Copper Blue – Sugar
As part of the heavily influential alt. rock band Husker Du, a group that the likes of The Pixies and Nirvana openly revered, Bob Mould really doesn’t seem to get the credit he deserves these days. Following the break-up of Husker Du in 1988 and a couple of subsequent solo albums, Mould returned to the band dynamic and formed Sugar with bassist David Barbe and drummer Malcolm Travis in the early 90s, releasing their debut album Copper Blue in 1992 on the legendary, but slightly unlikely label, Creation Records.
Fast forward to 2012 and Edsel Records have lovingly remastered and reissued Copper Blue as a 2CD/1DVD set featuring the full album, B-sides, radio session, complete 18 track live show and DVD featuring promo clips and archive interview material. Also included is a fantastic booklet with all new interviews, rare pictures and lyrics to the album, making this the definitive way to enjoy Copper Blue in all its sugar (natch) rush glory.
If I Can’t Change Your Mind still remains one of the best pop songs of the last 20 years, I defy anyone to listen to it and not fall instantly in love; the instantaneous adrenaline rush of the perfect pop tune is still as potent today as it was when it was first released. But this is an album of far more depth than just one stand out tune, Changes and A Good Idea are more refined versions of the Husker Du wall of noise approach, still maintaining that alternative rock edge but somehow feeling a little sunnier. Whilst lyrically the songs are still often born in dark places, The Slim for example being about a friend’s death from AIDS, the overall tone feels more positive. Life in Husker Du had seemingly become restrictive; inter band tension and Mould’s own drug addiction souring things so Sugar seems to be a redemptive shot at being in a band once more.
The second disc includes a full concert recorded in Chicago in 1992 and features the whole album played live along with a few covers and rare tracks, plus an early outing for Titled that would later appear on the Beaster mini album. There is just enough rawness to the recording to capture the live energy and considering this was recorded only five months or so after the band was formed, it shows just how impressive they were as a unit.
Sugar would only manage one more full studio album (Beaster being a mini album of off cuts from Copper Blue) before Mould returned to his solo ventures, but Copper Blue still remains a potent mix of pop hooks and rock riffs, with this new issue adding an extra dimension to a classic release.
For all things Bob Mould related, visit his website HERE.