The Whitey Album

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The Whitey Album
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 18, 1989
ProducerSonic Youth
Sonic Youth chronology
Daydream Nation
The Whitey Album
Singles from The Whitey Album
  1. "Into the Groove(y)"
    Released: 1986

The Whitey Album is an album by Ciccone Youth, a pseudonymous side project of Sonic Youth members Steve Shelley, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore, featuring contributions from Minutemen/Firehose member Mike Watt and J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr.

Background and composition[edit]

Although it is suggested through only a few songs, the album is somewhat a tongue-in-cheek tribute to Madonna and 1980s pop in general. Contrary to many Sonic Youth albums, drum machines and samplers are the foundation of the recording, but Sonic Youth's trademark dissonance and experimental methods still permeate throughout.[2] The album featured a new version of an early Sonic Youth song, "Making the Nature Scene".

Track 2, "(Silence)", is a titular one minute gap of silence intended as a tribute to John Cage.

Mike Watt's only contribution is a version of Madonna's "Burnin' Up," on which he sang and played all instruments.[3]


According to the liner notes of the deluxe edition of Daydream Nation: "The album cover [of Ciccone Youth], a b&w xerox enlargement of Madonna's face, was a brilliant and contemporary design. Sonic Youth had utilized found images in album covers before, but this was testing the limit. We sent copies of the vinyl album to Warners to be passed on to Madonna via her sister who worked in the art department there. Word came back that she had no problem with it acknowledging she remembered the band from her NYC Danceteria days".[4]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Mojo3/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[7]
Uncut4/5 stars[8]
The Village VoiceC[9]

The album received generally mixed reviews from critics. Trouser Press wrote "the joke doesn't translate, and the disc comes across as a self-indulgent mess".[10]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Ciccone Youth, except where noted.

  1. "Needle-Gun" – 2:27
  2. (Silence) – 1:03
  3. "G-Force" – 3:39
  4. "Platoon II" – 4:18
  5. "MacBeth" – 5:27
  6. "Me & Jill/Hendrix Cosby" – 5:30
  7. "Burnin' Up (Mike Watt Original Demo)" (Madonna) – 3:52
  8. "Hi! Everybody" – 0:57
  9. "Children of Satan/Third Fig" – 3:06
  10. "Two Cool Rock Chicks Listening to Neu" (feat. J Mascis, guitar)  – 2:56
  11. "Addicted to Love" (Robert Palmer) – 3:45
  12. "Moby-Dik" – 1:01
  13. "March of the Ciccone Robots" – 1:57
  14. "Making the Nature Scene" – 3:14
  15. "Tuff Titty Rap" – 0:39
  16. "Into the Groove(y)" (Madonna, Bray) – 4:36

CD reissue bonus track

  1. "MacBeth (Alternate Mix)" – 5:17


  1. ^ a b Torreano, Bradley. "The Whitey Album – Ciccone Youth". AllMusic. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  2. ^ Torreano, Bradley. The Whitey Album at AllMusic
  3. ^ Torreano, Bradley. The Whitey Album at AllMusic
  4. ^ Daydream Nation (Deluxe Edition) - liner notes.
  5. ^ "Ciccone Youth: The Whitey Album". Mojo: 121. 2006. The Youth were augmented on this entertaining and inventive mish-mash by J. Mascis on guitar and bass player Mike Watt.
  6. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (April 5, 2006). "Sonic Youth: Sonic Youth / The Whitey Album / Thurston Moore: Psychic Hearts". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  7. ^ Fricke, David (April 6, 1989). "Ciccone Youth: The Whitey Album". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 19, 2008. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
  8. ^ "Ciccone Youth: The Whitey Album". Uncut: 122. 2006. Whitey Album is an excuse for some mesmeric forays into abstract dub/rock turbulence...
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 28, 1989). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  10. ^ Kot, Greg; Leland, John; Sheridan, David; Robbins, Ira; Pattyn, Jay. " :: Sonic Youth". Retrieved August 26, 2016.

External links[edit]