Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Zen Arcade

One of my semi-recent obsessions is Hüsker Dü. I had tried to get into them something like 20 years ago and failed, but a couple of years back I had another crack, and I definitely dig them. And now and again eBay continues to throw up colour vinyl copies of their older records. Here's my latest - a pale green vinyl copy (which was hard to photograph without looking white or grey) of the 'Zen Arcade' double LP on SST:

I'm still trying to figure out the timeline with Hüsker Dü. They have a lot of records, with some of them pressed on different labels, so I'm not sure which order things came in. I had to use google to find out that this is their third studio LP. I also found this interesting information which I wouldn't have known if it weren't for wikipedia:

Zen Arcade tells the story of a young man who runs away to escape a miserable and abusive home life. The character briefly joins the military, turns to religion, and seems to find a tenuous peace through love before losing his girlfriend to drugs. He reaches a point of despair, ultimately concluding that he won't be able to change his circumstances before waking up to find that the whole odyssey had occurred in his subconscious during a night of troubled sleep; the challenges of his life—for better or for worse—remain in front of him. "Reoccurring Dreams", a disorienting 14-minute instrumental that reprises a shorter instrumental interlude ("Dreams Reoccurring"), closes the album.

There's a lot of variety of sounds on this LP across its 23 songs. I think it's gonna take me a little more time to get into it, but after only a couple of plays it feels like a good record for the summer time.


Nico said...

Amazing score. I love this record. I feel this is a bit of a turning point in the song writing of Hüsker Dü. From the more straight forward punk sound, to their more alternative rock/post-hardcore sound. Best thing is, they kept their orginal sound and never compromised, the whole shift in style feels natural and on point.

I always tought I wouldn't start collecting Hüsker Dü, but recently I ran accross a few different pressings and colored pressings I tend to cave in from time to time when the price is right.

Can't wait for a group picture.

chris said...

Like Nico said amazing score!!! One of my favorite Hüsker Dü albums!

Doug W said...

Cool post. It definitely got me wondering what I had in my collection since I remember buying Husker Du albums back in the 80's.
Im' very happy to see I have all the first pressings of their full length albums, but no color. After a look at the info on Discogs (for what it's worth) it looks like those started in 1990.
Great album.