The other day a customer says to me, "Don't look at me like a fag or anything but do you have any Soul Asylum?"
So now the reputation of this Minneapolis alterna-hardcore-roots-rock-cow-punk band, one of the eighties' most critically-respected groups, is so denigrated that suspect qualifications seem necessary just to speak their name in public, even at a bloody music store!
To hell with that; Soul Asylum mattered. Sure the dismissers could focus on their punny band name or the possibility that their one monster hit was just a fair-to-nice ballad with a heart-warming video, or claim that they threw their drummer under the bus and started dating Wynona Ryder after said fair ballad hit the upper reaches of the charts but they'd be missing those soaring songs.
The blizzard of songs, full of sadness and ripping melodies, that moved out of Minneapolis in the mid-eighties via Husker Du, The Replacements and Soul Asylum (plus Prince!) is to this day, hard to match. Yet, when this style of angst-riden pop songs shrouded in noise and dressed in flannel finally did steal the charts from M.C. Hammer, C & C Music Factory, G n' R et al, Soul Asylum had been (slightly) worn-down by record label malfeasance. It's not that the chart-topping Grave Dancer's Union lacks for good song-writing but neither the words or the music show the raw grit that their albums before (and even after!) it do.
(This version is a little rough but it fully shows what the band always did right.)
So as my little reminded that Pirner and Murphy' songs kicked ass in the saddest, catchiest way, here's a two track single of "Tied to the Tracks" b/w "Can't Go Back" pulled from the incomparable Made to Be Broken.
By the way, I sold that customer "And The Horse they Rode in On" and "Let Your Dim Lights Shine" and he walked out of there as
Tied to the Tracks link is in the comments
Support the band:
Everyone's coming out in support of Soul Asylum - go check out It's a *** Thing's great post on the band!