1. 100% 2:29
2. Swimsuit Issue 2:59
3. Theresa's Sound-World 5:28
4. Drunken Butterfly 3:04
5. Shoot 5:16
6. Wish Fulfillment 3:26
7. Sugar Kane 5:57
8. Orange Rolls, Angel's Spit 4:19
9. Youth Against Fascism 3:36
10. Nic Fit 0:59
11. On The Strip 5:42
12. Chapel Hill 4:47
13. Stalker (VINYL BONUS TRACK) 2:58
14. JC 4:03
15. Purr 4:22
16. Creme Brulee 2:32


1. 100% 2:29
2. Swimsuit Issue 2:59
3. Theresa's Sound-World 5:29
4. Drunken Butterfly 3:04
Genetic [4xLP VERSION ONLY] 3:35
5. Shoot 5:17
6. Wish Fulfillment 3:27
7. Sugar Kane 5:58
8. Orange Rolls, Angel's Spit 4:19
9. Youth Against Fascism 3:36
10. Nic Fit 0:59
11. On The Strip 5:42
12. Chapel Hill 4:48
The Destroyed Room [4xLP VERSION ONLY] 3:21
Stalker [4xLP VERSION ONLY] 3:00
13. JC 4:03
Hendrix Necro [4xLP VERSION ONLY] 2:49
14. Purr 4:21
15. Creme Brulee 2:36
16. Stalker [2xCD VERSION ONLY] 3:00
17. Genetic [2xCD VERSION ONLY] 3:35
18. Hendrix Necro [2xCD VERSION ONLY] 2:49
19. The Destroyed Room [2xCD VERSION ONLY] 3:21

1. Is It My Body [Sugar Kane] 2:52
2. Personality Crisis [Sugar Kane] 3:40
3. The End of the End of the Ugly [8-track demo, Sugar Kane] 4:18
4. Tamra [8-track demo, Whores Moaning] 8:34
5. Little Jammy Thing [Sonic Life] 2:20
6. Lite Damage [8-track demo, unreleased] 5:21
7. Dreamfinger [8-track demo, unreleased] 7:41
8. Barracuda [8-track demo, unreleased] 4:22
9. New White Kross [8-track demo, unreleased] 1:29
10. Guido [8-track demo, unreleased] 3:49
11. Stalker [8-track demo, unreleased] 3:36
12. Moonface [8-track demo, unreleased] 4:44
13. Poet in the Pit [8-track demo, unreleased] 2:40
14. Theoretical Chaos [8-track demo, unreleased] 3:08
15. Youth Against Fascism [8-track demo, unreleased] 5:03
16. Wish Fulfillment [demo, unreleased] 3:51


"Dirty" was Sonic Youth's ninth album, and the second recorded for DGC/Geffen. They went into the studio with a perhaps unprecedented abundance of material, and ended up issuing a double-vinyl release w/ an exclusive bonus track, "Stalker". A "limited" amount of the CD versions featured a "dirty picture" in the tray liner. Four singles were released, each with a video ("100%" "Youth Against Fascism" "Sugar Kane" & the fanmade "Drunken Butterfly"), all of which are now available in glorious form on the "Corporate Ghost" DVD!. "Dirty" also marks the first significant appearance of three-guitar/no-bass Sonic Youth, present on "Swimsuit Issue" "Wish Fulfillment" & "On The Strip". Kim also plays guitar on "Creme Brulee".

A two-disc deluxe edition w/ the remastered album, remixed 8-track demos and b-sides was released in 2003.


