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Released: September 1984

Rating: 4.617 (average of 10 ratings)

Genre: punk rock

Quotable: “The record that exploded the limits of hardcore and what it could achieve.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Album Tracks:

  1. Something I Learned Today
  2. Broken Home, Broken Heart
  3. Never Talking to You Again
  4. Chartered Trips
  5. Dreams Reoccurring
  6. Indecision Time
  7. Hare Krsna
  8. Beyond the Threshold
  9. Pride
  10. I’ll Never Forget You
  11. The Biggest Lie
  12. What’s Going On
  13. Masochism World
  14. Standing by the Sea
  15. Somewhere
  16. One Step at a Time
  17. Pink Turns to Blue
  18. Newest Industry
  19. Monday Will Never Be the Same
  20. Whatever
  21. The Tooth Fairy and the Princess
  22. Turn on the News
  23. Reoccurring Dreams

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart --
peak on U.K. album chart --

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Masochism World (?) --

Notes: --


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. Spin Magazine’s 100 Greatest Albums

Zen Arcade
Hüsker Dü
“In many ways, it’s impossible to overestimate the impact of Hüsker Dü’s Zen Arcade on the American rock underground in the ‘80s. It’s the record that exploded the limits of hardcore and what it could achieve. Hüsker Dü broke all of the rules with Zen Arcade. First and foremost, it’s a sprawling concept album, even if the concept isn’t immediately clear or comprehensible.” STE

“More important are the individual songs. Both Bob Mould and Grant Hart abandoned the strict ‘fast, hard, loud’ rules of hardcore punk with their songs for Zen Arcade. Without turning down the volume, Hüsker Dü try everything – pop songs, tape experiments, acoustic songs, pianos, noisy psychedelia. Hüsker Dü willed themselves to make such a sprawling record – as the liner notes state, the album was recorded and mixed within 85 hours and consists almost entirely of first takes. That reckless, ridiculously single-minded approach does result in some weak moments – the sound is thin and the instrumentals drag on a bit too long – but it’s also the key to the success of Zen Arcade. Hüsker Dü sound phenomenally strong and possessed, as if they could do anything.” STE

“The sonic experimentation is bolstered by Mould and Hart’s increased sense of songcraft. Neither writer is afraid to let his pop influences show on Zen Arcade, which gives the songs – from the unrestrained rage of Something I Learned Today and the bitter, acoustic Never Talking to You Again to the eerie Pink Turns to Blue and anthemic Turn on the News – their weight. It’s music that is informed by hardcore punk and indie rock ideals without being limited by them.” STE

Review Source(s):

Last updated March 20, 2010.