The great Starbucks meets Sonic Youth partnership never really took off between the coffee giant and indie-rock legends; now joined with Matador Records with a new album, The Eternal, the band can reflect on their brief tenure with Starbucks Music.
The album they released with Starbucks, Hits Are For Squares, was imagined as a type of greatest hits package, which offered Sonic Youth favorites selected by artists including Radiohead, The Flaming Lips and comedian David Cross. But Starbucks has since discontinued its music distribution, and in an ironic twist, Hits Are For Squares has become a rare collector’s item.
“It’s probably our rarest record,” band member Kim Gordon tells Spinner. “It’s impossible to find anywhere.”
It’s been a year now since Hits Are For Squares was released, known by many as the ‘sell-out’ record, and the band now has a chance to reflect on a venture not greeted with much cheer by fans.
“When we put it together we thought it was going to be the biggest sell-out of our career, guitarist Lee Ronaldo told The Quietus.
“At the time we did it, Starbucks was the only company in America that had figured out how to sell records when all the labels were falling on the floor. But by the time ours came out . . . it’s the rarest record we’ve ever released. It’s impossible to find in the shops. I don’t know how many they made — literally a few hundred.”
Band member Thurston Moore actually comes to the defense of the Starbucks Music deal, according to an interview published in the July issue of Relix.
“It turned out to be a joke because we got all this press about how Sonic Youth was doing this CD for Starbucks and how could they work with that corporation,” Moore told Relix. “I felt that they were no better or worse than working with a corporation like Universal.”
Do you own a copy of Sonic Youth’s album released by Starbucks?