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 No Wave
Length 35:40
Label Neutral
Producer Sonic Youth, Wharton Tiers, John Erskine
Sonic Youth chronology
Sonic Youth
(1982)Sonic Youth1982
Confusion Is Sex
Kill Yr Idols
(1983)Kill Yr Idols1983

Confusion Is Sex is Sonic Youth's first full length album, originally released in 1983. It was reissued in 1995 on DGC with extra tracks from the Kill Yr Idols EP. The album features a live cover of the The Stooges' I Wanna Be Your Dog. The cover image is a sketch by bassist Kim Gordon of guitarist Thurston Moore. This image was used on gig posters early in the band's career.

Confusion is Sex is the only Sonic Youth album on which guitarist Lee Ranaldo plays bass, specifically on the song "Protect Me You".

The album was the band's second attempt to record the songs, after the original session tapes were accidentally erased when Thurston Moore (or Lee Ranaldo) transported them inside their guitar amplifier en route to a European performance, not knowing that the speaker magnets would erase the tapes. The second sessions were speedily done in a basement studio, possibly accounting for the "lo fi" production. It is not known if the original sessions tape was completely erased, or partially damaged, or whether the tape or a copy of it was preserved by the band. These sessions were possibly of higher audio fidelity (similar to the Kill Yr Idols EP and the band's self titled first album) as they were conducted in a dedicated studio (source: Confusion Is Next a biography of Sonic Youth).

Track listing

All tracks were written by Sonic Youth, except where noted.

Original 1983 release

  1. "(She's in a) Bad Mood" (lyrics/vocals Moore) – 5:36
  2. "Protect Me You" (lyrics/vocals Gordon) – 5:28
  3. "Freezer Burn/I Wanna Be Your Dog" (The Stooges) (vocals Gordon) – 3:39
  4. "Shaking Hell" (lyrics/vocals Gordon) – 4:06
  5. "Inhuman" (lyrics/vocals Moore) – 4:06
  6. "The World Looks Red" (lyrics Michael Gira, vocals Moore) – 2:43
  7. "Confusion Is Next" (lyrics/vocals Moore) – 3:28
  8. "Making the Nature Scene" (lyrics/vocals Gordon) – 3:01
  9. "Lee Is Free" – 3:37

1995 reissue

The reissue adds on the Kill Yr. Idols EP.

  1. "(She's in a) Bad Mood" – 5:36
  2. "Protect Me You" – 5:28
  3. "Freezer Burn/I Wanna Be Your Dog" (The Stooges) – 3:39
  4. "Shaking Hell" – 4:06
  5. "Inhuman" – 4:06
  6. "The World Looks Red" – 2:43
  7. "Confusion Is Next" – 3:28
  8. "Making the Nature Scene" – 3:01
  9. "Lee Is Free (Instrumental)" – 3:37
  10. "Kill Yr. Idols" (lyrics/vocals Moore) – 2:51
  11. "Brother James" (lyrics/vocals Gordon) – 3:17
  12. "Early American" (lyrics/vocals Gordon) – 6:07
  13. "Shaking Hell (Live)" – 3:15


  • "Confusion Is Sex". Sonic Youth Discography. Retrieved July 7. Unknown parameter |accessyear= ignored (|access-date= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)