Listen: Sonic Youth’s latest archive pull is a full set from 1987

The semi-official bootleg, Hold That Tiger, gets an authentic, speed-corrected release.

Sonic Youth have continued pulling out rarities from their seemingly-endless live archives – this time unveiling a set recorded at the Cabaret Metro in Chicago on October 14, 1987 in an album entitled Hold That Tiger. Take a listen below.


According to drummer Steve Shelley, this digital release of Hold That Tiger is the most authentic version of the original 60-minute recording – consisting of songs from Sister, EVOL and an encore tribute to the Ramones.

The recording had previously been released as a “semi-official” bootleg by band friend and music writer Byron Coley, but had been sped up to fit onto a single vinyl LP, lowering its manufacturing costs. Shelley wrote:

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“Cramming the grooves of the vinyl in such a way resulted in Hold That Tiger playing at a lower volume on the stereo, thus the ‘one hour long – don’t have a cow! – crank it up’ sticker affixed to the front of the original LP cover.”

A subsequent CD remaster from 1991 would improve on the album’s audio quality, but still feature the performance, sped-up. This latest digital release marks the first time that the album has been presented in an accurate playback speed, as Shelley continued:

“We are pleased to make available the best-sounding version of Hold That Tiger – [Sonic Youth] performing full-on in 1987 – via Sonic Youth Archive on Bandcamp.”

Outside of Sonic Youth Archives releases, guitarists Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo have also recently dug into their personal archives to digitally release rarities. This includes a rare tribute to Japanoise legends, Hanatarash.

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