Sonic Youth first performed "Dirty" material on the same August 1991 tour that would result in "1991: The Year Punk Broke", playing "Orange Rolls, Angel's Spit" and "Chapel Hill" nightly. In late October they did one last show of the year (except for the infamous acoustic "Bridge Benefit" appearance), debuting "Purr" and "Sugar Kane". In November they began demoing songs on 8-track at their rehearsal space in Hoboken, many of which appear on the Dirty Deluxe reissue (the LP version of "Nic Fit" was also cut at these sessions). They recorded the album proper beginning in February 1992 at Magic City in NYC, with Butch Vig (then best known for producing Nirvana's Nevermind the year before) behind the board. The production process was slightly different this time around -- gone were the infinite overdubs and somewhat messy results on "Goo", now overdubs were restricted for flavouring and the mix was handled by fellow Nevermind alumni Andy Wallace (though neither Vig nor Wallace were necessarily chosen by SY because of their association with that album). The mix on "Dirty" stands as a clear, solid representation of the band's sound, even if glossed over slightly -- Steve confesses that Wallace mixed in various drum samples to beef up the beats somewhat, though in no way does it sound disingenuous. Instead, the band's heaviest material yet explodes from your speakers with all of its live intensity, and some of their most melodic, rockin', dare I say "poppy" numbers come across with a definitive clarity without sounding tailored for radio play. Though the band has since refrained from delving into the same heavy-handed production methods used on "Dirty", it is with this material that those methods shine most, anyways -- attempting to deliver the songs on "Experimental Jet Set" or "Washing Machine" in this style would have been foolish.

The band recorded a total of 18 songs during the sessions, and decided to use an unprecedented 15 songs for the final album ("Daydream Nation" held the record previously, with 14 songs if you divide the trilogy), one of which was not recorded w/ Vig: for the first time since "Hotwire My Heart", a cover appears on a Sonic Youth album, this time "Nic Fit" by The Untouchables (and band including Alex MacKaye, whose brother Ian guests on guitar on "Youth Against Fascism"), which was recorded during the Hoboken demo sessions in late '91. Faced with the serious likelihood of exceeding the capacity of a single 12", they decided to expand to double-vinyl, and even threw an extra track ("Stalker") into the running order, not present on the CD or cassette releases. Two songs from the sessions appeared as b-sides on the first single ("100%"), Lee's sensational "Genetic", and Kim's explosive rocker "Hendrix Necro". The remaining studio outtake was previously seen on the "Dirty Boots" EP, an instrumental entitled "The Bedroom", recorded live in November 1990 -- it now had vocals by Kim and was retitled "The Destroyed Room". The song appeared on the next 2 single releases from "Dirty", "Youth Against Fascism" & "Sugar Kane".

Prior to the album's release in July 1992, Sonic Youth did a brief northeast tour, finishing with a free show in Central Park on July 4th. The bulk of "Dirty" was premiered at these shows. Also in July was a Mark Goodier session where SY recorded new versions of 3 songs from Dirty, along with a furious rendition of "Burning Spear" (Steve owns this one). In addition to a fairly straightforward version of "Youth Against Fascism", they recorded "Creme Brulee" (the only "live" performance, a great contrast to the LP version) and "Purr", with Thurston playing acoustic guitar -- this one ended up on the "Youth Against Fascism" & "Sugar Kane" singles as well. On September 4th, Sonic Youth made their first network television appearance since "Night Music" in '89, this time on Late Night w/ David Letterman, performing a dynamic, cacaphonic rendition of "100%", backed by the entire Late Night band. All of the cheerful good nature of the "Night Music" appearance was present, including Thurston and Lee attacking their guitars with a drumstick and a baseball bat, respectively, and Paul Shaffer pushing his keyboard off its stand at the song's climax, while Thurston falls flat on his ass. Letterman clearly remembers the performance when introducing SY once again 2 years later.

