When Hüsker Dü lit out for the west coast a few days after Xmas 1982, they did so with twelve new songs in the chamber. The road-battered group arrived at Total Access in Redondo Beach the second week of January intending to cut the entirety of their new repertoire in a single all day session, but the power had been shut off just prior to their arrival. “We were trying to jump power from other parts of the building,” recalled Bob Mould. The session ended up taking two days, and from those twelve, only seven would make their blistering 1983 Metal Circus. Left on the cutting room floor were “Heavy Handed,” “You Think I’m Scared,” “Won’t Change,” “Is Today The Day?” and “Standing At The Sea.” Several would leak out on bootlegs over the years, but when a previously thought-to-be-lost safety master turned up in the process of making Savage Young Dü, it seemed like the perfect cliff hanger for the next project.
We first saw the color negative for Metal Circus back in 2010, when a mysterious package showed up from Grant Hart. Hart had painstakingly set the scene up in the office of Revolution guitarist Des Dickerson’s father in downtown St. Paul’s Milton Building. The desk is a visual representation of the Hüsker’s discography to date; the framed photo of Mao references the cover of Statues, a Statue of Liberty calendar represents In A Free Land, magnifying in on the desk one can spy the logo that appears on the back cover of Everything Falls Apart. The plane’s wing carries the catalog number for Land Speed Record: NAR007. “The whole thing was the most satisfying graphics project that I ever connected with Hüsker Dü,” Grant Hart told Andrew Earles. “By the time it was all set up, I had to race the sun and deal with drunken street revelers getting in the way of the shot. The shoot was on St. Patrick’s day, and there were a ton of throw aways where you can see the tips of those party horns entering the frame.”