Hackskeptic’s 500 Greatest Songs: Sugar – Hoover Dam


171 – Sugar – Hoover Dam (1992)
Written by Bob Mould
Produced by Bob Mould and Lou Giordano
Label: Creation/Rykodisc

If anyone ever asks me,”Have you any recommendations on a great rock band I may never have heard of?”, my automatic go to is always Sugar. Formed following the dissolution of Hüsker Dü by guitarist/singer Bob Mould, they released some of the most compelling alternative rock I have ever heard. “Copper Blue”, their zenith in my opinion, was Mould’s spirited reaction to the consequences of five years of disappointments. Following the break up of one of punk rock’s greatest bands in 1987, he was laid low by bad business decisions and poor sales for his 1990 solo album “Black Sheets Of Rain”. He then fired his manager, accountants and attorney in early 1991 and came out fighting with a new band. “Hoover Dam” is the highlight of “Copper Blue”, but it’s one of numerous excellent songs from the album.

17 responses to “Hackskeptic’s 500 Greatest Songs: Sugar – Hoover Dam

  1. You know? I never, ever got into Husker Du but I loved both of the first two albums by Sugar. Also, like me some solo a Bob Mould. Is that weird?

  2. You’re totally right. I stopped counting the blank looks I get when I say I really dig Sugar. I like them more than I ever liked Husker Du and I listen to Copper Blue and Beaster a fair bit (File Under Easy Listening is filed under hugely disappointing here, I’m afraid).

      • I dunno why it is. I guess they got overlooked because people where picking up on the likes of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Pumkins, etc. after Nirvana broke. Sugar had a completely different vibe. Maybe?

      • That’s a great explanation. That may be the reason why Sugar had a bigger following in the U.K. than across the Atlantic. North America was far more invested in grunge, which probably explains why “Copper Blue” reached number 10 in the U.K. album charts. It failed to chart in the U.S.

      • It’s the only explanation I can think of. A lot of bands got overlooked during that time (alternative rockery or not), as the focus was definitely on a few bands. The fact Copper Blue didn’t chart in the US at all is quite surprising, actually.

      • Yeah I was really surprised too. I’m relying on Wikipedia for the information though. Also if I remember correctly it was voted number 1 album by NME critics in their yearly poll. At that time the magazine still had some readers and credibility.

      • Ah, when NME was a worthwhile read. I even ignore the free copy handed out at the train station in the morning!

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