Daydream Nation

1988 studio album by Sonic Youth
For the film, see Daydream Nation (film).

Daydream Nation

Studio album by Sonic Youth Released

October 18, 1988


July–August 1988


Greene St. Recording, SoHo, Manhattan, New York


Noise rock
experimental rock
alternative rock
art punk
indie rock
punk rock




Enigma (US)
Blast First (UK)
Torso (Netherlands)
Au Go Go (Australia)
Supernatural Organization (Japan)
DGC (1993 reissue)
Goofin\' (2014 reissue)


Nick Sansano, Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth chronology

The Whitey Album

Daydream Nation


Singles from Daydream Nation

\"Silver Rocket\"
Released: September 1988
\"Teen Age Riot\"
Released: October 1988
Released: October 1989
Released: 1989

Daydream Nation is the fifth studio album by American alternative rock band Sonic Youth, released on October 18, 1988. The band recorded the album between July and August 1988 at Greene St. Recording in New York City, and it was released by Enigma Records as a double album.

After Daydream Nation was released, it received widespread acclaim from critics and earned Sonic Youth a major label deal. The album was ranked high in critics\' year-end lists of 1988\'s best records, being voted second in The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop poll. Daydream Nation has since been widely considered to be Sonic Youth\'s greatest work, as well as one of the greatest albums of all time, specifically having a profound influence on the alternative and indie rock genres. It was chosen by the Library of Congress to be preserved in the National Recording Registry in 2005.

Retrospective professional ratings Review scores Source Rating

AllMusicBlenderChicago TribuneThe GuardianPitchfork10/10Rolling StoneThe Rolling Stone Album GuideSpinSpin Alternative Record Guide10/10Uncut

Daydream Nation received overwhelming acclaim from contemporary critics. Billboard called it \"the supreme fulfillment\" of Sonic Youth\'s \"fullbore technique\". Giving the album an \"A\" grade in The Village Voice, Robert Christgau believed that while the band were embracing a \"happy-go-lucky careerism and four-on-the-floor maturity\", their relentlessly discordant music was \"a philosophical triumph\". Rolling Stone\'s Robert Palmer rated it three-and-a-half stars out of five and said it demonstrated \"the broad harmonic palette, sharply honed songwriting skills and sheer exhilarating drive\" of the \"influential quartet\", while presenting \"the definitive American guitar band of the Eighties at the height of its powers and prescience\".

The British music press also embraced Daydream Nation: Q magazine said the record made an \"enthralling noise\"; the NME called it the \"most radical and political album of the year\" and awarded it a maximum score of ten; and Record Mirror gave it a five-out-of-five rating, enthusing that Sonic Youth were \"the best band in the universe\".

At the end of 1988, Daydream Nation appeared in several lists of the year\'s best albums, being ranked at No. 2 by Rolling Stone, No. 1 by CMJ, and No. 9 by NME. It was also voted the year\'s second best record in The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop poll, which made the band realize that the album had made an impact. Christgau, the poll\'s creator and supervisor, named it the fourth best album of 1988 in his own list.

Daydream Nation has continued to earn acclaim and accolades. According to Matthew Stearns, writer of the 33⅓ book dedicated to the album, it has been \"resoundingly canonized as a breakthrough landmark in the chronicles of avant-rock expression\". Stearns wrote that Daydream Nation comprised the \"Holy Trinity\" of early indie rock double albums with Hüsker Dü\'s Zen Arcade and Minutemen\'s Double Nickels on the Dime, judging that the three works \"together mark a period of unprecedented creative expansion in terms of the possibilities of underground (or otherwise) American rock music\".

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine deemed it \"a masterpiece of post-punk art rock\" that demonstrated the degree of which \"noise and self-conscious avant art can be incorporated into rock, and the results are nothing short of stunning\". Jon Matsumoto of the Los Angeles Times called it the band\'s masterpiece and said they had developed first-rate songwriting skills to complement their penchant for dissonant instrumentation.

Greg Kot, writing in the Chicago Tribune, called it one of the most recognizable albums of the 1980s with its combination of \"hypnotic guitar jams and some of the band\'s best, straight-ahead tunes\". Reviewing the 2007 deluxe edition, Christgau credited Daydream Nation for making alternative rock \"a life force\" and remarked that, along with the \"vital\" bonus disc, the album remained an honest and thrilling listen because of its musical tunings and anthemic songs about post-irony and \"confusion-as-sex\". In Spin, Will Hermes said it was perhaps \"the greatest art-punk statement ever\", while John Mulvey from Uncut called it a still radical \"avant-rock masterpiece\".

In 2002, Pitchfork ranked Daydream Nation No. 1 on its list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s (the album dropped to No. 7 in the 2018 list). It also placed at No.13 on Spin magazine\'s list of the 100 greatest albums from 1985 to 2010, No. 30 on Slant Magazine\'s \"Best Albums of the 1980s\" and No. 45 on the Rolling Stone list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s. The Spin Alternative Record Guide (1995) named it the ninth best alternative album, and it was ranked 11th on Guitarist's 2000 list of the 101 essential guitar records. In 2003, the album was placed at No. 328 on Rolling Stone\'s list of the 500 greatest albums ever, and again in 2012, with the album being ranked number 171 in the 2020 edition.

