Sonic Youth have just announced a new album, Spinhead Sessions, which is a collection of demos the band recorded in 1986 while working on the score for Ken Friedman’s Made in the USA.
The album takes the namesake of the North Hollywood studio and practice space that was very popular with SST acts like Black Flag and Painted Willie. The songs on the album are very rough and were ultimately highly polished into their final, very different product on the movie’s soundtrack.
Always the innovators, this album gives a glimpse into the band trying to form a unique soundscape for a spooky movie under the control of Hollywood producers and corporate forces that they always disliked. The end product is very interesting to listen to and proves the versatility that the band always has possessed.
After the initial demo recordings, the band was subjected to changes in the creative direction of the movie (wanting to be more teen friendly) and the wrath of a swath of producers and businessmen. The final product, which you can listen to on their 1987 album Made in the USA is ultimately much different than what we hear on the demos.
You can pre-order the album, which will be out June 17th, here. A full tracklist and the album art is posted below.
1. Ambient Guitar & Dreamy Theme
2. Theme with Noise
3. High Mesa
4. Unknown Theme
7. Theme 1 (take 4)