Sound — 7
This is, oddly enough, a Sonic Youth hits album. It works much better than one might expect, but there are some curious selections here that preclude a higher rating. The Daydream Nation era has "Eric's Trip" in place of "Silver Rocket" and "Kissability". That's inexcusable. Then, the Sister era excludes "Schizophrenia" and "Catholic Block". However, apart from that, most of the other realy important '80s tracks are here. There's even a song from the Ciccone Youth album.
Lyrics — 10
Sonic Youth's lyrics have never been anything but flawless, and this disc is no exception. Thurston's finest lyric is here ("Teen Age Riot"), while Kim's Hitchcock references on "Shadow of a Doubt" is another standout. "Cotton Crown," a duet from Sister, is the sweetest thng the band have ever put to tape, touching without getting all MOR about it.
Overall Impression — 8
My track listing gripes are perhaps mere grievances, but had a few changes been made, Screaming Fields would have been a much better portrait of Sonic Youth's 1980's discography. Hardcore SY fans will already own all this material, so they can make a proper mix themselves, while newcomers to SY are advised to buy Sister and Daydream Nation instead.