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4.9 out of 5 stars36
4.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 10 November 2000
If you never thought heavy rock music could be melodic then you should buy this album and be amazed. From the out and out rock of The Act We Act to the sheer delight of Man In The Moon this album will enthrall and delight. The heavy numbers such as The Slim grow but the instant access numbers such as If I Can't Change Your Mind, Changes, Helpless and Hoover Dam never become tiresome. At times Bob Mould sounds like Sting during the best Police songs (Particularly Changes). What came after paled into comparison. Not because it wasn't equally excellent but because it never delivered on each and every song with each and every note like this. Husker Du may have died but the more melodic, accesable Sugar overshadowed them. When Nirvana and company were inventing themselves the originator out-thought them all and delivered a never to be forgotten classic.
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on 27 December 2003
After the demise of the once-mighty Husker Du, Bob Mould’s musical career hit rough times. Arguments with record companies broke out, a series of patchy solo releases followed and it seemed that the most venerable founding-father of post-punk and alternative rock (whatever “alternative rock” means since “alternative” IS now the mainstream) was adrift. Even despite having achieved some critical success for his solo work, commercial success never came and Mould’s search for musical fulfilment was not yielding many answers.
When “Copper Blue” was released at the very apex of the rave era, the nation was wringing its hands over all things to do with music “characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats” and the music press was obsessing over the handbag-hardcore schism. Only a few people sat up and listened to the news that Mould was back.
There’s no doubting that Creation Records (and of course Rykodisc, Sugar’s US label) knew they had something remarkable in their hands. But when the roar, power and heartbreaking intricacy of Bob Mould’s wall-of-guitar had reached such exquisite fruition as on this magical album, word soon began to spread: Bob Mould was back, Back, BACK and had served the ace that everyone thought he might one day be capable of.
Creation was, of course, still “only” an indie label and did not have an enormous corporate promotion budget to throw at it. Coming hot on the heels of Mould’s solo career and having none of the youth, boyish looks or swaggering gobbiness of the other big-noise bands of the time, Sugar were still a risky proposition. And to add to that Sugar’s idea of “not playing the corporate game”, which did not mean growing their hair long, delivering emotionally incontinent rants about The Man or trying to out-do each other’s chemical consumption; neither did it mean looking glum and moody. It just meant standing around looking like ordinary guys and not really saying too much … so their PR people had a tough job.
And yet, if I remember rightly, this album stayed in the top 5 of the UK indie charts for maybe 18 months. Up against Primal Scream’s “Screamadelica” or Nirvana’s “Nevermind” that alone is a truly awesome feat. It only takes one listen to figure out why. Listening to it as I write, 11 years later and possibly for the 200th time, it still feels as if I’m hearing it for the first time. The rush, the bliss, the noise, the angst, the adrenaline and the unimaginably glorious melodies that defy the imagination are all there; but now I’m older, it’s the maturity, the class and the depth that keep pulling me back, even if I still don’t understand how Mould gets his guitar to sound like that.
Truly, there are barely a handful of records in my collection (of well-over 4,000 records) that have hooked themselves so deeply into my brain as this and I’m not even particularly a heavy-guitar, grunge or rock type. It’s tempting to go through this record, track-by-track, offering some kind of critical analysis of what I think makes it so dazzling, so brilliant, so iconic. It would be simple to spew-forth a eulogy on the lyrics, effuse about the chord progressions, swoon repeatedly over the guitar solos or quiver uncontrollably about the perfect segueing between the tracks but it’s more satisfying to consider the overall, overwhelming effect.
This is an album to be consumed whole and as with all great art, it is enormously greater than the sum of its parts. It’s just completely and utterly fabulous. I’ll still be listening to it in another decade and I hope you will be too.
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on 9 November 2002
Terrific songs smothered in guitars from start to finish. Changes and Helpless are awesome but there's not one weak song here. The album came out at the same time as Nevermind which might explain why its been overlooked by so many, not that I think Bob Mould is too bothered by that. Copper Blue is a man at the top of his game. If he'd wanted to he could have become a massive star with this record but he didn't - and thats why his music sounds so good. He does it the way he thinks it should be done and it comes from the heart.
The simplest and strongest recommendation I can give is that Copper Blue is my favourite album of all time, bar none.
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on 11 June 2007
I'm glad that guy wrote that below.

it proves that the vast majoity of people who go onto Amazon to leave review does so coz they love the album - Its good that you get a mixture of opinons. Not many people go on to rate an album they didnt like that much.

personally i love this one - it is a genre classic - for me it is one of the peaks of the early 90's guitar lead rock. if you like nirvana/foo fighters you'll probably like this too. altough theyre not as angst ridden as Nirvana and not as commercial as foo fighters.

i was 18 the first time i heard it in a 2nd hand store in leeds. I thought it was REM - i always liked REM i just wished they'd rock out a bit more.

