avclub.com - 9 days ago
R.I.P. Hüsker Dü's Grant Hart
(Photo: Jordi Vidal/Getty Images) Sources on social media are reporting that Grant Hart, a singer, drummer, and songwriter who helped define the sound of alternative rock with his work in legendary post-hardcore band Hüsker Dü, has died.
Hart was 56; Variety reports that he had been suffering from cancer. Outspoken, intense, and sublimely gifted, Hart’s time in Hüsker Dü was characterized by the constant push and pull between himself and frontman Bob Mould, who he met at a record store when they were both teenagers in 1979. Joined by bassist Greg Norton, the trio embarked on a career in the Midwestern punk scene, before their more melodic instincts pushed them out of the world of hardcore punk and into more mainstream success. Hart’s songwriting was an integral part of that shift; “Diane,” one of the first songs he wrote for the band, lured listeners in with its compelling hook, despite the ugly violence of its lyrics. The band transcended hardcore in 1983, when they released Zen Arcade, a sprawling, melodic concept album that’s frequently cited as one of the birthplaces of alt-rock. Although the album was a financial non-starter—at least in part due to hesitancy on the part of punk label SST Records—it laid out a blueprint not just for Hüsker Dü, but for any number of college rock bands to follow. The next year, the band signed with Warner Bros., becoming one of the first groups to emerge from the ’80s indie scene and into the hands of a major label.
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