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Friday 29 October 2021



2021 Charity Shop Purchases 75 - Bob Mould - Workbook

If it's Friday it must be Bob Mould. 
Not content with his second solo alum Black Sheets of Rain which featured last Friday I also picked up his 1989 debut solo album Workbook on Virgin in the Ullapool Community Shop. So his first two solo albums from between the demise of Hüsker Dü and the formation of Sugar for a pound. Not a bad piece of work as I'm sure you will agree.

This one is not as heavy as Black Sheets and has a strong folk
 influence. Cellos also make an appearance. Bob writes in his autobiography See a Little Light that it was important to move beyond the sound of the past eight years
Jason Heller in Pitchfork writes after years of straining to be heard over Hüsker’s din, he sounds almost startled by the potency and range of his own voice; the same goes for the themes of his lyrics, which don’t shy away from an encroaching spirituality that would eventuality lead to Mould’s religious awakening years later.
Wiki argues that the album has been influential in the alternative rock community: its acoustic elements would be echoed in R.E.M's Automatic For the People with Nirvana's In Utero using cellos in a similar way.
It is not hard to imagine Michael Stipe or Kurt Cobain  being influenced by Bob and  Hüsker Dü.

A 25th Anniversary Workshop 25 was re-issued by Omnivore Recordings in 2014


  1. Wishing Well has a very early 1970s Jethro Tull feel to it. You'll be getting Thick As A Brick next

    1. Agree with George re. Wishing Well. Just trying to imagine Bob now in a torn dressing gown!

    2. - that's not meant to sound like some private fantasy...

  2. I'd dismissed Wishing Well and then read the Jethro Tull references. As a Tull Head I went back to check if the comments were valid and.....yes I could see where they were coming from and ended up listening to the whole track and liking it. Damn it! I'm meant to be reducing my listening orbit not extending it!

  3. A fantastic album, possibly my favourite of all his stuff. I saw him twice around this period, once solo and acoustic at the Camden Underworld, the other with a full band somewhere in central London where the set featured an inspired cover of Richard & Linda Thompson's 'Shoot Out the Lights'.