"Kool Thing" was the first major label single from American noise rock band Sonic Youth's 1990 album Goo. It was released in June 1990 on Geffen Records. The song was inspired by an interview bassist/singer Kim Gordon conducted with LL Cool J for Spin in which the two artists clashed.[1] Although he is never mentioned by name, the song's lyrics contain several references to LL Cool J. Gordon's lyrics make reference to several of the rapper's works, including the single "I Can't Live Without My Radio" and the album Walking With a Panther. She also repeats the line "I don't think so", which appears in LL Cool J's "Going Back to Cali". Chuck D also contributes some vocals in the song.


 [hide*1 Music video

Music video[edit]Edit

The music video for "Kool Thing" was the band's first for a major label. The video was directed by Tamra Davis. The video deals with Kim Gordon's fascination with 1960s radicalism (particularlyPatty Hearst and the Black Panthers), and features the band wearing glam style clothing. The video was stylized after LL Cool J's "Going Back to Cali" video, down to the black and white camera, and Go-Go style dancers. One of the Go-Go dancers is Amma Walcott. Gordon initially wanted to wear a beret and carry an Uzi, as a self-described "poseur-leftist girl lusting after Black Panthers concept." However, the higher ups at Geffen vetoed the plan.

The video was released June 4, 1990.

In pop culture[edit]Edit

Track listings[edit]Edit

UK 7" (GEF 81)
  1. "Kool Thing" – 4:06
  2. "That's All I Know (Right Now)" (Richard HellTom Verlaine) – 2:20
UK 12" (GEF 81T)
  1. "Kool Thing" – 4:06
  2. "That's All I Know (Right Now)" (Hell, Verlaine) – 2:20
  3. "Kool Thing" (8 Track Demo Version) – 4:15
  1. "Kool Thing" – 4:06
  2. "That's All I Know (Right Now)" (Hell, Verlaine) – 2:20
  3. "Dirty Boots" (Rock & Rock Heaven Version) – 5:28
  4. "Kool Thing" (8 Track Demo Version) – 4:15
US 12" promo (PRO-A-4123)
  1. "Kool Thing" – 4:06
  2. "Kool Thing" (8 Track Demo Version) – 4:15

Chart positions[edit]Edit

Chart (1990) Peak


Irish Singles Chart[3] 24
UK Singles Chart[4] 81
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[5] 7
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