10 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Hüsker Dü was a brilliant underground band in the '80s, but its early recordings were buried in productions that didn't always bring out the full sonic crunch of live Hüsker Dü shows. Guitarist Bob Mould is nearly impossible to capture in his full glory, since his concert sound depends upon being loud and louder. His solo albums were dour, as if he needed a band to balance the sadness. So, with his post-Hüsker band Sugar, he re-found his footing as the leader of another power trio. The discipline of leading a group rallied him to write some of the finest songs of his career. The sound is the closest one can get to being there in person, and Copper Blue deserves every bit of its acclaim. The guitars are gorgeous in tone and turn songs like "Helpless," "The Act We Act," and the stellar single "If I Can't Change Your Mind" into sublime rockers where the harmonics are breathtaking. "Hoover Dam" adds subtler hues without losing its steel-armed grip. The deluxe edition includes the b-side "Needle Hits E," a solo mix of Mould and acoustic guitar for "If I Can't Change Your Mind," and a live concert where things get mighty loud.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Hüsker Dü was a brilliant underground band in the '80s, but its early recordings were buried in productions that didn't always bring out the full sonic crunch of live Hüsker Dü shows. Guitarist Bob Mould is nearly impossible to capture in his full glory, since his concert sound depends upon being loud and louder. His solo albums were dour, as if he needed a band to balance the sadness. So, with his post-Hüsker band Sugar, he re-found his footing as the leader of another power trio. The discipline of leading a group rallied him to write some of the finest songs of his career. The sound is the closest one can get to being there in person, and Copper Blue deserves every bit of its acclaim. The guitars are gorgeous in tone and turn songs like "Helpless," "The Act We Act," and the stellar single "If I Can't Change Your Mind" into sublime rockers where the harmonics are breathtaking. "Hoover Dam" adds subtler hues without losing its steel-armed grip. The deluxe edition includes the b-side "Needle Hits E," a solo mix of Mould and acoustic guitar for "If I Can't Change Your Mind," and a live concert where things get mighty loud.

TITLE TIME

About Sugar

After two solo albums, ex-Hüsker Dü guitarist/vocalist Bob Mould formed Sugar in 1992, with bassist David Barbe and drummer Malcolm Travis; the band signed with Rykodisc in the U.S., Creation in the U.K. Sugar's first album, Copper Blue, was released in the fall of 1992 to enthusiastic reviews and it became Mould's most successful project to date. Copper Blue nearly went gold and spawned several alternative radio and MTV hits, including "Helpless" and "If I Can't Change Your Mind." In the spring of 1993, Sugar released the mini-LP Beaster, a more abrasive collection than Copper Blue that was recorded at the same sessions. Around the time of the release of Beaster, Mould was forced out of the closet by various gay publications, with hopes that he would embrace their political cause; he rejected their requests. Mould wrote the material for the second Sugar album during 1993. The band began recording in the spring of 1994, but the sessions ground to a halt and the tapes were erased. Mould decided to give the album one more try and it was recorded quickly late that spring. The album, File Under: Easy Listening, appeared in the fall of 1994. Although it received good reviews and was moderately successful commercially, it didn't match the performance of Copper Blue. In the spring of 1995, it was announced that Sugar was on hiatus. Besides, a collection of rarities and B-sides, was released that summer. By the fall, Mould had broken up the band and begun to work on a third album entirely by himself. Mould played all of the instruments on his self-titled third album, which was released in the spring of 1995. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

FORMED
1992

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