Hüsker Dü’s New Day Rising - vinyl and inserts. One of my most favorite possessions.
I dreamed I listened to this record for five hours straight which, honestly, is something I’ve done in waking life many times before. In the dream I was in a roomful of people, giving a speech while the album played, a speech which was just me trying to convince everyone in the room that this is Hüsker Dü’s finest album, and to do this I basically recited what I wrote about it a few years ago, which was this:
Most Hüsker Dü fans will point to Zen Arcade or Flip Your Wig as their favorite. In my eyes, New Day Rising was their absolute pinnacle. This album is pure brilliance from beginning to end. The songwriting, the music, the way it’s all put together in such a tight, perfectly crafted package is beyond anything else they ever did. While the music may seem to be more melodic, more pop-influenced in comparison to Zen Arcade before it, what they give you here is about 40 minutes of catharsis. It’s a whole bunch of emotions and memories and fury and power packed into one perfect package. If you listen to this album right and feel what you are supposed to feel, the first three songs alone should wear you out emotionally and physically. And that’s before you even get to Celebrated Summer or 59 Times the Pain. If I had to make a personal top ten albums of all time list, New Day Rising would be right there.
Then in the dream my speech turned into a panel and I was sitting at a dais with five guys - one of whom must have been Merlin because he’d have to be on this panel - discussing various Hüsker Dü albums and Bob Mould projects. I had my vinyl copy with me and we passed it around like show and tell and some people in the audience applauded because the album still looked so new even though I got it when I worked at Record World in 1985.
And then I got up at 3:30 am, wide awake, and listened to it. Which, if you have to start your day at 3:30 am thanks to insomnia, is not a bad way to start it.