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Sonic Youth Reissuing 1986 Live Bootleg ‘Walls Have Ears’

Collection features first known version of 'Expressway to Yr. Skull'
Sonic Youth
Sonic Youth in 1985 (Credit: A.J. Barratt)

In 1985, Sonic Youth toured the U.K. for the second time, live recordings from which appeared the following year on the two-LP bootleg Walls Have Ears. On Feb. 9, the collection will be released for the first time with the band’s approval on its Goofin’ Records imprint. It features songs from one of Sonic Youth’s final shows with drummer Bob Bert at London’s Hammersmith Palais, where it opened for a pre-Bad Seeds Nick Cave.

In conjunction with the announcement, the band shared a pre-EVOL version of “Expressway to Yr. Skull,” which is the earliest known recording of the song. Sonic Youth also released a trailer for Walls Have Ears with footage of its members goofing around and performing on stage.

In October, Sonic Youth guitarist/vocalist Thurston Moore released his memoir, A Sonic Life. In our conversation, he explained the genesis of the book, the romanticization of Sonic Youth’s heyday and what the band might have sounded like if it traded its guitars for chainsaws.

Earlier this year, Sonic Youth released Live in Brooklyn 2011, their last U.S. show before splitting up.