In 1979, three Minneapolis record store kids formed a punk band and named it after a Swedish board game. Husker Du never made wheelbarrows full of money, but their importance and influence far outstripped the band's nine-year lifespan. Husker Du's first album, 1982's Land Speed Record, initiated their uncompromising sonic assault, and they never let up. Bob Mould and Grant Hart wrote tight pop gems, covering them with a guitar noise that other bands are still trying to imitate. Mould battered and strummed his Flying V guitar and shouted his frustration to the world, Hart pounded double time and stretched his vocal chords from behind the kit, and Greg Norton built a wide foundation of buzzing, relentless bass.
They seemed to get better with every passing year, and after a slew of exceptional records they signed with a major label, Warner Bros., for 1986's Candy Apple Grey and '87's double-LP Warehouse: Songs and Stories. But the group disintegrated within a year and a half as drugs, self-destruction and tensions within the group took their toll in classic rock 'n' roll fashion. Wrapping angst, abandon, and well-crafted pop songs up in a furious guitar squall, Husker Du unwittingly created the template for indie rock -- they made a sound and a legend that continues to haunt the alternative rock world to this day.