Saturday, March 8, 2014

Hüsker Dü - Makes No Sense At All

Hüsker Dü was one of the most interesting and influential bands of the 1980's.  No less a source than Allmusic believe that they and R.E.M. changed the direction of rock and roll.  At a bare minimum, Hüsker Dü has to be considered one of the acts that laid the groundwork for the alternative music scene.

The group formed in Minneapolis in 1979 and were originally a quartet called Buddy and the Returnables (seriously).  Eventually Grant Hart (drums/vocals), Bob Mould (guitar/vocals), and Greg Norton (bass) booted keyboardist Charlie Pine out of the band and transitioned to a hardcore punk act.

While the band's first few indy records were strong, over time Hüsker Dü began recording material that sounded like melodic punk songs -- punk pop, if you will.  This was groundbreaking and innovative stuff.  Unfortunately, although the band built a strong cult following, they never became a mainstream success.

"Makes No Sense At All" is a great example of the punk pop sound, and comes off the superb 1985 Flip Your Wig LP.  This was the last record on the SST label, as the group had just signed to major label Warner Bros. (who apparently wanted to release Flip Your Wig, but the band declined).  The video includes "Makes No Sense At All" and "Love Is All Around" (the theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show) which was the B side.  The result is somewhat odd, but still impressive.

Hüsker Dü would go on to release two additional records on Warner Bros. before breaking up in 1987, due to the creative tension between Bob Mould and Grant Hart (the two songwriters for the band).  Mould and Hart remained in the industry, while bassist Greg Norton has sporadically played in the intervening years (he has spent most of his time in the restaurant business).



Cool trivia fact:  Neither "Makes No Sense At All" nor Flip Your Wig charted in the U.S.

Note that Bob Mould's "See A Little Light" was previously featured on ERV.

4 comments:

  1. Big Hüsker Dü Fan
    Guitar Band = Sam Fan
    This song is fun.
    I never cared that they went Major Label.
    Still Rocked. This Song was the Best with my Friends:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMe15tWC6gc
    All The Best,
    -Sam

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    Replies
    1. Sam, I had not heard, "Could You Be the One?" but I like it a lot and have added it to the bullpen. Totally agree that they still rocked even after they went major label. Great band, hugely influential. Appreciate the comments, as always.

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  2. Great site. This and Won't Change were always coming out of my Walkman.

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  3. Thanks, appreciate it. "Won't Change" is also great -- and pretty rare.

    ReplyDelete