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Zen Arcade is the second studio album by American rock band Hüsker Dü , released in July 1984 on SST Records. Originally released as a double album on two vinyl LPs ...
Head here to read our feature on Hüsker Dü's history and the winding, sometimes frustrating and years-long road that Numero Group's upcoming Savage Young Dü box set took to complete.
Zen Arcade tells the story of a young man who runs away to escape a miserable and abusive home life ("Broken Home, Broken Heart", "Never Talking to You Again"). The character briefly joins the military ("Chartered Trips"), turns to religion ("Hare Krsna"), and seems to find a tenuous peace through love ("Somewhere") before losing his girlfriend to drugs (" Pink Turns to Blue ").  He reaches a point of despair, ultimately concluding that he won't be able to change his circumstances ("Newest Industry", "Whatever") 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 worse—remain in front of him ("The Tooth Fairy and the Princess", " Turn on the News "). "Reoccurring Dreams", a disorienting 14-minute instrumental that reprises a shorter instrumental interlude ("Dreams Reoccurring"), closes the album.
While we wait for details, stream the newly remastered Everything Falls Apart via Spotify below, or buy downloads of the new digital edition — which bears a 2017 Numero Group copyright — through Amazon.
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In a Facebook post eulogizing Grant Hart in September, Numero Group’s Ken Shipley, who spent seven years tracking down tapes and artifacts and contracts, remembered a visibly ailing Hart asking him in March if there was any way the box set could come out “before I go.” While Mould has long been the most visible member of Hüsker Dü, Savage Young Dü makes the case for Hart as its, well, heart. His drumming propels the most brutally fast songs here while his barefoot-scamp charm grounds the catchiest; nothing defines the band better than its alchemy of those two elements. But it was his addiction issues that hastened the band’s demise, and the rest of his career, despite brilliant moments, can’t help but feel like a cautionary tale compared to Mould’s. If only an accident of timing, this immersive, high-profile origin story, cleaved from its messier conclusion, can be read as a redemption of sorts.
In 1996, Mould returned to solo recording, releasing a self-titled album in 1996 on Rykodisc , often referred to as Hubcap because of the cover photo. Mould played all of the instruments himself, and programmed the drums instead of using a real drummer. The album peaked at number 101 on the Billboard 200 chart, and number 1 on the Heatseekers chart.