Well thats what i thought it was - a new album by REM with some louder guitars. The guy told me it was sugar and i had heard about them so bought his last copy.

Its a great album, full of enough noise to satisfy the grunge lovers and enough melody to keep those that like a hook happy.

The reviewer below is correct - its down sides is that it can sound a bit samey, the production is a bit sketchy and there is only one exception from full out rock on the album.

Its not got 5 stars in that it is one of the all time classics in the world ever but it is certainly one of the best alt/rock albums you can find.

Buy if you love alt/rock.
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on 21 April 2006
Post the mighty Husker Du, Bob Mould's other efforts have been diverse and divisive,but this is top banana, the Real Deal. I firmly believe that Copper Blue is the best album ever released on the Creation Label.The Songs are superbly crafted, Bob is in resounding voice and the quality never dips, from opener The Act We Act through to the album's closer, Man On The Moon, the sheer class resonates. A must-buy for fans of Husker Du and a worthy addition to any informed CD collection. Buy and Enjoy!!!
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on 27 July 2002
With all the rubbish out at the moment (Alien Ant Farm, Blink 182 etc) I feel real sympathy for youngsters nowadays. If only they could look beyond that low quality music they could find a gem like this.
Copper Blue was NME's album of 1992, and for good reason. From the outset you can tell that this collection of songs is very special. It starts with the fantastic "The Act We Act" which contains possibly one of the greatest guitar solos ever and continues with some absolutely brilliant tracks. Those worthy of high-lighting include "Helpless", "Fortune Teller", "Man on the Moon" and the mellow, pop-like, "If I Can't Change Your Mind". Bob Mould certainly found his peak with this album and it should be in any indie lover's album collection. Right next to The Breeder's Last Splash.
Probably one of the best collection of songs ever put together....
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on 28 November 2007
When the first singles from this came out in the UK ('a good idea', and 'changes'), my best friend and I listened to them non stop. This was the same summer that Sonic Youth incredibly almost became a mainstream act (with 'Dirty'), and Nirvana seemed to rule the world. The highlight of the whole time, though, came from Sugar. Husker Du had been badly overlooked by the main music press in the UK, so a bonus was also being able to suddenly discover the earlier material. Copper Blue still stands up to repeated listens, especially the thrill of the first half. Helpless has a real drive, and the centerpiece of Hoover Dam still amazes. The live version on a later 7" was even better. If you don't already own this, your music collection is badly incomplete. Buy without hesitation! And while you're at it, get Zen Arcade by Husker Du!
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on 19 January 2006
Although I've ownned this album since its release it suddenly surfaced in my collection the other day. How could I have put this album to the side lines , what a gem. If you have any reservations , Just buy it, Seriously BUY IT. It puts so many of the current bands to shame. I could go on about every track, but that would ruin the joy of listening to this album for the first time. And while you are at it buy Beaster and Fuel ( File under easy Listening)in which Dave Barbe gets to sing on a few tracks as well. I remember at the time of release there was a lot of talk that Bob Mould had borrowed a lot from Frank Black and the Pixies, however people tended to forget that the Pixies borrowed heavily from Husker Du. Anyway what with the release of the Pixies best of album, which in itself is a good buy for an overall of the Pixies. So go out and buy this album and enjoy. If you like Foo fighters then you'll love this.
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on 7 March 2008
This is a brilliant album (don't let the reviewer who alikened it to REM put you off!)

This is when indie was INDIE and Djs would felt comfortable in playing Pavement, Swervedriver, Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Ride etc.

It's melodic and melancholic..wish I'd got to see them live!
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on 21 June 2011
I remember buying this album back in the day, the week it came out in fact, and being blown away by the sonic hurricane that exploded from the speakers. Bands like Nirvana, the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth had captured the zeitgeist with their brand of riff-laden power pop, but it was this offering from Bob Mould's Minneapolis trio Sugar which really sparkled on debut. It still sounds as wonderfully fresh and vibrant now as it did in 1993.

The 10 songs here are brilliantly crafted by ex Husker Du man Mould, superbly played by rhythm section par excellence Malcolm Travis and Dave Barbe, and turned up to the 11 by knob twiddler and engineer Lou Giordano. There is simply not a bad track here and the buzz guitar riffing contrasts perfectly with the quiet/loud/quiet structure of the songs on offer. Personal favourites are killer chiming guitar single "Changes", Pixies-esque murder ballad "A Good Idea" the guitar overloaded "Helpless" and elegiac closer "Man on the Moon". The real highlight for though, is Hoover Dam. Jaunty keyboards resonate throughout, the drums are battered into submission by Travis and the achingly mournful guitar solo Mould that coaxes out of his axe, is just heartbreakingly beautiful - truly one of Mould's very finest moments. A real standout highlight on an unforgettable and ear blisteringly great album.
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