Confusion Is Sex

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Confusion Is Sex
Confusion is Sex cover.gif
Studio album by Sonic Youth
Released February 1983
Recorded 1982–1983
Genre
Length 35:40
Label Neutral
Producer
Sonic Youth chronology
Sonic Youth
(1982)
Confusion Is Sex
(1983)
Kill Yr Idols
(1983)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2/5 stars[1]
Blender1/5 stars[2]
Chicago Tribune2/4 stars[3]
Christgau's Record GuideC+[4]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[6]
Spin4/5 stars[7]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[8]

Confusion Is Sex is the debut studio album by American noise rock band Sonic Youth. It was released on 12" vinyl in February 1983 by record label Neutral. It has been cited as an important example of the no wave genre.[9] AllMusic called it "lo-fi to the point of tonal drabness, as the instruments seem to ring out in only one tone, that of screechy noise".

Background and recording[edit]

Confusion Is Sex was recorded by Wharton Tiers in his Chelsea studio (which he had set up in the basement of a building where he worked as a superintendent). It was mostly recorded during Jim Sclavunos' brief tenure as drummer for the band, and he appears on drums for most of the album. Frustrated by the unconventional recording situation in Tiers' studio and generally not clicking with the band musically, Sclavunos was ejected and Bob Bert was invited back.[10] Bert appeared on "Making the Nature Scene" and the live Stooges cover "I Wanna Be Your Dog". Confusion Is Sex is the only Sonic Youth album on which guitarist Lee Ranaldo plays bass, specifically on the song "Protect Me You".

The lyrics to "The World Looks Red" were written by Michael Gira of the band Swans, who would later reuse the same lyrics on the song "The World Looks Red/The World Looks Black" on that band's 2016 album The Glowing Man.[11]

Ranaldo recorded the track "Lee Is Free" solo at home on two tape recorders.[12]

Content[edit]

The cover image is a sketch by bassist Kim Gordon of guitarist Thurston Moore.[13] This image was used on gig posters early in the band's career.[13]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Sonic Youth (Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Jim Sclavunos and Bob Bert), except "The World Looks Red", by Michael Gira; all music composed by Sonic Youth, except "I Wanna Be Your Dog", by the Stooges.

Side A
No.TitleLyricsVocalsLength
1."(She's in A) Bad Mood"MooreMoore5:36
2."Protect Me You"GordonGordon5:28
3."Freezer Burn/I Wanna Be Your Dog" (The Stooges cover) Gordon3:39
4."Shaking Hell"GordonGordon4:06
Side B
No.TitleLyricsVocalsLength
5."Inhuman"MooreMoore4:06
6."The World Looks Red"GiraMoore2:43
7."Confusion Is Next"MooreMoore3:28
8."Making the Nature Scene"GordonGordon3:01
9."Lee Is Free"  3:37

Personnel[edit]

Sonic Youth

Production

References[edit]

  1. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. "Confusion Is Sex – Sonic Youth". AllMusic. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  2. ^ Wolk, Douglas (October 2006). "Back Catalogue: Sonic Youth". Blender (52): 154–55. 
  3. ^ Kot, Greg (September 27, 1992). "The Evolution Of Sonic Youth". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "Sonic Youth: Confusion Is Sex". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-679-73015-X. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8. 
  6. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Sonic Youth". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 758–59. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  7. ^ Azerrad, Michael (September 2007). "Discography: Thurston Moore". Spin. 23 (9): 74. Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  8. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  9. ^ Terich (2015-07-05), Jeff. "Beginner's Guide: No Wave". treblezine.com. Treble Zine. Retrieved 2017-05-07. 
  10. ^ Psychic Confusion: The Sonic Youth Story by Stevie Chick
  11. ^ http://first-avenue.com/performer/swans
  12. ^ http://www.albumism.com/features/tribute-celebrating-35-years-of-sonic-youth-debut-album-confusion-is-sex
  13. ^ a b Browne, David (2009). Goodbye 20th Century: A Biography of Sonic Youth. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-81603-2. 

External links[edit]