In August, 1980, Grant Hart, Bob Mould, and Greg Norton booked time at Minneapolis’ Blackberry Way Studio to record what became their debut 7". Their Twin/Tone deal, thought to be in the bag, was derailed by the signing of the Replacements—Hüsker Dü’s then-chief rival. Spurred on by Twin/Tone’s rejection, Hüsker thrashed out one scathing version of “Amusement” live at Duffy’s. Plans hatched for a four-song 10", with Blackberry Way cuts “Statues,” “Writer’s Cramp,” and “Let's Go Die” eyed. But enormous start-up costs forced a format change, and January 1981 saw Reflex Records #A, “Amusement” b/w “Statues,” hit the market. Pressed twice during the oncoming years, the single vanished as the band permutated from Metal Box-esque post-punk to Los Angeles-inspired hardcore.
Hüsker Dü, of course, built mightily upon their inauspicious D.I.Y. effort. But early moments of caustic, keening Hüsker naiveté have remained unknown to the band’s ever-expanding fanbase, primarily plucked off out-of-reach walls at used record stores the world over...until now. Numero 704 collects “Amusement” b/w “Statues” and the studio alternates “Writer's Cramp” and “Let's Go Die” as a 7" pairing. The Blackberry Way cuts are here remastered from a first-gen sub-master, while the unkempt “Amusement” was cut from the original live board tape. Grant Hart's Fake Name Graphix artwork remains untouched, beefed up by a gatefold jacket in 28pt board.
Savage Young Dü
A Place Called Bad