Sonic Youth, initially comprised of guitarist / vocalists Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, guitarist / bassist / vocalist Kim Gordon and drummer Richard Edson, were formed in New York City in 1981. A product of the No-Wave music scene of the late 1970s, the group had their roots in abrasive, experimental music, with Moore and Ranaldo having previously worked with the experimental composer [a=Glenn Branca]. The band were joined in 1985 by drummer Steve Shelley, and recorded 15 albums together, as well as many side and solo projects. Their work has been consistently challenging and innovative, and they are widely regarded as one of the most intriguing and influential bands of their time. This view has been added to by the strength of their record "Sonic Nurse", which also featured the talents of Jim O'Rourke. O'Rourke left the band in 2005. In 2006, Mark Ibold joined the group.
In September 2011, Sonic Youth went on "indefinite hiatus" following the separation of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore (the couple had been married since 1984).