I felt I was playing catch-up on “alternative” bands for most of the eighties but by the end of the decade music had become more accessible through MTV, some hipper friends, and guidance from a handful of good independent record stores. It was around this time that Bob Mould released his first solo album after the implosion of the great Minneapolis band Husker Du. “Workbook” received a 4 star review in a May 1989 issue of Rolling Stone and that was convincing enough for me to give it a try. You never know what causes a record to become a desert island favorite. Sometimes it’s just chance. The acoustic instrumental that eases us into this record is a drastic departure from anything Mould had created with Husker Du. Most of the rest is soul cleansing reminiscent of Lennon’s “How Do You Sleep?” for his former writing partner. Based on the lyrics there is little doubt that “Workbook” was a painful record to write. But that’s also what makes it ring true. This simple little song opened the door on an amazing record and new styles of music that never slammed shut.

Category: Music

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