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Encyclopedia > Zen Arcade
Zen Arcade
Zen Arcade cover
Studio album by Hüsker Dü
Released July 1984
Recorded October 1983 at the Total Access in Redondo Beach, California (except "Standing By The Sea," recorded during the Metal Circus sessions, Dec 1982)
Genre Alternative Rock
Hardcore punk
Length 70:23
Label SST Records
Producer Hüsker Dü, Spot
Professional reviews
Hüsker Dü chronology
Metal Circus
(1983)
Zen Arcade
(1984)
New Day Rising
(1985)

Zen Arcade is the third full-length album from the American rock band Hüsker Dü, released in July 1984 on SST Records. Originally released as a double album on two vinyl LPs, Zen Arcade is a concept album about an adolescent who runs away because his home life is unfulfilling, only to find the world outside is even worse. The album incorporates elements of jazz, psychedelia, acoustic folk, pop, and piano interludes; concepts previously unheard-of in the world of early '80s hardcore punk. Cover of the Hüsker Dü album Zen Arcade. ... A studio album is a collection of previously unreleased, studio-recorded tracks by a recording artist. ... This article is about the rock band called Hüsker Dü. For other uses, see Husker Du. ... Location of Redondo Beach in California Coordinates: Country United States of America State California County Los Angeles Incorporated (city) 1892-04-29 [2]  - Mayor Michael A. Gin [1] Area    - City 16. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Alternative rock (also called alternative music or simply alternative; known primarily in the UK as indie) is a genre of rock music that emerged in the 1980s and became widely popular in the 1990s. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... SST Records is a Lawndale, California based independent record label formed in 1978 in Long Beach, California by Black Flag founder/guitarist Greg Ginn. ... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the musicians, organizing and scheduling production budget and resources, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes. ... This article is about the rock band called Hüsker Dü. For other uses, see Husker Du. ... SPOT, (born Glen Lockett in 1951), was the house producer and engineer for the influential indie/punk record label SST Records. ... The All Music Guide (AMG) is a metadata database about music, owned by All Media Guide. ... Image File history File links 5_stars. ... This article is about the magazine. ... Image File history File links 4_stars. ... This article is about the rock band called Hüsker Dü. For other uses, see Husker Du. ... Metal Circus is an EP by Hüsker Dü, released in 1983. ... New Day Rising is a 1985 hardcore punk album by the Minnesota band Hüsker Dü, released on SST Records. ... For the illustrated magazine, see Studio Magazine. ... This article is about the rock band called Hüsker Dü. For other uses, see Husker Du. ... SST Records is a Lawndale, California based independent record label formed in 1978 in Long Beach, California by Black Flag founder/guitarist Greg Ginn. ... A double album is an audio album of sufficient length that two units of the medium in which it is sold (especially records and compact discs) are necessary to contain the entirety of it. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...


Zen Arcade and subsequent Hüsker Dü albums were instrumental in the creation of the alternative rock genre; the band would later abandon the "hardcore" aesthetic entirely in favor of a post-hardcore style of melodic, guitar-driven alternative rock. While not commercially successful, the influence of Zen Arcade has stretched beyond the underground music sphere, and it is frequently included on professional lists of the all-time best rock and roll albums. Alternative rock (also called alternative music or simply alternative; known primarily in the UK as indie) is a genre of rock music that emerged in the 1980s and became widely popular in the 1990s. ... This is a list of albums that are particularly notable or influential. ...

