You had to know this one was coming. This one’s a stone cold classic in the annals of band battles. It’s a Twin Cities throwdown! And it’s hard! You’re talking about two of the greatest bands of all-time. You’re talking about two of the most influential acts ever on this punk/indie/alternative thing we’re all so crazy about. You’re talking about two bands that flat-out changed the world.
Let me say that I love, love, love, love, love, love The Replacements. In my list of all-time favorite bands of any genre, The Replacements come in at #4 or 5. But Husker Du is my #3. If I had to pick here (which is the whole point of the exercise!), I pick Husker Du without a moment of hesitation. Husker Du was my gateway band into the world of punk rock. “I Apologize” literally changed my world forever. I heard it, and it was as if this was the kind of music I’d been waiting for all my life. I loved buying all their tapes (yes, back then we listened to tapes!) and discovering the many phases of their much-too-brief career. The early hardcore punk stuff, the epic boundary-pushing of Zen Arcade, the classic melodic punk of New Day Rising, the more “adult” proto alt-rock of their Warner Brothers albums...I loved it all. The Replacements would come on my scene later, and no doubt that was a life-changing development in its own right. But a man never forgets his first love. It’s a cliché to say, “There will never be another band like that again”. But in the case of Husker Du, it’s the truth.
Now it’s your call. Who ya gonna take: Husker Du or The Replacements?