New Day Rising is the third studio album by the American punk rock band Hüsker Dü, released in 1985 on SST Records. The album continued the move away from the fast hardcore punk of the band's earliest releases toward slower, more melodic material.
The band released the album Zen Arcade through SST Records in July 1984, and the label's co-owner Joe Carducci immediately requested another album. The band wanted to self-produce, but SST insisted on Spot, who produced many of the label's albums, including all of Hüsker Dü's. The recording atmosphere was thus tense. New Day Rising appeared in January 1985 and featured slower, more melodic material, continuing the trend away from the fast hardcore punk of the band's earliest releases. This coupled with the higher-quality musicianship and production led fans to perceive the band as more commercial, and the band defended themselves against accusations of selling out.
From contemporary reviews, Spin compared the album favourably to the group's previous album Zen Arcade which was referred to as "ambitious but overreaching" and praised the songwriting, noting that "these new songs could go up against anything on the radio and blow it away" and that the group has "developed into brilliant pop songwriters." The review concluded that despite producer Spot's "characteristically cheap production", the album "doesn't just fulfill the enormous promise of the Minneapolis trio. It fulfills the even greater promise of punk rock" and that the album "affirms everything that was good about punk in the first place"Robert Christgau gave the album an A rating, opining that it was "clearly their finest record" and that audiences should "Play loud--this is one band that deserves it."
The album was included end of the year best-of lists, such as the NME who placed the album at ninth place on their list of top albums of 1985. The New York Times critic Jon Pareles placed New Day Rising at 3rd on his best albums of 1985 list.
From retrospective reviews, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic gave the album five stars, stating that "the razor-thin production and waves of noise mean that it takes a little bit of effort to pick out the melodies, but more often the furious noise and melodies fuse together to create an overwhelming sonic force" and that Grant and Mould "both turn in songs that are catchy, clever, and alternately wracked with pain or teeming with humor. New Day Rising is a positively cathartic record and ranks as Hüsker Dü's most sustained moment of pure power."
New Day Rising was ranked thirteenth in Spin's "100 Greatest Albums, 1985-2005". In 2014, it was ranked Fifty-first in Spin's "The 300 Best Albums of the Past 30 Years (1985-2014)". In 2003, the album was ranked 495 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and in 2012, it was pushed up to rank 488. The magazine also included the title track in its "100 Greatest Guitar Songs" list, ranking it at 96.
^"The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30. Eighties hardcore punk was never more simple or stubbornly hopeful: three chords, a three-word chorus and magnificent speed-of-light hammering that never seems to quit but is over way too soon. Bob Mould beats his strings like a homicidal Johnny Ramone, but there's no mistaking the battered-church-bell ring in his stacks of chords and his stressed-amp roar. What a great album[dead link]