Contents

Background

Hüsker Dü had gained notice in the American indie music scene of the early 1980s as a fast and aggressive hardcore punk band. Hüsker Dü were the first non-West Coast signings to the California independent record label SST Records, which at the time specialized in releases by hardcore bands, most notably Black Flag. However, the trio's music was becoming more melodic and nuanced with each release; songs like "Diane," about the rape and murder of a young woman, covered subjects not addressed in hardcore at the time, and the band indicated an interest in 1960s rock by covering The Byrds' "Eight Miles High". In popular music, indie music (from independent) is any of a number of genres, scenes, subcultures and stylistic and cultural attributes, characterised by perceived independence from commercial pop music and mainstream culture and an autonomous, do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... An independent record label is variously described as a record label operating without the funding (or outside the organizations) of the major record labels, and/or a label that subscribes to indie philosophies such as DIY and anti-corporate art. ... SST Records is a Lawndale, California based independent record label formed in 1978 in Long Beach, California by Black Flag founder/guitarist Greg Ginn. ... Black Flag was a hardcore punk band formed in 1976 in southern California, largely as the brainchild of Greg Ginn: the guitarist, primary songwriter and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes. ... The Byrds (formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1964) were an American rock band. ... Eight Miles High is a song by Gene Clark, Jim McGuinn, and David Crosby, first appearing as a single from 1966 by the rock band The Byrds. ...


In an interview with Steve Albini for his Matter column in 1983, singer/guitarist Bob Mould told Albini:[1] Steve Albini (born July 22, 1962, Pasadena, California) is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, audio engineer and music journalist. ... Bob Mould (born October 16, 1960, in Malone, New York) is an American musician, principally known for his work as guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for influential rock bands Hüsker Dü in the 1980s and Sugar in the 1990s. ...

We're going to try to do something bigger than anything like rock & roll and the whole puny touring band idea. I don't know what it's going to be, we have to work that out, but it's going to go beyond the whole idea of 'punk rock' or whatever.

The band began rehearsing in preparation for the album during the summer of 1983, in a church-turned-punk squat in St. Paul, Minnesota. The band brainstormed lyrics and musical ideas during jam sessions that lasted several hours.[2] Mould and drummer Grant Hart were the band's songwriters, and prior to embarking to California to record Zen Arcade, Mould was moved (by artwork that Hart had done for another band that did not list songwriting credit) to demand that Zen Arcade list individual songwriter credits.[3] This practice would continue on all of the band's subsequent albums, and would contribute to ever-growing tensions between Mould and Hart. State capitol building in Saint Paul Saint Paul is the capital and second-largest city of the state of Minnesota in the United States of America. ... Grant Hart (born March 18, 1961) was the drummer and with Bob Mould one of two main singer/songwriters for Hüsker Dü, a pioneering punk rock group from Minneapolis-St. ...


Recording and production

As their EP Metal Circus was being released, Hüsker Dü entered the Total Access studio in Redondo Beach, California to record their next album with SST producer Spot. The band recorded 25 tracks, with all but two songs being first takes ("Something I Learned Today" and "Newest Industry"), in 40 hours. 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.[4] The band collaborated with underground comtemporaries during recording; "What's Going On" contains guest vocals from ex-Black Flag vocalist Dez Cadena. Metal Circus is an EP by Hüsker Dü, released in 1983. ... Location of Redondo Beach in California Coordinates: Country United States of America State California County Los Angeles Incorporated (city) 1892-04-29 [2]  - Mayor Michael A. Gin [1] Area    - City 16. ... SST Records is a Lawndale, California based independent record label formed in 1978 in Long Beach, California by Black Flag founder/guitarist Greg Ginn. ... SPOT, (born Glen Lockett in 1951), was the house producer and engineer for the influential indie/punk record label SST Records. ... Something I Learned Today is a song by the Alternative rock/Punk rock band Hüsker Dü. It is the opening song on their landmark 1984 double album, Zen Arcade. ... The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ... Black Flag was a hardcore punk band formed in 1976 in southern California, largely as the brainchild of Greg Ginn: the guitarist, primary songwriter and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes. ... Dennis (Dez) Paul Cadena (born June 2, 1961) is an American singer and guitarist. ...


Music

Zen Arcade, in line with previous Hüsker Dü albums, had a mainly hardcore punk focus, with songs such as "Something I Learned Today" and "Indecision Time". However, the album also marked the point where the band introduced a more melodic and guitar-driven musical style, with elements of acoustic folk ("Never Talking To You Again"), psychedelia ("Hare Krsna" and "The Tooth Fairy And The Princess") and piano interludes ("One Step At A Time," "Monday Will Never Be The Same"); concepts rarely touched upon in early '80s hardcore punk. Folk can refer to a number of different things: It can be short for folk music, or, for folksong, or, for folklore; it may be a word for a specific people, tribe, or nation, especially one of the Germanic peoples; it might even be a calque on the related German... Psychedelia is a term describing a category of music, visual art, fashion, and culture that is associated originally with the high 1960s, hippies, and the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, California. ...


