September marks the 35th anniversary of Hüsker Dü’s legendary Flip Your Wig, the band’s fourth, and first self-produced album. Although the band wanted to produce their previous album, New Day Rising, SST Records sent in long-time label producer Spot. When the band was finally allowed to self-produce, they spent four months, March to June 1985, recording in the band’s hometown, Minneapolis.
Although the band had signed a deal with Warner Music Group before its release, out of loyalty to SST, the album was given to them. The LP, which held 14 tracks and preceded New Day Rising by only a few months and Zen Arcade by just over a year, was the best selling album to that point for SST Records, selling 50,000 copies in its first for months.
Guitarist Bob Mould and drummer Grant Hart each wrote roughly half the songs on Flip Your Wig, continuing the band’s latest tendency toward power pop and away from the noisy punk tendencies of their earlier material. “Makes No Sense At All,” written by Mould, was the only single from the album and was released with a B-Side cover of “Love Is All Around,” the theme to The Mary Tyler Moore Show (which was Minneapolis-based). The song, which Mould still performs during solo tours, reached number 2 on the UK indie charts.
When Flip Your Wig hit the streets via SST in September 1985, it debuted at No. 5 on the CMJ album charts and was lauded by Creem, Spin, Rolling Stone, and The Village Voice. Robert Christgau placed the album in the top ten of The Village Voice’s critics’ poll for 1985 alongside the album’s predecessor, New Day Rising.
Enjoy the astonishing and unforgettable record below.