Category: The Replacements

The Replacements – Let It Be

ARTIST: The Replacements 220px-The_Replacements_-_Let_It_Be_cover (1)

TITLE: Let It Be

YEAR RELEASED: 1984

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: I Will Dare

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Unsatisfied

LINEUP: Paul Westerberg, Bob Stinson, Tommy Stinson, Chris Mars. Peter Buck guests on I Will Dare.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Replacements pull it together. Their silliness has some grit, and Paul Westerberg has really found his voice and range in his writing.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Sure, there’s the Kiss cover (done reverently), and songs called “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out” and “Gary’s Got a Boner”. Yet this time, the Replacements don’t descend into madness – they keep it together and those songs actually make salient points.

Again, Paul Westerberg has written a couple more absolute all-timers in “I Will Dare” and “Unsatisfied”. The rage in “We’re Coming Out” that shifts into a lesser volume and tempo is impressive. His diatribe against MTV is spot on, and the quieter moments also work as well, even if they marginalize Bob Stinson and his roughneck guitar.

It’s raucous, loud, fun, irreverent, hooky, serious, and profound. It’s the Replacements at their best.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out” was actually about Tommy Stinson getting his tonsils taken out, and morphs into a diatribe against doctors.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a few outtakes and demos

GRADE A+: It sounds a bit sloppy, maybe, and at a glance the tracks seem less than silly. But, they give it their all here.

The Replacements – Hootenanny

ARTIST: The Replacements 220px-The_Replacements_-_Hootenanny_cover

TITLE: Hootenanny

YEAR RELEASED: 1983

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Color Me Impressed, Within Your Reach

LINEUP: Paul Westerberg, Bob Stinson, Tommy Stinson, Chris Mars

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A shambolic record that epitomizes the Replacements at the time.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: There’s some growth and maturity by The Replacements here. Tracks like “Color Me Impressed”, “Within Your Reach” and “Willpower” expand their sonic horizons and sharpen their wit.

Then there’s the messes of “Treatment Bound” and the title track, “Hootenanny” where the band switches instruments for the heck of it. (They did that during their shows sometimes). And the outright stealing of some melodies during “Mr. Whirly”, also for a gag probably.

Is it entertaining? Yeah. Is it consistent? Nah. But “Within Your Reach” and “Color Me Impressed” are definitely all-timers for the group, and rock in general.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Lovelines” featured actual classified ads from the Minneapolis City pages.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a few outtakes and alternate vocals.

GRADE B: Fun, but really messy and erratic.

The Replacements – Stink

ARTIST: The Replacements 220px-The_Replacements_-_The_Replacements_Stink_cover

TITLE: Stink

YEAR RELEASED: 1982

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: It was an EP. The lead track was Kids Don’t Follow

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Pretty much everything is Replacements canon

LINEUP: Paul Westerberg, Bob Stinson, Tommy Stinson, Christopher Mars

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Recorded to make sure that Kids Don’t Follow was on record, this EP is a holding pattern.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Paul Westerburg had a habit of discarding some songs after he was sick of them. Peter Jesperson, their manager, wanted to make sure that “Kids Don’t Follow” wasn’t in the discard pile, so he arranged this one day session to record this and other songs they had added to their set.

Most everything is hard fast, snotty, and arrogant, but there’s some real poignancy is songs like “Go”, realism in “God Damn Job”, and anthems in “Kids Don’t Follow” and “Gimme Noise”

This will take 15 minutes of your time and there are worse ways to spend it. It doesn’t propel the group forward though.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The opening bit is an honest-to-God Minneapolis police raid.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a few outtakes

 GRADE B+: A couple of all timers, but nothing else is special.

The Replacements – Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash

ARTIST: The Replacements      the_replacements_-_sorry_ma_forgot_to_take_out_the_trash_cover

TITLE:  Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash

YEAR RELEASED: 1981

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: I’m in Trouble

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Takin’ a Ride, Kick Your Door Down, Johnny’s Gonna Die

LINEUP: Paul Westerberg, Bob Stinson, Tommy Stinson, Christopher Mars

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Legendary punk album from legendary Minneapolis band. It’s smart-aleck sass and shambling sound are refreshing and timeless to this day.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Who hasn’t been in love with the girl working the cash register at the mini-mart? Who hasn’t got a throbbing noggin from a concert by a shitty band? Who hasn’t been in trouble, with their parents or their girl? Who hasn’t made bad puns?

Everyone who is or was a teenager can relate to these songs. Paul Westerberg’s songs have a lot of sass and attitude, while the backing by the Stinsons and Christopher Mars may be punk in spirit, but is quite accomplished in practice (especially Tommy’s driving bass lines). This was a punk band that could play – when they wanted to.

“Johnny’s Gonna Die” may be the highlight. It’s a tender song (an outlier) about Johnny Thunders and his heroin habit. It opened Side 2, right after “I Hate Music” (it’s got too many notes), and “Shiftless When Idle”, which is my favorite pun, ever. (I’m lame.)

This has to be in your collection. Has to be. Yeah.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The owner of their record company (Twin-Tone) was their manager and co-producer (Peter Jesperson).

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A rare B-side (another tender one) and a bunch of demos and outtakes.

GRADE: A+:  When I was making plans to review this, I thought I may give it a lower grade, but as I listen to it again, all of the reasons I love rock-and-roll and love music are evident here in this album – feedback, snark, and all.