Flip Your Wig

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Flip Your Wig
Huskerdu flipyourwig.jpg
Studio album by
Released September 1985
Recorded March–June 1985
Genre Power pop[1]
Length 40:09
Label SST (055)
Producer Bob Mould and Grant Hart
Hüsker Dü chronology
New Day Rising
Flip Your Wig
Candy Apple Grey
Singles from Flip Your Wig

Flip Your Wig is the fourth album by American band Hüsker Dü, released in September 1985. It was the band's first self-produced album. It was the best-selling album to that point for the band's label SST Records, and the last album they made for that label. The band spent months in the studio to achieve higher-quality production for the album's melodic power pop songs.


As of 1985 Hüsker Dü was the best-selling band on SST Records.[2] The band had wanted to produce their previous album New Day Rising, but SST insisted on sending long-time label producer Spot.[3] With Flip Your Wig the band was finally allowed to self-produce.[2] Recording took place over several sessions in the band's hometown of Minneapolis[4] from March to June 1985, by far the longest the band had spent in the studio.[2] The cleaner production complemented the more melodic songs, still performed with heavily distorted guitars in a high-powered manner.[5]


Guitarist Bob Mould and drummer Grant Hart each wrote roughly half the songs,[5] which continued the band's trend toward power pop and away from the fast, noisy hardcore punk of their earliest material.[1]

"Makes No Sense at All" was released as a single,[4] with "Love Is All Around" (the theme song of the Mary Tyler Moore Show) on the b-side.[6][7] The "Makes No Sense at All" video was the band's first[4] and includes both songs, back-to-back.[citation needed] "Makes No Sense at All" was the band's first song to achieve significant airplay on album-oriented rock radio.[8]

Release and reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[9]
Chicago Tribune 4/4 stars[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5 stars[11]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 9/10[12]
The Village Voice A−[13]

Flip Your Wig appeared via SST in September 1985. It débuted at No. 5 on the CMJ album charts and received more radio airplay and mainstream press attention than the band's earlier releases, including stories in Creem, Spin,[8] Rolling Stone.[14] Robert Christgau declared in The Village Voice that with the album's production the band had "never sounded so good",[13] and the album placed in the top ten of the magazine's critics' poll for 1985 along with New Day Rising.[8] Flip Your Wig became SST's best-selling album at the time of its release,[15] moving 50,000 copies in its first four months.[4]

By the time the album was released Hüsker Dü had signed a record deal with the major-label Warner Music Group,[16] who were keen to release the album themselves.[17] However, out of loyalty, and because of SST's appointment of new promotions manager Ray Farrell, the album was given to SST.[18] The title track and "Keep Hanging On" became staples of the band's live shows, while power pop anthem "Makes No Sense at All" was featured in a music video; this song was sometimes performed by Mould in his 1990s solo career.[citation needed]

Decades later, Bob Mould saw Flip Your Wig as "the best album Hüsker Dü ever did".[19] Ira Robbins and John Leland at Trouser Press describe the album as "Positively brilliant — fourteen unforgettable pop tunes played like armageddon were nigh" and rate "Makes No Sense at All" as "one of 1985's best 45s".[20] AllMusic's review says "Flip Your Wig would be a remarkable record on its own terms, but the fact that it followed New Day Rising by a matter of months and Zen Arcade by just over a year is simply astonishing."[21]

Track listing

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Flip Your Wig" Bob Mould 2:33
2. "Every Everything" Grant Hart 1:56
3. "Makes No Sense at All" Mould 2:43
4. "Hate Paper Doll" Mould 1:52
5. "Green Eyes" Hart 2:58
6. "Divide and Conquer" Mould 3:42
7. "Games" Mould 4:06
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
8. "Find Me" Mould 4:05
9. "The Baby Song" Hart 0:46
10. "Flexible Flyer" Hart 3:01
11. "Private Plane" Mould 3:17
12. "Keep Hanging On" Hart 3:15
13. "The Wit and the Wisdom" Mould 3:41
14. "Don't Know Yet" Mould 2:14


Liner notes adapted from at the album sleeve.[22]


Chart rankings
Chart (1985) Peak
UK Indie Chart 1[23]


  1. ^ a b Azerrad 2001, pp. 191–192; Earles 2014, p. 152.
  2. ^ a b c Azerrad 2001, p. 191.
  3. ^ Azerrad 2001, p. 189.
  4. ^ a b c d Earles 2014, p. 152.
  5. ^ a b Azerrad 2001, pp. 191–192.
  6. ^ "Husker Du Press Releases -- Flip Your Wig". www.thirdav.com. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
  7. ^ "Hüsker Dü — Makes No Sense At All 7"/CD3". www.thirdav.com. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
  8. ^ a b c Azerrad 2001, p. 192.
  9. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Flip Your Wig – Hüsker Dü". AllMusic. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
  10. ^ Kot, Greg (October 11, 1992). "As Bob Mould Went, So Went Rock Music". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
  11. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Hüsker Dü". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). London: Fireside Books. p. 399. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  12. ^ Weisband, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Hüsker Dü". Spin Alternative Record Guide (1st ed.). New York: Vintage Books. p. 187. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  13. ^ a b Christgau.
  14. ^ Tannenbaum 1985.
  15. ^ Earles 2010, p. 165.
  16. ^ Earles 2010, p. 177.
  17. ^ Mould, Bob (2011). See A Little Light The Trail Of Rage And Melody. p.109: Little, Brown and Co. ISBN 978-0-316-04508-7.
  18. ^ Earles 2010, p. 178; Mould & Azerrad 2011, p. 110.
  19. ^ Mould & Azerrad 2011, p. 103.
  20. ^ Leland & Ira.
  21. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/flip-your-wig-mw0000190362
  22. ^ Flip Your Wig (Back cover). SST Records. 1985. SST 055.
  23. ^ Lazell 1997.

Works cited

  • Azerrad, Michael (2001). Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981–1991. Little, Brown. ISBN 978-0-316-24718-4.
  • Christgau, Robert (1986-01-28). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  • Earles, Andrew (2010). Husker Du: The Story of the Noise-Pop Pioneers Who Launched Modern Rock. MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-61673-979-9.
  • Earles, Andrew (2014). Gimme Indie Rock: 500 Essential American Underground Rock Albums 1981–1996. Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-4648-8.
  • Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits: 1980–1989: The Complete U.K. Independent Charts (Singles & Albums). Cherry Red Books. ISBN 978-0-9517206-9-1.
  • Leland, John; Robbins, Ira. "Hüsker Dü". Archived from the original on 2003-01-20. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  • Mould, Bob; Azerrad, Michael (2011). See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody. Little, Brown. ISBN 978-0-316-17571-5.
  • Tannenbaum, Rob (1985-11-07). "Flip Your Wig". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2011-09-19. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
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