Following the Letterman gig, they headed out on the "Pretty Fucking Dirty" tour in North America, this time bringing along bands like Pavement, Royal Trux, The Boredoms, and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. SY played the bulk of "Dirty" ("Orange Rolls" more or less vanished from the sets at this point, "On The Strip" was virtually never played, "Creme Brulee" was never played). Instead of "Wish Fulfillment", Lee's nightly vocal contribution was typically "Genetic", though sometimes switching in "Eric's Trip" or "Mote". In addition to "Dirty" material, the band offered a healthy sample of their previous releases, changing their sets frequently but sustaining "Shoot" as the tour opening song, and "JC" as the first song of the encore. Towards the end of the tour in October, they added a cover of the Youth Brigade classic "No Part II" to the encore, typically joined by members of the Boredoms -- this would later be reflected on the critically acclaimed "TV Shit" EP. After this tour, they did a European tour in November and December, which included another TV appearance, this time doing 3 songs on "Later With Jools Holland": "Drunken Butterfly" "Sugar Kane" & "JC".

In January & February 1993, the band once again returned to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, even throwing Hawaii into the mix this time. A limited edition tour EP entitled "Whores Moaning" was released, featuring "Sugar Kane", two previously released covers, and two instrumentals. Following this in March, they returned to the US to play the west coast, which had been mostly ignored on the September tour. This more or less finished the "Dirty" tour, and at the band's next shows in June, they were already performing material destined for "Experimental Jet Set", with a definite shift in their songwriting -- which the band credits to the influence of their opening acts on the previous year's tour. Still, the fourth and final single from Dirty, "Drunken Butterfly", was released in August '93, and it included the Whores Moaning track "Tamra" and the Dirty vinyl bonus "Stalker".


Kim's long-time friend Mike Kelley designed the artwork for "Dirty", which depicts a series of somewhat innocent, somewhat creepy stuffed animals. The cover features one of these creatures, and the insert folds out to 6 pages, each featuring a different animal (and a portrait of a young Mike Kelley). The malicious grinning bear appears only on the vinyl and CD longbox (and the cassette, I think), as does the one-eyed monkey. The other side of the insert has the album credits on one panel, and the remaining five are blank (one wonders if these were intended for the lyrics, which are again not included). The back features individual band member portraits by Richard Kern. The vinyl art has things switched around a bit -- the back cover includes the animal pics & the track listing, the sleeves have the (full-sized) band pics and the credits. Both 12"s are on orange vinyl. The vinyl was released in Australia on Waterfront, packaged in a cotton bag with a large "Dirty" poster (this set was limited to 1000). There were a few different CD versions -- the initial longbox release; the Japanese CD w/ "Stalker" as the final track (and likely unofficial lyrics); and the not-so-limited edition "dirty picture" version with a tray liner photograph depicting performance artists Bob Flanagan and Sherry Rose, naked, defiling various stuffed animals. By the way, random stuffed animals similar to those featured on the cover were sold at "Pretty Fucking Dirty" tour shows, each bearing a "Hug Me I'm Dirty" button.


Produced and Recorded by Butch Vig with Sonic Youth
at MAGIC SHOP, NYC early '92.
Mixed by Andy Wallace at SOUND ON SOUND, NYC
except "Creme Brulee" Mixed by Butch Vig and "Nic Fit"
Mixed by Sonic Youth.
Engineered by Butch Vig with Edward Douglas
Assistant Mix Engineers: Peter Beckerman, John Siket
Additional Overdubs at SEAR SOUND, NYC
Assistant Engineer: Fred Kevorkian
Xtra Guitar on "Youth Against Fascism" by Ian MacKaye
(courtesy of Dischord Records)
Technical Assistance: Matt Wells, John Aldridge,
Kevin Parker (Mesa Boogie), Zildjian, Ernie Ball
Mastered by Howie Weinberg at MASTERDISK, NYC
All Songs by Sonic Youth except "Nic Fit" by
A. MacKaye/E. Mashety/R. Moore/B. Quieroz. All Songs
Published by Sonik Tooth BMI except "Nic Fit" Pub. Designee.
A&R: Gary Gersh
Management: John Silva/Gold Mountain Entertainment
Art: Mike Kelley
Band Photos: R. Kern
Make-up: Mary Rozzi
Styling by Von Furth
Art Direction: Kevin Reagan


The deluxe reissue of "Dirty" is an impressive collection, and set a standard for future expanded releases. In addition to the original 15-track album, the first disc contains the 4 previously released tracks from the "Dirty" sessions:

  • Stalker - originally released as an exclusive bonus track on the double-vinyl 'Dirty' LP in '92. Also "Drunken Butterfly" single.

