10 Noise Classics From 1985: Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü & More

1985 MAY BE remembered for Boris Becker winning Wimbledon for the first time or Back To The Future making a Delorean travel through time, but on the fringes of American rock’n’roll it was definitively “the year noise broke”. Patti Smith on the cover of MOJO, on sale from August 25, 2015.

Imperceptible to mainstream media at the time, but aided by a network of fanzines, indie labels and the UK touring scene, US alternative and hardcore bands collectively discovered Black Sabbath, art rock and the influence of the ’60s Underground, edging their music towards something new and dynamic which proved to be the foundation of a sound that would come to dominate rock in the 1990s and beyond.

In our current issue (October ’15/ #263) we mark this groundswell of creativity by celebrating the musicians and the essential records that were at the crest of this wave.

“It was the most exciting time,” Thurston Moore tells MOJO. “The records coming in 1985, and the years that followed, found an audience. These were the ‘cool’ records – Black Flag and the hardcore bands, and then the interesting weirdo records by Butthole Surfers, Big Black, Meat Puppets and Sonic Youth.”

Get the latest MOJO now for our full appraisal of the scene and its record, through interviews with the prime movers, but here we present 10 essential songs that led 1985’s noise revolution. A version of this playlist is also available via Apple Music.

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PHOTO: Amanda de Cadenet