Daydream Nation was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry in 2006. PopMatters included it in their list of the \"12 Essential 1980s Alternative Rock Albums\", saying it was \"an ambitious double album that saw Sonic Youth\'s various influences coalescing into a striking, searing whole\". The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

\"Daydream Nation,\" remarked David Bowie, \"is an extraordinary album.\"

Track listing

All tracks are written by Sonic Youth (Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley)

Side one No. Title Lyrics Length 1.

\"Teen Age Riot\"Moore6:57


\"Silver Rocket\"Moore3:47


\"The Sprawl\"Gordon7:42

Total length:


Side two No. Title Lyrics Length 4.

\"'Cross the Breeze\"Gordon7:00


\"Eric\'s Trip\"Ranaldo3:48


\"Total Trash\"Moore7:33

Total length:


Side three No. Title Lyrics Length 7.

\"Hey Joni\"Ranaldo4:23


\"Providence\"Mike Watt2:41




\"Rain King\"Ranaldo4:39

Total length:


Side four No. Title Lyrics Length 11.



a) \"The Wonder\"
b) \"Hyperstation\"
z) \"Eliminator Jr.\"Moore/Gordon

Total length:

On some editions of the album, including all digital releases, all parts of “Trilogy” are separated as their own tracks.

Deluxe Edition

A deluxe edition of Daydream Nation was released in 2007, containing live versions of every track on the album, plus studio recordings of some cover songs. A 4-LP vinyl version was released on July 17, 2007.

The four-LP vinyl release of the deluxe edition has a slightly different track listing than the CD release. The first two LPs have the same track listing as the original double-LP release. However, the home demo of \"Eric\'s Trip\" is at the end of the fourth LP, rather than falling immediately after the original album.

Deluxe Edition track listing No. Title Length 1.

\"Teen Age Riot\"6:57


\"Silver Rocket\"3:47


\"The Sprawl\"7:42


\"'Cross the Breeze\"7:00


\"Eric\'s Trip\"3:48


\"Total Trash\"7:33


\"Hey Joni\"4:23






\"Rain King\"4:39




\"Trilogy: The Wonder\"4:15


\"Trilogy: Hyperstation\"7:13


\"Trilogy: Eliminator Jr.\"2:37


\"Eric\'s Trip (Home Demo)\"2:27

Deluxe Edition bonus disc No. Title Writer(s) Length 1.

\"The Sprawl\" (Noise Now Festival, Philipshalle, Düsseldorf on March 27, 1989) 8:27


\"'Cross the Breeze\" (Noise Now Festival, Philipshalle, Düsseldorf on March 27, 1989) 5:54


\"Hey Joni\" (Paradiso, Amsterdam on March 26, 1989) 3:38


\"Silver Rocket\" (Noise Now Festival, Philipshalle, Düsseldorf on March 27, 1989) 4:19


\"Kissability\" (Recorded for the documentary Put Blood in the Music in Brooklyn, New York in August 1988) 2:19


\"Eric\'s Trip\" (Noise Now Festival, Philipshalle, Düsseldorf on March 27, 1989) 3:05


\"Candle\" (Cabaret Metro, Chicago on November 5, 1988) 5:04


\"The Wonder\" (Recorded at CBGB on December 13, 1988) 4:02


\"Hyperstation\" (Recorded at CBGB on December 13, 1988) 6:14


\"Eliminator Jr.\" (Paradiso, Amsterdam on March 26, 1989) 2:38


\"Providence\" (Paradiso, Amsterdam on March 26, 1989) 1:47


\"Teen Age Riot\" (Paradiso, Amsterdam on March 26, 1989) 4:37


\"Rain King\" (Recorded for the documentary Put Blood in the Music in Brooklyn, New York in August 1988) 4:06


\"Totally Trashed\" (Maxwell\'s, Hoboken, New Jersey on June 9, 1988) 1:57


\"Total Trash\" (Maxwell\'s, Hoboken, New Jersey on June 9, 1988) 5:18


\"Within You Without You\" (The Beatles cover, Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father compilation, 1988)Harrison4:58


\"Touch Me I\'m Sick\" (Mudhoney cover, split 7-inch with Mudhoney, Sub Pop Singles Club, December 1988)Mudhoney2:33


\"Computer Age\" (Neil Young cover, The Bridge: A Tribute to Neil Young compilation, 1989)Young5:12


\"Electricity\" (Captain Beefheart cover, Fast \'n\' Bulbous – A Tribute to Captain Beefheart compilation, 1988)Van Vliet, Herb Bermann2:46


Sonic Youth

Thurston Moore – guitar, vocals, piano, production
Kim Gordon – bass guitar, guitar, vocals, production
Lee Ranaldo – guitar, vocals, production
Steve Shelley – drums, production


Nick Sansano – production, engineering
Howie Weinberg – mastering
Dave Swanson – engineering assistance
Michael Lavine – photography
Matt Tritto – engineering assistance


Chart (1988) Peak
position British Albums Chart


Chart (2007) Peak
position Belgian Albums Chart (Vl)



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