Husker Du were one of the band’s whose influence reached far beyond their record sales and mainstream popularity. As one of the pioneers of the American alternative-rock movement that peaked with Nirvana, the fact that the group’s songs have been covered in recent years by both the Foo Fighters and Green Day speaks to the scope and the lasting power of their influence.
Grant Hart, a rare drummer who is also a singer-songwriter, brought the high-powered band’s melodic leanings to the fore, helping to lead them out of the blistering hardcore of their early years into a fusion that was equally powerful but had more hooks. The group’s mid-1980s albums “Zen Arcade,” “New Day Rising,” “Flip Your Wig” and the swan song “Warehouse: Songs and Stories” contain most of their best and most influential work.
The group split acrimoniously in 1988 but repaired relations in recent months around the forthcoming release of “Savage Young Du,” a long-overdue collection of their early work, which will come out in November.
In the wake of Hart’s death late Wednesday after a battle with cancer, fans and artists who they influenced flooded social media with remembrances and tributes — Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Ryan Adams, Belly/Throwing Muses cofounder Tanya Donnelly and Mould were among the first.