1. The Empty Page 4:20
2. Disconnection Notice 6:24
3. Rain On Tin 7:55
4. Karen Revisited 11:10
5. Radical Adults Lick Godhead Style 4:27
6. Plastic Sun 2:14
7. Sympathy For The Strawberry 9:07

1. The Empty Page 4:20
2. Disconnection Notice 6:24
3. Karen Revisited 11:10
4. Rain On Tin 7:55
5. Radical Adults Lick Godhead Style 4:27
6. Plastic Sun 2:14
7. Sympathy For The Strawberry 9:07

Murray Street is Sonic Youth's 14th album. It was released in early June in Japan (featuring the bonus track "Street Sauce"), June 10th in Europe, and on June 25th in North America. Some French copies of the album came with a limited edition bonus blue 10" featuring 3 exclusive tracks from SY's recent soundtrack works: "Derniere Minute Electrifee" on one side, "Le Paysage Zim Zum" and "Coca Neon Kamera Sutra" on the other. Only 500 of these were available. In North America, the disc is enhanced, and includes a screen saver, plus a link to a "secret site" on that features exclusive promo photographs, desktop backgrounds, all 3 songs from the Kali Yug EP for mp3 download, and two music videos for "The Empty Page" and "Radical Adults". The gatefold vinyl edition is available via Smells Like Records on the "Goofin'" imprint (Rain on Tin and Karen have been switched to accomodate the vinyl's capacity limits).


With Jim O'Rourke as a fully integrated member, Sonic Youth began to work on new material after the final NYC Ghosts & Flowers/Goodbye 20th Century tours. The first song to be made public was the short Kim rocker "Plastic Sun", available on a freebie sampler w/ Jane magazine in September 2001 -- unfortunately, the initial pressing of the disc had a pitch error on the Sonic Youth track, so SY made the song available to download from their website (the error was corrected on subsequent pressings of the disc). SY were scheduled to curate the second "All Tomorrow's Parties" festival in Los Angeles on the weekend of October 19th, but in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks they decided it would be best to postpone the event until March. They scheduled a World Trade Center benefit show for October 7th, and premiered 5 new songs: "Magick Chord" "Disconnection Notice" "Celtic Frost" "Dirge" & "The Empty Page". Of these songs, 3 had vocals by Thurston, and the remaining two were instrumental (Magick Chord + Dirge). Most of the songs had been previously played solo by Thurston on acoustic guitar, hence their advanced stage (not since 1993 have Sonic Youth debuted more new songs vocally than instrumentally). The new material was truly remarkable, from the sprawling, calculated, intertwining guitar work on "Magick Chord" and "Rain on Tin" to the total deconstruction/meltdown of "Dirge" to the fairly straightforward pop fury of "Disconnection Notice" and "The Empty Page", this was perhaps Sonic Youth's strongest batch of new material in years (which isn't to diminish "A Thousand Leaves" or "NYC Ghosts & Flowers", just offering my opinion...). Jim primarily played bass, except on "Celtic Frost" and the noise/drone outro of "Dirge", where he tackled the six-string. They played all 5 new songs at 3 more shows in November 2001, mixing them up with their standard tour set developed in 2000. These were their last shows until their March 17th, 2002 return at the rescheduled All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Los Angeles, CA. By then the recording/mixing of the new LP (revealed to be 7 songs long on the ECHOCAM) was complete, and indeed Sonic Youth performed all 7 songs from the forthcoming album at the March gig -- including the furious live premieres of "Plastic Sun" & "Radical Adults Lick Godhead Style", and the vocal debuts of "Sympathy For The Strawberry" and "Karen Revisited", formerly "Magick Chord" and "Dirge", respectively. "Celtic Frost" had been retitled "Rain on Tin".