  • Genetic - Lee's mighty "100%" b-side and staple of the 'Pretty Fucking Dirty' tour gigs. Curiously, the first 15 seconds of the song, Thurston's guitar intro, are removed from this release!

  • Hendrix Necro - originally released on the "100%" single.

  • The Destroyed Room - originally released on the "Youth Against Fascism" and "Sugar Kane" singles (early versions of this tune also appear on the "Goo" deluxe reissue).

    The 4x12" edition finds these four tracks mixed into the running order of the original album, rather than tacked on at the end.

    The second disc opens with five previously released tracks that were not from the album sessions:

  • Is It My Body - Alice Cooper cover recorded in April 1991, originally released on a Sub Pop double 7" but also included on "Sugar Kane" and "Whores Moaning" EPs.

  • Personality Crisis - New York Dolls cover recorded in July 1990, released on a Sassy flexi then rehashed for the "Whores Moaning" EP several years later.

  • The End of the End of the Ugly - an early, instrumental 8-track demo of "Shoot" recorded in December 1991 at SY's rehearsal space in Hoboken. This was originally released on the "Sugar Kane" single, and "Whores Moaning" EP.

  • Tamra - a long, instrumental exploration that did not materialize into a "Dirty" song -- this was originally released on "Whores Moaning" and "Drunken Butterfly".

  • Little Jammy Thing - a quirky instrumental demo of "Wish Fulfillment" that was originally released on w/ the "Sonic Life" book in 1992. Recorded August '91.

    The remainder of Disc 2 is dedicated to exclusive, never-before-heard 8-track demos recorded during late 1991 at SY's Hoboken rehearsal space. Early, instrumental versions of six "Dirty" songs appear: "Barracuda" (Drunken Butterfly), "Guido" (Wish Fulfillment), "Stalker", "Moonface" (JC), "Theoretical Chaos" (Swimsuit Issue), "Youth Against Fascism", and a final lone Lee take of "Wish Fulfillment" w/ bird sounds courtesy of Michael Morley. These are fascinating to listen to, and in many cases are radically different from their final arrangements. In addition to these tunes, there are four unique adventures that did not become "Dirty" songs: the solid sonic jams "Dreamfinger" and "Lite Damage", a short explosive F#GA rocker "New White Kross", and "Poet in the Pit", which appears to be a very early version of "Cindy (Rotten Tanx)", a song that would appear on Thurston's "Psychic Hearts" LP!

    The deluxe package appeared in both CD and vinyl format, the latter appearing in a beautiful box containing 4 LPs and an extensive booklet. A posed photo of the band (complete w/ Thurston's "PACMAN" toque) serves as the cover, with a band photograph previously seen as the cover of the "Confusion is Next" biography appearing on the inside cover. Byron Coley's 2002 liners begin on the first page, offering some history on the album and the industry at that time. The next two pages are very cool color test prints of the "dirty" animals, marked up with notes indicating color quality and necessary changes, timestamped 08-MAY-92. The next page is dedicated to the back of the "Sugar Kane" single, in full size. Byron's liners continue opposite. The next page features a reverse color proof of the album's orange cover star, with Thurston's notes on the art on the opposite page. The "Drunken Butterfly" and "Youth Against Fascism" (promo!) back covers appear on the next two pages. The Bob Flanagan "dirty" picture from the limited tray liner appears on the next page, with Lee's detailed notes on the bonus tracks opposite. The cover of "Whores Moaning" is on the next page, with all of the album's credits getting the final page. The back cover of the booklet is the 1st proof of the back cover of the album, dated May 13th, 1992. The four LPs are each contained in a picture sleeve, containing a band photo on one side and the front covers of each of the four singles on the other side. All of this content is incorporated into the CD booklet as well (also contained in the CD booklet is the back cover of "100%", which vinyl collectors are apparently left to do without!). The CD package itself comes in a 'deluxe reissue' sleeve featuring the tracklisting on the back. Note: CD booklet = "New White Kross", LP booklet = "New White Cross"


