[Songs and Stories] -- By the middle of 80s, the members of Hüsker Dü looked more like clerks and accountants than hardcore punk heroes. Of course, very few accountants could match drummer Grant Hart's heroin habit, but that's a story for another time. This story is about what the band released on January 19,1987: Warehouse: Songs and Stories. It was the band's sixth and final studio album. Seems the band dissolved while touring in support of this record, which was originally released as a double LP in vinyl. When re-released on CD, however, all the tunes fit on a single disc. Hüsker Dü was never a band to tear up the charts, but they were one of my favorite college years discoveries. And this album holds a special place in my heart. What have I chosen to feature from its massive list of 20 tracks? Read and hear more after the break!
Flashback #1: "Looking outside my window | And all I see is grey | I'm watching the clouds roll by every day."
I still remember the first time I heard this week's first Flashback. It was the beginning of my sophomore year at Penn State. There was a dance at the North Halls' tennis courts and, as an Orientation Leader, my attendance was kind of voluntarily mandatory. I helped to inform the new freshman about the event and even lead a gaggle of them over for its start. After a few songs, everyone was still just standing around the perimeter, afraid to dance in front of their new peers. Gretchen, one of the DJs, turned to me and said, "Watch this." She quickly cued up a song and led a small group (including me) to the middle of the tennis court, er, dance floor. As the first few chords of "Standing in the Rain" pelted us, we were overcome and just started bouncing around uncontrollably. I knew I would be buying this album on my next trip downtown. (Don't worry, the long quiet intro is a feature, really.)
Flashback #2: "Is it only happiness you want? | Does wanting a feeling matter any more?."
"Could You Be The One?" was the first of three singles from Warehouse: Songs and Stories (1987). And I think it was the best of the three. When I listen to Warehouse, particularly this song, I don't hear a band that is on the verge of breaking up. I hear a band that is coming into quite possibly their most melodic period. Hmmm. I guess maybe I should have seen the end coming after all.
Flashback #3: "If you don't stop to smell the roses now | They might end up on you."
"These Important Years" was the first track on side A of the double record set, or simply the first track of the CD release. It wasn't one of the singles, but it's one of the songs that resonates most with me. What are the important years they're singing about? High school? College? How about right freaking now, at whatever point in life you find yourself? Yeah, these years are important.
Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!