The obscure and seemingly insignificant can influence millions. Never achieving fame or fortune, an inconspicuous St. Paul, Minnesota trio known as Hüsker Dü shaped music genres that would become known as alternative rock, grunge, power pop and post-hardcore. In the early 1980’s, when duran duran, Eurythmics, A Flock of Seagulls, Journey, Human League, Michael Jackson, Men At Work, and Def Leppard were topping the charts, Bob Mould (lead vocals, guitar), Greg Norton (bass), and Grant Hart (lead vocals, drums) were forging proto-punk throughout the Minneapolis area as Hüsker Dü.
What makes Hüsker Dü significant is that they evolved from a hardcore punk band to incorporate strong musical and vocal melodies into their breakneck punk thrash. An excellent example of this is”Pink Turns To Blue” from 1984’s double concept album Zen Arcade about a boy’s journey soloing the harshness of life. The Zen Arcade album itself was a groundbreaking feat, often considered the first punk opera.
Hüsker Dü serve as a musical evolutionary missing link between explosive punk and what is now considered power pop and college rock. 1985’s Flip Your Wig exemplifies Hüsker Dü’s continued melodic expansion. Soon after they were courted by Warner Bros Records which subsequently released Candy Apple Gray and the double disc follow-up Warehouse, before the band’s demise in 1987.
Bob Mould went on to a fairly significant musical career forming Sugar and as a solo artist. Though not regarded by the average music listener Hüsker Dü’s legacy of influence is evident in every modern rock outfit from Green Day to Nirvana to Foo Fighters.