Narrative

The lyrics of Zen Arcade are usually interpreted as telling the story, in the first person, of an adolescent who runs away to escape an unfulfilling home life, as typified in the lyrics of "Broken Home, Broken Heart," "Indecision Time," and "Somewhere." The unnamed character tries drugs ("Pink Turns to Blue"), and religion ("Hare Krsna"), but concludes that he is unable to change his circumstances ("Newest Industry").[5] He shortly discovers that the world outside is even worse. At the very end of the album, after he "turns on the news," it is revealed that this was all a dream, with disorienting 14-minute instrumental "Reoccurring Dreams." Indicative of the band's desire for the album to be taken as a whole, no singles were released from it.


Release

While the band insisted sales would be strong for Zen Arcade, SST initially only pressed between 3,500 and 5,000 copies of the album. The album was out of stock for months afterward and the delay in further copies stifled sales.[6]


Critical reception

Upon its release Zen Arcade received positive reviews in many mainstream publications, including NME,[7] The New York Times[8] and Rolling Stone. In his review for Rolling Stone, David Fricke described Zen Arcade as "the closest hardcore will ever get to an opera . . . a kind of thrash Quadrophenia".[9] Not to be confused with the Canadian music magazine Music Express The New Musical Express (better known as the NME) is a Popular music magazine in the United Kingdom which has been published weekly since March 1952. ... The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ... This article is about the magazine. ... David Fricke is a senior editor at Rolling Stone magazine, where he writes predominantly on rock music. ... Alternate cover Original soundtrack version Quadrophenia is a double album released by The Who on October 19, 1973, one of the groups two full-scale rock operas. ...


Zen Arcade placed eighth in the Village Voice annual Pazz & Jop poll. Village Voice crtic Robert Christgau declared in his annual review of the poll's results that, while he preferred rivals The Replacements' Let it Be, the song "Turn On the News" garnered his nomination for song of the year.[10] The critical praise given to the album garnered attention from major labels, including Warner Bros. Records, with whom Hüsker Dü would eventually sign with in 1985.[11] The Village Voice is a New York City-based weekly newspaper featuring investigative articles, analysis of current affairs and culture, arts reviews and events listings for New York City. ... The Pazz & Jop critics poll is a highly influential poll of music critics run by The Village Voice newspaper. ... Robert Christgau (2007) Robert Christgau (sometimes abbreviated in print to Xgau), born April 18, 1942, is an American essayist, music journalist, and the self-declared Dean of American Rock Critics[1] His first reviews were published by Esquire in 1967. ... The Replacements (also known as The Mats or The Mats, from the insult of a detractor who joked the bands name was The Placemats, which the band then adopted) were a seminal alternative rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. ... Let It Be is the title of a 1984 album released by The Replacements. ... Warner Bros. ...


Legacy

By spring of 1985 Zen Arcade had sold 20,000 copies,[12] and in subsequent years it has maintained a high critical status regardless of commercial success. All Music Guide says in its review of the album that "Hüsker Dü try everything" and while "that reckless, ridiculously single-minded approach does result in some weak moments," it is "also the key to the success of Zen Arcade."[13] In 1989, it was ranked #33 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has placed "Turn On the News" on its list of "500 songs that shaped rock and roll."[14] The All Music Guide (AMG) is a metadata database about music, owned by All Media Guide. ... This article is about the magazine. ... In its November 16th, 1989 issue (issue #565) Rolling Stone magazine published its list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s: London Calling - The Clash Purple Rain - Prince and the Revolution The Joshua Tree - U2 Remain in Light - Talking Heads Graceland - Paul Simon Born in the USA - Bruce Springsteen... The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at sunset. ...


Zen Arcade expanded perceptions of what American underground rock could sound like. Zen Arcade has been mentioned as an influence on the development of emo, for it "showed punks everywhere that caustic guitars and literate, angst-ridden lyrics equaled catharsis (and not sissy music)."[15] Emo is a genre of rock music. ...


