Hüsker Dü – Zen Arcade YouTube – History

Zen Arcade: The second studio album by American punk rock band Hüsker Dü

Zen Arcade tells the story of a young boy who runs away from an unfulfilling home life, only to find the world outside is even worse. The character briefly joins the military (“Chartered Trips”), turns to religion (“Hare Krsna”), and seems to find a tenuous peace through love (“Somewhere”) before losing his girlfriend to drugs (“Pink Turns to Blue”). He reaches a point of despair, ultimately concluding that he won’t be able to change his circumstances (“Newest Industry”, “Whatever”) before waking up to find that the whole odyssey had occurred in his subconscious during a night of troubled sleep; the challenges of his life—for better or worse—remain in front of him (“The Tooth Fairy and the Princess”, “Turn on the News”). “Reoccurring Dreams”, a disorienting 14-minute instrumental that reprises a shorter instrumental interlude (“Dreams Reoccurring”), closes the album.

During the recording, all but two songs were first takes. The entire album was then mixed in one 40-hour session; the entire album took 85 hours to record and produce and cost $3,200.

Zen Arcade Rehearsals
5th St E & Mendota in St. Paul, MN 55106

Music journalist Michael Azerrad writes in Our Band Could Be Your Life:
“Hüsker Dü spent the entire summer of ’83 preparing material for the next album, rehearsing in a former church in St. Paul where Hart lived, along with a bunch of young drifters, runaways, and musicians. Everyone at the church was enjoying the particularly pure LSD that was going around.

“Now approaching peak form, the band would jam for hours, brainstorming music and lyrics. It may have seemed like more Hüsker Dü bravado, but the band sensed the next album was going to be a milestone. “It was a coming-of-age work and we knew it when we were writing it,” says Mould. “It was like, this is going to change everything because it’s that good.”

Released in July 1984 on SST Records

Grant Hart – drums; lead and background vocals; percussion; piano
Bob Mould – lead and background vocals; electric guitar; acoustic guitar; percussion; piano
Greg Norton – bass; background vocals

Side one
Something I Learned Today -Bob Mould 1:58
Broken Home, Broken Heart -Mould 2:01
Never Talking to You Again -Grant Hart 1:39
Chartered Trips -Mould 3:33
Dreams Reoccurring -Hart/Mould/Greg Norton 1:40
Indecision Time -Mould 2:07
Hare Kṛṣṇa -Hart/Mould/Norton 3:33

Side two
Beyond the Threshold -Mould 1:35
Pride” -Mould 1:45
I’ll Never Forget You -Mould 2:06
The Biggest Lie -Mould 1:58
What’s Going On -Hart 4:23
Masochism World -Hart/Mould 2:43
Standing by the Sea -Hart 3:12

Side three
Somewhere” -Hart/Mould 2:30
One Step at a Time -Hart/Mould 0:45
Pink Turns to Blue -Hart 2:39
Newest Industry -Mould 3:02
Monday Will Never Be the Same -Mould 0:54
Whatever -Mould 3:50
The Tooth Fairy and the Princess -Mould 2:43

Side four
Turn On the News -Hart 4:21
Reoccurring Dreams -Hart/Mould/Norton 13:47
Title: Zen Arcade rehearsals
Date Recorded: Oct 1983
Recording Quality: C+
Time: 25 min
Notes: Accidentally recorded through an idling stylus
in the studio (The Church, St Paul MN).
Contents:
Whatever
Whatever
Whatever
Whatever
Indecision Time
Somewhere
Dozen Beats Eleven
—————————————————————————-

Title: Zen Arcade rough mixes
Date Recorded: Oct 1983
Recording Quality: A
Time: 70 min
Notes: Studio recording. Many tracks lack vocals. The
outtake “Dozen Beats Eleven” immediately follows
“Pink Turns To Blue” on the tape from which this
dubbed.
Contents:
Something I Learned Today
Broken Home, Broken Heart
Chartered Trips
Hare Krsna
Indecision Time
I’ll Never Forget You
Beyond The Threshold
The Biggest Lie
Pride
What’s Going On?
Masochism World
Standing By The Sea
Somewhere
Pink Turns To Blue
Turn On The News
Newest Industry
Whatever
Eight Miles High
The Tooth Fairy And The Princess
Recurring Dreams
Dozen Beats Eleven
—————————————————————————-

Title: Zen Arcade later mixes, outtakes
Date Recorded: Oct 1983
Recording Quality: A
Time: 90 min
Notes: Studio recording. Some tracks are alternate
takes or feature different overdubs.
Contents:
Chartered Trips
Hare Krsna
One Step At A Time
Monday Will Never Be The Same
[Untitled Hart Piano Piece]
Never Talking To You Again
Somewhere
One Step At A Time
Pink Turns To Blue
Newest Industry
Monday Will Never Be The Same
Whatever
Something I Learned Today
Broken Home, Broken Heart
Chartered Trips
Indecision Time
I’ll Never Forget You
Beyond The Threshold
The Biggest Lie
Pride
What’s Going On?
Masochism World
Standing By The Sea
Somewhere
One Step At A Time
Pink Turns To Blue
Some Kind Of Fun
Turn On The News
Newest Industry
Monday Will Never Be The Same
Whatever
Eight Miles High

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