Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Husker Du - "Eight Miles High / Makes No Sense At All" (LP Review)

I recently rediscovered this one out of my stacks of CDs and put it in my iTunes collection. Released in 1990 on SST Records three years after Husker Du had broken up, this 4-song EP is really just two earlier 7" singles combined and re-released: 1984's "Eight Miles High" and 1985's "Makes No Sense At All".

"Eight Miles High", their cover of the The Byrds classic 1966 song, is a non-LP single. Covering a song by The Byrds was quite a stretch for a punk band in 1984, and Husker Du turns out an appropriately heavy, buzz-saw version. The B-Side is a live version of "Masochism World", one of the heaviest songs on the acclaimed double LP "Zen Arcade".

"Makes No Sense At All" is the best song in Husker Du's catalog, and quite possibly the best punk song ever. It is the only single from their outstanding 1985 LP "Flip Your Wig". The B-Side is a cover of Sonny Curtis's "Love is All Around". That's right, as if to prove they could stretch further than The Byrds, they covered the theme song for The Mary Tyler Moore Show (opening credits).

So do you need this EP? If you already have "Zen Arcade" and "Flip Your Wig", then there are only two new songs: "Eight Miles High" and "Love is All Around". The latter is just a novelty, so the former is really the only new song. If you're a hard-core fan (and don't already have the two 7" singles!), then get this EP since it is still in print and reasonably priced (I think the individual singles are out of print). But if you're not familiar with Husker Du, then start with "Flip Your Wig" and "New Day Rising" instead.

Standout songs: Eight Miles High (live 1983, live 1985, live 1987), Masochism World (studio version), Makes No Sense At All / Love Is All Around (in a single video).

Skip 'em songs: none.

Final Score: 6/10. All good songs, but necessary for hard-core fans only.

Bonus Link: The Byrds - "Eight Miles High"

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