|Land Speed Record|
|Live album by Hüsker Dü|
|Recorded||August 15, 1981|
|Venue||7th Street Entry, Minneapolis, Minnesota|
SST (195) (reissue)
|Hüsker Dü chronology|
Land Speed Record is the debut full-length record by Hüsker Dü, released in January 1982. It was recorded live on August 15, 1981, at the 7th Street Entry, a venue in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The album is a fast and furious hardcore workout that bears almost no resemblance to the melodic post-punk that the band became known for in the mid '80s. The title has a double meaning, referring to both the band's ability to play as fast as they could (there are 17 songs crammed into 26½ minutes) and their penchant for amphetamine pills.
Hüsker Dü's August 1981 concert was recorded straight to 4-track soundboard tape on a three hundred dollar budget. Once the band had taped it they realized they lacked the financial means to release the album. Friend of the band, and member of Minutemen, Mike Watt offered to put out the album on his label, New Alliance. The original LP release on New Alliance contained an insert with lyrics and upcoming tour dates.
The album was reissued in 1987 on SST Records on compact disc and LP. Like Hüsker Dü's other releases, Land Speed Record has not been remastered to alter the LP's sound for the compact disc release. The band's ongoing royalty disputes with SST have been given as the cause for not having a unique CD edition issued. Ken Shipley of The Numero Group has noted that the original tape was stolen from the band's van. The SST CD contains only two tracks, one for each side of the original LP.
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The album sounds like straightforward hardcore at first glance; with volume and power being emphasized over melody, it's the Hüsker Dü record that least sounds like Hüsker Dü. Bob Mould once referred to it as "the bad part of the acid...It sounds like when you go to a gig and get your ears blown off". The album was recorded just as they went on a tour of various places in the country, those close to the band say upon their return the band was louder, faster and noisier than before. The magazine Discords said about it: "It's hard to believe but the only Minneapolis hardcore band have gotten even faster during their stay away." Yet there are some elements emerging under the wash of noise that foreshadow the band's future direction. "Don't Try To Call" is one of their most melodic early songs, while Hart's "Data Control" slows the tempo to conjure a creepy musical mood to match the paranoia of the lyrics.
The poster with cover of the album appeared in 1987 film Less Than Zero.
Side One - 12:27
Side Two - 14:08
The album was covered in its entirety by Apple-O in 1993, each song in a different style (including reggae, folk, synth pop).
Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad, Back Bay Books, NY, 2001