Metal Circus

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Metal Circus
EP by Hüsker Dü
Released October 1983
Recorded December 1982 to January 1983 at Total Access Recording in Redondo Beach, California
Genre Hardcore punk
Length 18:57
Label SST
Producer Hüsker Dü, Spot
Hüsker Dü chronology
Everything Falls Apart
Metal Circus
Zen Arcade
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau A[2]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[3]
Spin 9/10 stars[4]

Metal Circus is an EP by Hüsker Dü, released in 1983. As one of their early records, it was largely rooted in the band's initial hardcore punk style. However, signs of a new, poppier influence emerge on Metal Circus, particularly in the songs sung by Grant Hart ("It's Not Funny Anymore" and "Diane"). It also features some of Bob Mould's most passionate singing and shows further development in his guitar playing. Harmonic, chorus-type effects applied to Mould's guitar are more prominent. The change from the furious hardcore moments of Land Speed Record and Everything Falls Apart towards increasing melodicism hints at the groundbreaking new approach that was to be seen on the band's next release, Zen Arcade.

The horrific murder depicted in the anguished "Diane" is based upon the murder of West St. Paul waitress Diane Edwards by Joseph Ture in 1980. The song was covered by the band Coffin Break in 1989, Irish band Therapy? in 1995, Superdrag in 1998 and Gravenhurst in 2004 .

While only 21 seconds shorter than their debut studio album Everything Falls Apart, and generally viewed as an EP, Metal Circus was almost released as a 30 minute album with 11 songs. The outtakes were "Standing by the Sea" (later used on Zen Arcade), "Today's the Day", "You Think I'm Scared", and "Won't Change" (which later appeared on the compilation A Diamond Hidden in the Mouth of a Corpse). [1]

Track listing[edit]

Side One

  1. "Real World" (Mould) – 2:27
  2. "Deadly Skies" (Mould) – 1:50
  3. "It's Not Funny Anymore" (Hart) – 2:12
  4. "First of the Last Calls" (Mould) – 2:48

Side Two

  1. "Lifeline" (Mould) – 2:19
  2. "Diane" (Hart) – 4:42
  3. "Out on a Limb" (Mould/Norton/Hart) – 2:39


  1. ^ Metal Circus at AllMusic
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (January 24, 1984). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ Brackett, Nathan. "Hüsker Dü". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. November 2004. pg. 398, cited March 18, 2010
  4. ^ Weisbard, Eric. "Hüsker Dü". Spin Alternative Record Guide. October 1995. p.187