
Technical
  • Wharton Tiers – recording
  • Luc Suer – recording
  • Steve Fallone – mastering
  • Chris Habib – sleeve graphics

References[edit]

  1. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. "SYR 4: Goodbye 20th Century – Sonic Youth : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Sonic Youth - SYR 4: Goodbye 20th Century CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: Sonic Youth". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ Farber, Jim (January 14, 2000). "Goodbye 20th Century". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on April 1, 2007. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Album Reviews - SYR4 - Goodbye 20th Century". NME. December 1, 1999. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ Sirota, Brent S. (January 31, 2000). "Sonic Youth: Goodbye 20th Century | Album Reviews | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Sonic Youth: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  8. ^ Butler, Nick (January 17, 2007). "Review: SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 

External links[edit]