    Produced by Sonic Youth.
    Mastered in 2002 by Emily Lazar at the Lodge, NYC.
    Assisted by Sarah Register.

    Management: GAS Entertainment / John Silva
    Art Direction/Design: Kevin Reagan
    Photos: Mike Kelley, Enrique Badulescu, Gerhard Yurkovic, Mike Hashimoto, Stefano Giovannini, Harold Paris

    Whores Moaning art: Kurdt Cobain
    Drunken Butterfly art: Sav X

    Thank you: Michael Meisel, Michele Fleischil, Mark Kates, John Rosenfelder
    Product Manager: Mike Ragogna
    Production Coordinator: Margaret Goldfarb


    Sonic Youth:
    Kim Gordon
    Thurston Moore
    Lee Ranaldo
    Steve Shelley


    From FILTER magazine 2006 SY discography self-commentary:

    "thrash meditations on a child's concern. the emotional complex of the 'secret friend'. loss and faith and the muse of the positive. Explored in rhyme. features "100%", "Youth Against Fascism","Sugar Kane" and- TM"



    thrash meditations on a child's concern. the emotional complex of the 'secret fiend.' loss and faith and the muse of the positive. explored in rhyme. features "100%," "Youth Against Fascism," "Sugar Kane" and the sweeping "Theresa's Sound-World. cover art by Mike Kelley."

    Supposed working title was "My Life To Live".

    This was the first album where Lee and Thurston's guitars were completely isolated in their own speakers -- SY had heard a soundboard tape of a show from the previous tour mixed this way and really dug the separation, so they decided to try the technique on record. Lee's guitar is panned hard left, Thurston's is panned hard right.

    Variations: DGCD-24485 comes with a standard black CD tray; DGCD-24493 ("limited" edition 50000) comes with a transparent gold CD tray with the "dirty" tray liner picture. In the UK this version has a clear tray. The double album comes on orange vinyl. The Japanese CD has lyrics, Stalker as the last (unlisted) track and a white tray with the dirty picture hidden beneath.

    An Australian limited edition of 1000 (500 in Melbourne, 500 in Sydney) contained "Dirty" on orange double vinyl & a poster in a color printed cotton bag. Some Australian CDs packaged w/ "Burning Spear" 7".

    Steve's write-up on "Dirty" from Sonic Death #2:

    • we spent the first part of this year working on a new sonic youth record and it's ready to go....we recorded at the magic shop in nyc - an excellent studio where the ramones, lou reed and other black-clad musicos have worked , so we thought what they hay...we recorded w/ butch vig,famous for producing mecht mensch, the tar babies, die kreuzen and early zep.he was assisted by the most excellente edward douglas. we recorded about 19 or 20 tunes at this place in record time (for us anyway) and then set off tosound on sound for mixing with andy wallace(of slayer and bhole surfer fame) and butch. oh yeh we stopped along the way at walter sears for a beer and an overdub or two.( i did some excellent operatic vocal overdubs but they didn't make it to the final mixes).
      it was hard picking the tunes for the lp version so we stretched the vinyl into double vinyl and threw on an extra tune on vinyl only. demand it at your local k-mart. we covered alex mackayes early '80's band the untouchables-'NIC-FIT' (recorded that one at our own home studio) had one very special guest-ian mackaye playing guitar on 'youth against fascism',thanks ian.....i guess we ended up w/ 15 or so tunes on the cd and cassette. some of the titles are: 100%(first single and video that we're working on right now w/ tamra davis) swimsuit issue,theresa's sound world,drunken butterfly, sugar kane, orange rolls,angel's spit,jc,purr and creme brulee..........
      mike kelly provided the cover artwork and richard kern took some pictures of us for the back cover. then we named it......dirty.
      look for lyrics to the extravinyl track in this issue.stalker.
      it looks like we'll let the first single loose in late june and the lp/cd/cs will follow in late july.
      thanks again to butch, andy ,ed, mike,r.kern ian and all who helped us put this one together..
    In 2016, the album was reissued on remastered vinyl and HD audio download.

