In August of 1980, Grant Hart, Bob Mould, and Greg Norton booked time at Minneapolis’ Blackberry Way Studio to record what would become their debut 7”. A deal with Twin/Tone was thought to be in the bag but was derailed by the fall 1980 signing of the Replacements— Hüsker Dü’s then-chief rival. Spurned on by Twin/Tone’s rejection, a scathing version of “Amusement” was thrashed out live at Duffy’s, and plans were made for a four song 10”, with Blackberry Way cuts “Statues,” “Writer’s Cramp,” and “Let’s Go Die” making up the balance. The enormous start up cost for a debut release forced a format change, and in January of 1981 Reflex Records #A, “Amusement” b/w “Statues,” found its way to market. The single would find two pressings over the next few years, but fall out of print as the band’s style changed from Metal Box-esque post-punk to Los Angeles-inspired hardcore.
For Record Store Day 2013, Numero will issue “Amusement” b/w “Statues” and the studio alternates “Writer’s Cramp” and “Let’s Go Die” as a 2x7”. The Blackberry Way cuts have been remastered from a first generation sub-master (the originals have long been lost), while “Amusement” was cut from the original live board tape. Grant Hart’s Fake Name Graphix artwork remains untouched, beefed up by a 28pt board gatefold jacket. Pressed in an edition of 4000, this deluxe reissue should satiate a new generation of Hüsker lovers. For at least another 33 years, anyhow.
Let’s Go Die