CD Review: The Replacements


The Replacements
Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash
Stink
Hootenanny
Let It Be
Twin Tone/Ryko/Rhino
By David Chiu

Those who only know the Replacements from their major label output from the mid to late ‘80s would surely be surprised at how punkish these Minnesotans really were in the beginning—it was akin to the music coming out of New York and London in the ‘70s. That can certainly be said of the sound on their first four indie albums featuring the original legendary lineup of Paul Westerberg, Chris Mars, and Bob and Tommy Stinson. The punk aggression is certainly true of their 1981 debut Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash, in which every tune was a quick, take-no-prisoners sonic blast. (The later EP Stink follows in the same vein—standouts from that collection include “White and Lazy” and “Fuck School”). While fast tracks like “Run It” and “Mr Whirly” seem like leftovers from their debut, Hootenanny showed a little bit of musical growth that quotes even the blues on the opening title track, a little funk on Within Your Reach; the rockabilly of the sexy and humorous “Lovelines”; and pop on “Color Me Impressed. “ But it was on Let It Be (1984) in which they honed down their punk tendencies to create a richly satisfying masterpiece of mature, reflective tracks like “Unsatisfied” and “Black Diamond,” in addition to he band’s signature ramshackle rock like “Gary’s Got a Boner”; it even had closest to a radio-friendly hit in “I Will Dare.” This new wonderful Rhino reissue program add a generous amount of bonus material.

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