    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.


  • 100% -- first single from "Dirty".
  • YOUTH AGAINST FASCISM -- second single from "Dirty".
  • SUGAR KANE -- third single from "Dirty".
  • WHORES MOANING -- '93 Australian/New Zealand tour EP.
  • BURNING SPEAR -- features 3 live songs from '93 Australian tour, this 7" was sold packaged w/ the "Dirty" CD.
  • DRUNKEN BUTTERFLY -- fourth single from "Dirty".
  • TV SHIT -- includes several takes of "No Part II" from various '92/'93 dates.



    NOTES: 2x12" on orange vinyl.
    NOTES: 2x12" on orange vinyl(?), "Made in Germany".
    NOTES: 2x12"
    NOTES: orange 2x12" special OZ tour edition, ltd 1000 w/ bag/poster
    NOTES: 4x12" deluxe reissue in special box.
    NOTES: 2x12" 180 gram "back to black" reissue
    NOTES: 2x12" reissue/remaster

    NOTES: standard CD release.
    NOTES: "dirty" picture in tray liner, ltd. 50,000!
    DGCDM 24485
    NOTES: originally contained 'dirty' picture.
    NOTES: Japanese CD w/ "Stalker" as last track. also includes lyrics + 'dirty' picture.
    GED 24485
    NOTES: european CD release, some feature DGC cat # in addition to GED. made in germany
    DGCD 24493
    NOTES: australian release w/ 'burning spear' 7"
    GFLD 19296
    NOTES: reissue
    NOTES: reissue
    GED 24485 DGCD 24485 424 485-2
    NOTES: post-Universal reissue
    069 493 410-2
    NOTES: 2xCD deluxe reissue w/ bonus tracks + liner notes

    NOTES: cassette release, no "stalker".


  • Scans of cassette version would be appreciated, also better scans of vinyl.
  • I'd be curious to see the lyric sheet included w/ the Japanese CD...
  • Please write me w/ anything that's missing!

  • CD insert panels 1 + 2 (cover)

    CD insert panels 3 + 4

    CD insert panels 5 + 6

    CD insert panels 7 + 8

    CD back


    dirty picture in tray liner

    longbox cover

    longbox back

    longbox top

    longbox bottom

    vinyl back (signed)

    orange vinyl w/ sleeves

    CD cover w/ feature sticker

    japanese CD w stalker

    OZ CD w/ burning spear 7"

    promo cassette

    OZ waterfront dirty LP ltd. 1000 w/ poster/bag

    cassette covers (poland)

    cassette liner (poland)

    UK CD disc

    UK CD back cover

    UK CD booklet page 1

    UK CD booklet page 2

    UK CD booklet page 3


    euro CD back (2 cat #s)

    euro CD disc (2 cat #s)

    pirate cassette (poland?)

    thai cassette

    US promo cassette

    2003 DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    2003 DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    DGC deluxe reissue 2xCD

    2003 deluxe edition 4x12" vinyl box front/back

    2003 deluxe edition 4x12" vinyl sleeves

    2003 deluxe edition 4x12" vinyl sleeves (other side)

    german cassette side 1

    german cassette side 2

    deluxe reissue japanese advance CD