Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I Didn't Go See The Replacements

I loved The Replacements.  They were one of the most important bands in my life during my college years.  But at some point, I checked out.  Listening to them made me sad.  The I’m In Trouble 45 is one of my all time favorite 45s. I didn’t own it, but I played it on the jukebox every time I went to Joe’s Starr Lounge in Ann Arbor.  I loved Hootenanny.  I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when Let It Be came out.  I even loved the When The Shit Hits the Fans cassette.  When Tim came out, I wasn’t ready to dismiss them solely for the fact that Tim was a major label release.  Tim has its moments and contains some great tracks, but the production is awful, as are some of the songs.  The album version of Bastards of Young paled in comparison to the live versions they had been playing prior to the release of that record.  Not that I listened to their subsequent records all that closely, but they never did it for me when friends put them on.  I guess I liked the earlier stuff, the Bob stuff.   I loved that The Replacements shook the hardcore trappings of Sorry Ma, and found their pop and rock voice.  But the poppier/rockier direction of Hootenanny and Let It Be was infused with the hardcore and metal that pulsed through their DNA. The Replacements were a band that could move from the emo beauty of Within Your Reach to the hardcore stupidity of Run It to the perfect amalgamation of noise and song in Hayday in a matter of a seconds.  There was a level of unpredictability from one song to the next.  Post Let It Be, that unpredictability and the excitement it brought disappeared for me.  Yes there are good songs in the post Let It Be universe, The Replacements always had good songs.   But that reckless rock and roll excitement was gone.  The Replacements were a great band, and then they weren’t.  And that makes me sad whenever I listen to them.