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New Day Rising is the third studio album by American punk rock band Hüsker Dü, released in 1985 on SST Records. The album continued the move away from the fast hardcore punk of the band's earliest releases toward slower, more melodic material.

New Day Rising
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 1985
RecordedJuly 1984
StudioNicollet Studios in Minneapolis
GenrePost-hardcore,[1] alternative rock[2]
LabelSST (031)
ProducerHüsker Dü, Spot
Hüsker Dü chronology
Zen Arcade
New Day Rising
Flip Your Wig

Production and releaseEdit

The band released the album Zen Arcade through SST Records in July 1984, and the label's co-owner Joe Carducci immediately requested another album.[3] The band wanted to self-produce, but SST insisted on Spot, who produced many of the label's albums, including all of Hüsker Dü's. The recording atmosphere was thus tense. New Day Rising appeared in January 1985[4] and featured slower, more melodic material, continuing the trend away from the fast hardcore punk of the band's earliest releases.[5] This coupled with the higher-quality musicianship and production led fans to perceive the band as more commercial, and the band defended themselves against accusations of selling out.[4]


New Day Rising was released in January 1985 by SST Records.[1] The album charted on the UK Independent Album Charts, peaking at 10th place.[6]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [1]
Chicago Tribune    [7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [8]
Spin Alternative Record Guide10/10[9]
The Village VoiceA[10]

From contemporary reviews, Spin compared the album favourably to the group's previous album Zen Arcade which was referred to as "ambitious but overreaching" and praised the songwriting, noting that "these new songs could go up against anything on the radio and blow it away" and that the group has "developed into brilliant pop songwriters."[11] The review concluded that despite producer Spot's "characteristically cheap production", the album "doesn't just fulfill the enormous promise of the Minneapolis trio. It fulfills the even greater promise of punk rock" and that the album "affirms everything that was good about punk in the first place"[11] Robert Christgau gave the album an A rating, opining that it was "clearly their finest record" and that audiences should "Play loud—this is one band that deserves it."[10]

The album was included end of the year best-of lists, such as the NME who placed the album at ninth place on their list of top albums of 1985.[12] The New York Times critic Jon Pareles placed New Day Rising at 3rd on his best albums of 1985 list.[13]

From retrospective reviews, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic gave the album five stars, stating that "the razor-thin production and waves of noise mean that it takes a little bit of effort to pick out the melodies, but more often the furious noise and melodies fuse together to create an overwhelming sonic force" and that Grant and Mould "both turn in songs that are catchy, clever, and alternately wracked with pain or teeming with humor. New Day Rising is a positively cathartic record and ranks as Hüsker Dü's most sustained moment of pure power."[1]

Aftermath and influenceEdit

New Day Rising was ranked thirteenth in Spin's "100 Greatest Albums, 1985–2005". In 2014, it was ranked Fifty-first in Spin's "The 300 Best Albums of the Past 30 Years (1985–2014)".[14] In 2003, the album was ranked 495 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and in 2012 was pushed up to rank 488.[15] The magazine also included the title track in its "100 Greatest Guitar Songs" list, ranking it at 96.[16]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Bob Mould, except where noted[17].

Side one
1."New Day Rising"Bob Mould, Hüsker Dü2:31
2."Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill"Grant Hart3:03
3."I Apologize" 3:40
4."Folk Lore" 1:34
5."If I Told You"Hart, Mould2:05
6."Celebrated Summer" 3:59
7."Perfect Example" 3:16
Side two
1."Terms of Psychic Warfare"Hart2:17
2."59 Times the Pain" 3:18
3."Powerline" 2:22
4."Books About UFOs"Hart2:40
5."I Don't Know What You're Talking About" 2:20
6."How to Skin a Cat"Mould, Hüsker Dü1:52
7."Whatcha Drinkin'" 1:30
8."Plans I Make"Mould, Hüsker Dü4:16


Credits adapted from New Day Rising liner notes.[17]


Chart (1985) Peak
UK Indie Chart[6] 10


  1. ^ a b c d Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "New Day Rising – Hüsker Dü". AllMusic. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  2. ^ Ramirez, AJ (3 September 2009). "Hüsker Dü, New Day Rising". PopMatters. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  3. ^ Azerrad 2001, p. 187.
  4. ^ a b Azerrad 2001, p. 189.
  5. ^ Azerrad 2001, p. 188.
  6. ^ a b Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1989. Cherry Red Books. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  7. ^ Kot, Greg (October 11, 1992). "As Bob Mould Went, So Went Rock Music". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
  8. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Hüsker Dü". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). London: Fireside Books. p. 399. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  9. ^ Weisband, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Hüsker Dü". Spin Alternative Record Guide (1st ed.). New York: Vintage Books. p. 187. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  10. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (April 30, 1985). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Leland, John (May 1985). "Spins". Spin. Vol. 1 no. 1. SPIN Media LLC. p. 33.
  12. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  13. ^ Palmer, Robert (January 1, 1986). "The Pop Life; Tom Waits Heads List of Year's Top Albums". New York Times. p. 1.24. ISSN 0362-4331.
  14. ^ Spin Staff (May 11, 2015). "The 300 Best Albums of the Past 30 Years (1985–2014)". Spin Magazine.
  15. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  16. ^ "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30. Eighties hardcore punk was never more simple or stubbornly hopeful: three chords, a three-word chorus and magnificent speed-of-light hammering that never seems to quit but is over way too soon. Bob Mould beats his strings like a homicidal Johnny Ramone, but there's no mistaking the battered-church-bell ring in his stacks of chords and his stressed-amp roar. What a great album
  17. ^ a b New Day Rising (Media notes). Hüsker Dü. SST Records. 1985. SST 031.CS1 maint: others (link)

Works citedEdit