Track listing

  1. "Something I Learned Today" (Bob Mould) - 1:58
  2. "Broken Home, Broken Heart" (B. Mould) - 2:01
  3. "Never Talking to You Again" (Grant Hart) - 1:39
  4. "Chartered Trips" (B. Mould) - 3:33
  5. "Dreams Reoccurring" (Hüsker Dü) - 1:40
  6. "Indecision Time" (B. Mould) - 2:07
  7. "Hare Krsna" (Hüsker Dü) - 1:33
  8. "Beyond the Threshold" (B. Mould) - 1:35
  9. "Pride" (B. Mould) - 1:45
  10. "I'll Never Forget You" (B. Mould) - 2:06
  11. "The Biggest Lie" (B. Mould) - 1:58
  12. "What's Going On" (G. Hart) - 4:23
  13. "Masochism World" (G. Hart, B. Mould) - 2:43
  14. "Standing by the Sea" (G. Hart) - 3:12
  15. "Somewhere" (G. Hart, B. Mould) - 2:30
  16. "One Step at a Time" (G. Hart, B. Mould) - 0:45
  17. "Pink Turns to Blue" (G. Hart) - 2:39
  18. "Newest Industry" (B. Mould) - 3:02
  19. "Monday Will Never Be the Same" (B. Mould) - 1:10
  20. "Whatever" (B. Mould) - 3:50
  21. "The Tooth Fairy and the Princess" (B. Mould) - 2:43
  22. "Turn on the News" (G. Hart) - 4:21
  23. "Reoccurring Dreams" (Hüsker Dü) - 13:47

The CD and cassette releases of the album combines all the songs onto a single disc/cassette. Something I Learned Today is a song by the Alternative rock/Punk rock band Hüsker Dü. It is the opening song on their landmark 1984 double album, Zen Arcade. ...


Notes and references

  1. ^ Azerrad, Michael. Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991. Little Brown and Company, 2001. ISBN 0-316-78753-1, pg. 180
  2. ^ Azerrad, pg. 179.
  3. ^ Azerrad, pg. 181
  4. ^ Azerrad, 2001. p. 181
  5. ^ Donohue, Mark T.R.. Husker Du: Zen Arcade. Nude as the News. Retrieved on 2007-03-06.
  6. ^ Azerrad, pg. 182
  7. ^ NME Zen Arcade Review. Retrieved on 2006-01-16.
  8. ^ New York Times Article, 23 Sep 1984. Retrieved on 2006-01-16.
  9. ^ Rolling Stone: Hüsker Dü: Zen Arcade. Retrieved on 2007-01-16.
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (1985). The Rise of the Corporate Single. RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved on January 19, 2007.
  11. ^ Azerrad, pg. 190
  12. ^ Azerrad, pg. 186
  13. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Zen Arcade (review). Allmusic.com. Retrieved on April 06, 2007.
  14. ^ 500 songs that shaped rock and roll. RockHall.com. Retrieved on January 19, 2007.
  15. ^ Popkin, Helen A.S. (2006). What exactly is ‘emo,’ anyway?. MSNBC.MSN.com. Retrieved on April 10, 2007.

Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991 is a book by Michael Azerrad (ISBN 0-316-78753-1). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 65th day of the year (66th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... January 19 is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... April 6 is the 96th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (97th in leap years). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... January 19 is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 100th day of the year (101st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ...

External links

  • Analysis at Nude As The News
  • Review by the Univ. of Chicago Maroon
  • Zen Arcade at the All Music Guide

  Results from FactBites:
 
Zen Arcade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (263 words)
Zen Arcade is Hüsker Dü's third full-length album, released in 1984 by SST Records, originally released as a double album on two vinyl LPs.
Zen Arcade is a concept album about an adolescent who runs away because his home life is unfulfilling, whereupon he discovers the world outside is even worse.
The album incorporates elements of jazz, psychedelia, acoustic folk, pop, and even including piano interludes – completely unheard of in the circumscribed world of early '80s hardcore punk Zen Arcade is widely considered one of the most influential punk rock albums of all-time.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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