34 Songs, 1 Hour, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Replacements were among the great bands of the 1980s. Though the chaos the band regularly brought to life on stage was never fully replicated in the studio, Paul Westerberg and Co. did manage to bring a heartbreaking intensity to the songs. Contractual issues prevent the band's early work on Twin/Tone from appearing here, so this career survey begins with 1985's Tim, their debut album for Sire Records, and ends with the final Replacements album 1990's All Shook Down, which is now considered a Paul Westerberg solo album in all but name. The first 16 songs take four excellent songs from each of the studio albums, with highlights such as "Here Comes A Regular," "Skyway," "Alex Chilton" and "The Ledge" showing off their poignant side. The second batch of 18 features the b-sides, the outtakes, the live promotional tracks, all to create a compelling reason for hardcore fans to celebrate. The Tim version of "Can't Hardly Wait" is reason enough, but "Beer For Breakfast," "All He Wants To Do Is Fish" and "Like A Rolling Pin" further expose the band's anarchic side.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Replacements were among the great bands of the 1980s. Though the chaos the band regularly brought to life on stage was never fully replicated in the studio, Paul Westerberg and Co. did manage to bring a heartbreaking intensity to the songs. Contractual issues prevent the band's early work on Twin/Tone from appearing here, so this career survey begins with 1985's Tim, their debut album for Sire Records, and ends with the final Replacements album 1990's All Shook Down, which is now considered a Paul Westerberg solo album in all but name. The first 16 songs take four excellent songs from each of the studio albums, with highlights such as "Here Comes A Regular," "Skyway," "Alex Chilton" and "The Ledge" showing off their poignant side. The second batch of 18 features the b-sides, the outtakes, the live promotional tracks, all to create a compelling reason for hardcore fans to celebrate. The Tim version of "Can't Hardly Wait" is reason enough, but "Beer For Breakfast," "All He Wants To Do Is Fish" and "Like A Rolling Pin" further expose the band's anarchic side.

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About The Replacements

The Replacements initially formed in 1979, when Paul Westerberg joined a garage punk band formed by brothers Bob (guitar) and Tommy Stinson (bass) and drummer Chris Mars. Originally called the Impediments, the Minnesota residents changed their name to the Replacements after being banned from a local club for disorderly behavior. In their early days, they sounded quite similar to Hüsker Dü, the leaders of the Minneapolis punk scene. However, the Replacements were wilder and looser than the Hüskers and quickly became notorious for their drunken, chaotic gigs. After they built up a sizable local following the Minneapolis label Twin/Tone signed them.

Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash, a sloppy hardcore collection, was released in 1981 but failed to make much of an impact on the national scene. It was followed the next year by the Stink EP, which followed the same pattern as the debut. It was the band's second album, 1983's Hootenanny, that first garnered the band attention and helped build their fan base. On Hootenanny, the group started playing around with other genres, adding elements of pop, straightforward rock & roll, country, and folk, although sometimes the eclecticism was ironic.

Hootenanny set the stage for Let It Be, the band's critical and artistic breakthrough. Released in 1984, Let It Be showed that the band had successfully expanded their musical reach and that Westerberg had grown considerably as a songwriter; he was now capable of pop like "I Will Dare," full-throttle rock & roll, and introspective ballads like "Answering Machine." Critics and fellow musicians were quick to praise the band, and they developed a large underground following. The buzz was large enough to convince Sire to sign the band in 1985.

The Replacements' first major-label album, Tim, was scheduled to be produced by Westerberg's idol, Alex Chilton, but the sessions fell through; the album was produced by former Ramone Tommy Erdelyi. Upon its release in 1985, Tim garnered rave reviews that equalled those for Let It Be. Though the band was poised for a popular breakthrough, they were unsure about making the leap into the mainstream. As a result, they never let themselves live up to their full potential. The Replacements landed a spot on Saturday Night Live, but they were roaring drunk throughout their performances and Westerberg said "f*ck" on the air. Their concerts had became notorious for such drunken, sloppy behavior. Frequently, the band was barely able to stand up, let alone play, and when they did play, they often didn't finish their songs. The Replacements also refused to make accessible videos -- the video for "Bastards of Young" featured nothing but a stereo system, playing the song -- thereby cutting themselves off from the mass exposure MTV could have granted them.

After the tour for Tim, Bob Stinson was fired from the band, allegedly for his drug and alcohol addictions. The Replacements recorded their next album as a trio in Memphis, TN, with former Big Star producer Jim Dickinson. The resulting album, Pleased to Meet Me, was more streamlined than their previous recordings. Again, the reviews were uniformly excellent upon its spring 1987 release, but the band didn't earn many new fans. During the tour for Pleased to Meet Me, guitarist Slim Dunlap filled the vacant lead guitarist spot and he became a full-time member after the tour.

Two years later, the band returned in the spring of 1989 with Don't Tell a Soul, the Replacements' last bid for a mainstream audience. The bandmembers had cleaned up, admitting that their years of drug and alcohol abuse were behind them, and were now willing to play the promotional game. Don't Tell a Soul boasted a polished, radio-ready production and the group shot MTV-friendly videos, beginning with the single "I'll Be You." Initially, the approach worked -- "I'll Be You" became a number one album rock track, crossing over to number 51 on the pop charts. However, Don't Tell a Soul never really took off and failed to establish the band as a major commercial force.

Defeated from the lackluster performance of Don't Tell a Soul, Paul Westerberg planned on recording a solo album, but Sire rejected the idea. Consequently, the next Replacements album, All Shook Down, was a solo Westerberg record in all but name. Recorded with a cast of session musicians as well as the band, All Shook Down was a stripped-down, largely acoustic affair that hinted at the turmoil within the band. Chris Mars left shortly after its fall 1990 release, claiming that Westerberg had assumed control of the band; he would launch a solo career two years later. The Replacements toured in support of All Shook Down, with Steve Foley, formerly of the Minneapolis-based Things Fall Down, as their new drummer. Neither the tour nor the album were successful, and the Replacements quietly disbanded in the summer of 1991.

Tommy Stinson formed Bash & Pop the following year; in 1995, he formed a new band called Perfect. Dunlap released a solo album in 1993. Bob Stinson died February 15, 1995, from a drug overdose. Westerberg began a solo career slowly, releasing two songs on the Singles ("Dyslexic Heart," "Waiting for Somebody") soundtrack in 1992; he also scored the film. He released his debut solo album, 14 Songs, in the summer of 1993 to mixed reviews. Paul Westerberg's second solo album, Eventually, was released in the spring of 1996. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

  • ORIGIN
    Minneapolis, MN
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • FORMED
    1979

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