Happy 30th: Hüsker Dü, WAREHOUSE: SONGS AND STORIES
30 years ago today, Hüsker Dü released their sixth studio album, a double-LP affair which served as both their sophomore effort for Warner Brothers as well as the final studio album that the band would ever record.
Given the evolution of both Bob Mould and Grant Hart as songwriters, it was perhaps always inevitable that Hüsker Dü was destined to either flame out or fade away, which – in case you don’t know the history of the band – was what happened after the trio finished their touring obligations for WAREHOUSE: SONGS AND STORIES, but at least they went out on a high note.
Granted, it also didn’t help the stability of the band that Hart was struggling with substance abuse issues at the time, but that was ultimately incidental to the creative struggle between the songwriters: as Hart told the A.V. Club in 2000, “Point blank, Mould told me when we were working on Warehouse, ‘We're not going to finish this song and this song because that would make the album equal: ten songs Bob, ten songs Grant. And that is never going to happen in this band.’”
Whatever the ultimate cause of Hüsker Dü’s dissolution may have been, it’s still sad to realize that it happened just as the band’s mainstream breakthrough was finally happening, with WAREHOUSE: SONGS AND STORIES hitting #117 on the Billboard 200 and giving the band a substantial college radio hit with the single “Could You Be The One?” But it was too late.
In the wake of their break-up, Hüsker Dü was spotlighted on MTV’s 120 Minutes. “Simple, honest, intense: they were hallmarks of the Hüsker Dü legend,” intoned VJ Carolyne Helmond, in her farewell to the band. “In Norwegian, Hüsker Dü means ‘do you remember.’ In English, the answer is, ‘We always will.’” Yes, it was a heavy-handed obituary, but she was right: they are still remembered, and very fondly at that.