Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Walkin' Around With Your Head In The Clouds...

...it makes no sense at all...makes no difference at all...

FLIP YOUR WIG (1985) was the last album Husker Du released on the SST label. Let's look at the Wikipedia article about it:

"Flip Your Wig is a 1985 album by the Minneapolis band Hüsker Dü, their last release on SST Records. With each album, Hüsker Dü's sound grew more sophisticated, and by the time of this release, they had signed a major-label record deal. However, the band felt they owed one more album to SST and produced Flip Your Wig."

How cool is that?

"Perhaps owing to the expedient circumstances of its recording, Flip Your Wig is overall lighter in tone than most of Hüsker Dü's other albums, with obvious filler such as 'The Baby Song'."

If this is "light"...I'm very, very scared of "heavy"!!! Also, re: "The Baby Song", I never would've questioned that sentence before. However, now I have seen my 10-month-old's reaction to it about 4 or 5 times. It stops her dead in her tracks every time. She smiles; she listens. It truly is a song for babies! Because, once the next song kicks in, she goes right back to crawling or playing with whatever toy she was before it started. Amazing.

"In this respect it might seem less essential than New Day Rising or Candy Apple Grey, but individual songs are outstanding, and critical opinion of the album runs very high. The title track and 'Keep Hanging On' became staples of the band's live shows, while 'Makes No Sense at All' was featured in a music video and was sometimes performed by Mould in his solo career, where he otherwise largely distanced himself from his years in Hüsker Dü."

Well, I can't remember if I ever had New Day Rising, but I KNOW I like Flip Your Wig better than Candy Apple Grey. Of course, I'm not saying my tastes equate to what is "essential".

"The song 'Makes No Sense At All' was released as a single, with 'Love Is All Around', the theme to the Mary Tyler Moore Show, on the b-side. The 'Makes No Sense At All' video includes both songs, back-to-back.
As of 2005, Flip Your Wig, like Hüsker Dü's other SST releases, has not been remastered for improved sound on compact disc, and the original CDs for this band are particularly weak-sounding, so interested listeners will find the best representation of the album on vinyl record."

Cool! Finally, a case where I can feel good about not having replaced one of my vinyl albums with a CD yet!

The band line-up: Bob Mould (guitar, vocals), Greg Norton (bass), Grant Hart (drums, vocals...plus "slide whistle" on "The Baby Song")

Here's the track listing:

1. Flip Your Wig (Mould) – 2:33
2. Every Everything (Hart) – 1:56
3. Makes No Sense At All (Mould) – 2:43
4. Hate Paper Doll (Mould) – 1:52
5. Green Eyes (Hart) – 2:58
6. Divide And Conquer (Mould) – 3:42
7. Games (Mould) – 4:06
8. Find Me (Mould) – 4:05
9. The Baby Song (Hart) – 0:46
10. Flexible Flyer (Hart) – 3:01
11. Private Plane (Mould) – 3:17
12. Keep Hanging On (Hart) – 3:15
13. The Wit And The Wisdom (Mould) – 3:41
14. Don't Know Yet (Mould) – 2:14

I'm sure there was a whole lot of consternation amongst fans as the sound shifted from their original punk to this heavy/alternative rock. However, so what? This album is a great listen, especially the 1st side (songs 1-7). The first 4 are all upbeat rockers. "Green Eyes" is a touch slower, but still heavy and loud. Check out these lyrics from "Divide and Conquer": "We'll invent some new computers/Link up the global village/And get AP, UPI, and Reuters/To tell everybody the news"...pretty damned prescient for 1985!!!

The last two songs on the 2nd side, "The Wit and the Wisdom" and "Don't Know Yet" are both instrumentals. The first of the two has some glorious guitar noise. It's "essential" in my book.


Blogger Karl Bakla said...

I love Husker Du, a while back I scored a copy of Ultracore (Husker Du live in Arizona -1982) if you are a fan of their more punk leanings it's worth checking out, but I love every single Husker Du album, I was stoked to hear Bob Mould did most of soundtrack to Hedwig & the Angry Inch, argh!

7:05 PM, May 01, 2006  
Blogger Beth said...

I don't think Bob Mould has misstepped in his career. I love him. I forgot he performed on Hedwig, which is a great album, too.

9:24 PM, July 11, 2006  

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