The cover features a picture of Coco and her friend Stella apparently picking strawberries (imagery reflected in the song "Sympathy for the Strawberry"). No album title is given on the cover, just "SONIC YOUTH" in a scrawl reminiscent of "A Thousand Leaves". The CD booklet is 3 pages double-sided, including the cover, a reverse colour image of the cover (which was also used for the back of the 12" release), and 2 crowd pictures on one side, and the album credits along with individual photographs of each band member on the reverse side. The back cover depicts the actual "MURRAY ST" street sign, and the track list at the top. The tray liner is the view out the window (presumably at the studio?). No lyrics this time but they were made available via


All songs by Sonic Youth: Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley, Thurston Moore, Jim O'Rourke

Published by Sonik Tooth (BMI) and Field Code Music (BMI)

Recorded and Mixed by Jim O'Rourke @ Echo Canyon NYC, August 2001-March 2002

Assistant Engineer: Aaron Mullan

Produced by Sonic Youth

Mastered by John Golden

Horns on Radical Adults: Jim Sauter and Don Dietrich

Cover photo: Monique Voorhout, "Stella and Coco in Hoofdplaat, 2001"

Band/Fan photos: Stefano Giovannini

Tray card photos: Thurston

Art direction: Frank Olinsky

Thanks to: Chris Habib, Don Fleming, Tim Glasgow, Nic Close, Laurence Kern, Bob Lawton, Carlos van Hijfte, John Silva, Michele Fleischli, Michael Meisel, Richard Grabel, Peter Van der Velde, Perry Serpa, Lynn Walsh, Marcia Hyman

NORTH AMERICAN VERSION ONLY: back cover features the following notes:

Macintosh (minimum): 68040 Processor, 16 MBytes of RAM, System 7.1 or higher, monitor supporting thousands of colors, double-speed (2x) CD-ROM drive

Macintosh (preferred): Power PC Processor, 16 MBytes of RAM, System 7.5 or higher, monitor supporting thousands of colors, Quad-speed (4x) CD-ROM drive

PC: Pentium Processor, 16 MBytes of RAM, Windows95 or Windows98 (Windows NT is NOT supported), monitor supporting thousands of colors, double speed (2x) CD-ROM drive

NO GUARANTEES: The enhanced CD content is provided without guarantees or warranties of any kind. Universal Music Group shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, or consequential damages arising out of the use or inability to use this CD.


From FILTER magazine 2006 SY discography self-commentary:

"This record and Sonic nurse both stand out because of Jim's contribution to the arrangements and the sound. They're very special to me for that reason alone. Murray st was like a shelter for us after 9/11. Our studio was behind the barricade and we would have to cross over to get to it. For months there were people streaming down there to see the cavernous hole in the ground. We'd go there and work on our songs. It was nice to have something to do that we felt good about. - KG"

Revisiting a practice used previously on "Female Mechanic Now On Duty", part of the outro to "Karen Revisited" is taken from its live debut on October 7th. The album also features guest performances by Donald Dietrich and James Sauter of Borbetomagus, who contribute a screeching saxophone assault to "Radical Adults Lick Godhead Style".

Read Byron Coley's one-sheet on the album HERE.

Early German promo discs of the album have the titles for "Rain on Tin" and "Radical Adults" reversed on the track listing, though the disc itself features the songs in their proper order. Another 3 track promo exists, containing just "Empty" "Disconnection" and "Radical".

Marking perhaps the first incident of a song title's change post-release, "Karen Revisited" was officially retitled "Karenology" on the European Murray Street tour.

For more information on songs (including lyrics, who played what, when the songs were first and last performed, and other trivia), please visit the Song Database.


  • KALI YUG EXPRESS -- limited edition bonus EP 10" released w/ some French copies of "Murray Street".



    NOTES: 12" in gatefold sleeve. "rain on tin" + "karenology" switched.

    NOTES: japanese CD w/ bonus track "street sauce".
    493 319-2
    NOTES: ltd 500 "kali yug" ep came w/ some french versions
    NOTES: north american release, enhanced disc.
    LC 07266
    NOTES: promo CD w/ "empty page" "disconnection" & "radical adults"
    NOTES: promo disc w/ "rain on tin"/"radical adults" switched on track list.


  • Scans of non-North American versions (where artwork differs) would be appreciated, as well as promo versions + "Kali Yug" EP. Need release info (catalog #s etc) for all overseas versions.
  • Please write me w/ anything that's missing!

  • cover

    CD booklet covers (left panel is back cover of 12")

    CD fold-out (info side)

    CD fold-out (crowd pic)


    CD back cover

    tray liner

    3-track sampler cover

    3-track sampler back

    3-track sampler disc

    euro CD back

    advance promo CD back

    vinyl label 1

    vinyl label 2

    thai cassette