Replacements, The - The Twin/Tone Years 4LP
This American rock band, formed in 1979, is considered a pioneer of alternative rock. Unlike many of their underground contemporaries, The Replacements played "heart-on-the-sleeve" rock songs that combined Westerberg's "raw-throated adolescent howl" with self-deprecating lyrics. They were a notoriously wayward live act, often performing under the influence of alcohol and playing fragments of covers instead of their own material. (via Wikipedia)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.
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