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Hüsker Dü
The Complete Spin Radio Concert
Radio Silence

Hüsker Dü was honest, from the gut, heartbreaking, extremely loud, melodic, wrath, innovating and an emotional fist in your face three piece punk rock outfit. The band that are called 'Godfathers of Grunge', broke up due to broken friendships. It's just sad. Grant Hart was once asked if there would be a Hüsker Dü reunion to which he replied; 'There will be a reunion of Hüsker Dü, in federal court.' This band grew big in the underground scene mid eighties and there legacy carry a lot of myths. One of them is that you can hear that the two vocalists, Mould and Hart are competing while on stage. Trying to out-sing one another. The heavy tension in songs by Hüsker Dü might have been amplified by this, because the concerts they held were very intense and loud happenings. Everything was intense with The Hüskers. They wrote, rehearsed, recorded, released and toured in a whirlwind tempo, obviously towards catastrophic consequences.

This is by far the most frequently bootlegged Hüsker Dü performance: 28th August 1985, the last of two sameday-shows at 1st Avenue in Hüsker Dü's hometown, Minneapolis. It was recorded for the Spin Radio Concert series and distributed to radio stations for airplay on a double-12" vinyl LP that remains very collectible to this day. Bootleg recordings of the gig have been appearing more or less continuously since the program was first broadcast. These boots range from cheesy off-the-air cassette recordings to vinyl pressings and CDs made from either a soundboard recording or the master tapes (which may be the same thing). Oddly enough, only the Psyche Power Pop A Punk CD appears to have been made from tracks taken from the actual Spin Radio album. The other bootlegs can all be traced back to the soundboard/master. Because there are so few high-quality live Hüsker Dü recordings, and because this particular one has had such broad circulation, bootleggers sometimes try to disguise it's origin by changing the date or the venue.

poster In this release from label Radio Silence, apparently of Dutch origin, we get Hüsker Dü in top form. The concert starts with the typical no nonsense Hüskers 10 seconds soundcheck before a set of almost no breaks. When one song ends, it's loud feedback before the next song starts. The first 5 songs are pure classics including opener "Flip Your Wig", the frantic "Every Everything" and major hit "Makes No Sense At All" before they stop shortly after playing non-stop songs from then recent album New Day Rising, turning over to Grant Hart's masterpiece "Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely". Something happens at this point in the recording - the guitar sounds weaker and the music looses the intensity; the crowd at 1st Avenue Minneapolis must have felt running through their spine and mind. After some weaker songs they play "Powerline"; Bob Mould reaches your heart and soul with his voice on this song, shouting his gut straight at you. The guitar gets slightly better during this song, and it sounds like the sound guy have been tweaking the levels during the latter songs. Why did he start with that? They then play the sorrow in Mould's song "Hardly Getting Over It". Then beautiful punk-pop by doing Hart-song "Sorry Somehow", which contains a really good and big bassline from Greg Norton. The sound guy is again tweaking levels on the guitar, but vocals have been good all through. It's cool to hear the two very characteristic voices of Mould and Hart so in front of the music even though Mould is trying, like the myth says, to out-sing Hart at the end of the song. Then a surprising cover tune, with light at heart: "You're So Square Baby I Don't Care" by Elvis, just to suddenly destroying every nice thought you might have gotten in your head by turning the song into the immensely depressive instrumental "Wit And The Wisdom", before ending the song with the last line of Elvis' "Baby I Don't Care". It's done with darkness! This release then edits away some songs played at the end of the gig before we get Hart's love song "Green Eyes" and then the sound guy redeems himself by tweaking the guitar up again for a perfect ending by Hüskers doing the song "Divide & Conquer" - a song title that somehow describes what happend to Hüsker Dü in the end.

For almost all info on the Hüskers, visit Hüsker Dü Database site.

Copyright © 2015 Ole Bernt Krogstad e-mail address

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