SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century

SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century is an 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.

SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 16, 1999
RecordedMarch–August 1999, NYC
GenreModern classical, harsh noise, experimental
ProducerSonic Youth, William Winant, Jim O'Rourke
Sonic Youth chronology
Silver Session for Jason Knuth
SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century
NYC Ghosts & Flowers

Background edit

SYR4 featured 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 and Takehisa Kosugi.

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

Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon's daughter Coco Hayley Moore, about 5 years old at the time of recording, provided the vocals for "Voice Piece for Soprano" on disc 1.

Track listing edit

Disc one
1."Edges"Christian WolffWolff, Jim O'Rourke, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley, Takehisa Kosugi, Thurston Moore, William Winant16:03
2."Six (3rd Take)"John CageO'Rourke, Ranaldo, Shelley, Kosugi, Moore, Winant3:03
3."Six for New Time (For Sonic Youth)"Pauline OliverosO'Rourke, Gordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Moore, Winant8:06
4."+–"Takehisa KosugiO'Rourke, Gordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Kosugi, Moore, Winant7:01
5."Voice Piece for Soprano"Yoko OnoCoco Hayley Moore0:17
6."Pendulum Music"Steve ReichGordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Moore5:55
Disc two
No.TitleWriter(s) Length
1."Having Never Written a Note for Percussion"James TenneyO'Rourke, Gordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Kosugi, Moore, Winant9:09
2."Six (4th Take)"CageO'Rourke, Ranaldo, Shelley, Kosugi, Moore, Winant2:10
3."Burdocks"WolffChristian Marclay, Wolff, O'Rourke, Gordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Kosugi, Moore, Winant13:12
4."Four6"CageO'Rourke, Gordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Kosugi, Moore, Winant, Wharton Tiers30:01
5."Piano Piece No. 13 (Carpenter's Piece) (For Nam June Paik)"George MaciunasGordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Moore3:58
6."Pièce enfantine"Nicolas SlonimskyRanaldo, Winant1:28
7."Treatise (Page 183)"Cornelius CardewO'Rourke, Gordon, Ranaldo, Shelley, Kosugi, Moore, Winant3:25

Release edit

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

Critical reception edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic     [1]
Alternative Press     [2]
Robert Christgau [3]
Entertainment WeeklyC+[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [7]

SYR: Goodbye 20th Century received mixed reviews from critics, but most praised the group's efforts at popularizing and reinterpreting the composers' works. The album placed second in The Wire's annual critics' poll for record of the year.[9]

Personnel edit

Sonic Youth
Additional personnel
  • 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. Archived from the original on March 22, 2013. 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". Archived from the original on July 29, 2013. 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. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  6. ^ Sirota, Brent S. (January 31, 2000). "Sonic Youth: Goodbye 20th Century | Album Reviews | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on May 30, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  7. ^ "Sonic Youth: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 26, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  8. ^ Butler, Nick (January 17, 2007). "Review: SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century". Sputnikmusic. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  9. ^ "99 Rewind: 50 Records of the Year". The Wire. No. 190/191. London. January 2000. p. 67. Archived from the original on 2018-07-11. Retrieved 2018-07-23 – via Exact Editions.(subscription required)

External links edit