100 Greatest Songs of the 80’s #31 Hüsker Dü – Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely

Released : 1986

The apparent masters of self-sabotage, Hüsker Dü’s transition to a major label after five years releasing their music through punk independent SST seemed to be a surefire way for the Minneapolitans to find a much wider audience: it proved to be far from the case.

One of the reasons was that the trio – who as a precaution insisted on full creative control, a request their new handlers at Warners agreed to – had donated their last album Flip Your Wig to SST as a parting gift. Undeterred, Bob Mould, Grant Hart and Greg Norton set out on recording Candy Apple Grey just four months later, in the process moving even further away from the melodic hardcore sound they’d originally pioneered.

Candy Apple Grey saw the traditional Mould-Hart songwriting battle re-igniting, but if their previous album had been arguably their most accessible, this was a more visceral and wearier sounding Hüsker Dü, with Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely a rare, overpowered glimpse back at their roots. Constant inter-personal tensions and the pressure of expecation would cause the group to permanently split just over eighteen months later, whilst around the same time in Washington State, a band called Nirvana were recording their first demos.

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