Daydream Nation was Sonic Youth’s sixth full-length, their first double-LP, and their last for an indie label before signing with Geffen.
Widely considered to be their watershed moment, the album catapulted them into the mainstream and proved that indie bands could enjoy wider commercial success without compromising their artistic vision.
The cover for Daydream Nation features the 1983 Gerhard Richter painting Kerze (“Candle”). The back cover art is a similar Richter painting from 1982. The vinyl version’s four sides and the compact disc inner tray contain four symbols each representing one of the members of the band, in an homage to—and parody of—the four symbols from the fourth Led Zeppelin album. The symbols are infinity (∞) for Ranaldo (referencing his 1987 album From Here to Infinity), female (♀) for Gordon, uppercase omega (Ω) for Moore (referencing Leo, his zodiac sign), and a drawing of a demonic–angelic baby holding drumsticks for Shelley.