Seven musical artists who turned in exquisite five-album runs

These five-album runs are not to be missed.
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Everything Falls Apart (1983)
Zen Arcade (1984)
New Day Rising (1985)
Flip Your Wig (1985)
Candy Apple Grey (1986)

Hardcore and post-punk bands from the 1980s had a hard time sustaining success. Whether it was due to poor promotion or interpersonal dynamics that scuttled many of the best bands of the era, it may have been harder to crank out five great punk albums than it was in any other genre. That’s what makes Husker Du’s achievement so remarkable.

The first album here was released by Reflex, a creation of the band itself. It was the equivalent of self-publishing, punk rock style. The final album was for Warner Bros, the mountaintop for aspiring bands. In between, they released the middle three for SST, Greg Ginn’s iconic indie – arguably the most important indie label in American rock & roll. As they moved on, the band’s style changed some, but the quality remained intact.

Husker Du avoided some of the pitfalls bands encounter when cranking out material by having a pair of excellent songwriters. Guitarist Bob Mould and drummer Grant Hall generally shared songwriting duties from Zen Arcade onward. Bassist Greg Norton helped out as well.

The debut is rough and sloppy but its take on Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman” shows the promise of what is to come. Zen Arcade picked up the challenge thrown down by SST labelmates Minutemen by creating a massive double album that aimed far higher than the band had up to that point. New Day Rising and Flip Your Wig are the best examples of the shift from noise to melodic hardcore that any band achieved in the mid-‘80s.

The move to a major label, which got them branded as sell-outs by many punks fans, produced some of their greatest individual songs. Hart’s “Don’t Want to Know if You Are Lonely” may well be their greatest single.