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December 7, 2009 3:55 PM   Subscribe

The Replacements you didn't hear -- demo versions of Alex Chilton, Can't Hardly Wait, Run for the Country + Nowhere Is My Home
posted by vronsky (48 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ah, those were the days in the Twin Cities...
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:01 PM on December 7, 2009


Yeah it's pretty amazing to think you could go hear the the Replacements or Husker Du one night and the next night hear Prince. All at the same club.
posted by vronsky at 4:33 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Excellent. The Replacements fucking rock.
posted by exogenous at 4:36 PM on December 7, 2009


I think I like the Chilton demo better than the record version.
posted by puckupdate at 4:37 PM on December 7, 2009


Oh. Hell. Yeah.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 4:37 PM on December 7, 2009


There's an awesome bootleg called "Flowers In The Dark" that has most of their unreleased/demo stuff. The "Nowhere Is My Home" version from the Tim demos is one of my favorite Replacements songs.
posted by DecemberBoy at 4:41 PM on December 7, 2009


Still pissed that we decided not to move to Minneapolis when Blackberry Way was on the market a few years back.
posted by padraigin at 4:49 PM on December 7, 2009


Ah. The Replacements. I think 1984's Let It Be was one of the first full Punk albums I ever bought. I'd been listening to Punk for years on College radio (where I was also a DJ) but there were no record stores in my college town that carried punk labels. I fondly remember driving break neck to Seattle every weekend during College and first stop was Cellophane Square in the U District and following Scott McCaughey around like a puppy and buying what ever he recommended. "Let It Be" was one of his top picks.
posted by tkchrist at 4:53 PM on December 7, 2009


f me….that Cant Hardly Wait one kicks ass.

I always hated the horns in the released version.
posted by ShawnString at 4:53 PM on December 7, 2009


Nowhere might be my fave too December Boy. From Boink!!, my favourite album, actually in my case, cassette. There is a bootleg floating around with the same name but it isn't the same.
posted by vronsky at 4:54 PM on December 7, 2009


Dear Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

Black Flag
Minutemen
Husker Du
Replacements

Get on that, wouldja?

Love,

Every person over 40 on the planet
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:55 PM on December 7, 2009 [17 favorites]


oops goddamit, Boink!!
posted by vronsky at 4:58 PM on December 7, 2009


It was weird when I realized that I'm the same age Bob Stinson was when he died.
posted by josher71 at 4:59 PM on December 7, 2009


I spent the summer before high school absolutely obsessed with most of the unreleased 'Mats tracks. In addition to "Flowers in the Dark" and "Boink !!", there's a great bootleg compilation called "How Did the Vomit Get Up on the Ceiling?" (a valid question) which has primarily post-Pleased to Meet Me unreleased stuff, with minor overlap with the other two compilations. Though I love the more upbeat stuff like "Nowhere Is My Home", "Kick It In", and "Perfectly Lethal" (and, ohmygod, the demo version of "Valentine" with Bob still on guitar, and the demo of "Alex Chilton" indeed), I've always had a soft spot for the softer numbers -- "Run for the Country", "Learn How to Fail", and the original, slow version of "Can't Hardly Wait". All three compilations are definitely something to keep an eye out for on dimeadozen and such.
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 5:03 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, I wish someone could get into the original studio multitrack recordings of all of the Replacements albums and re-produce them so that they don't sound weak, thin, overproduced, over-reverbed, and orchestrated. There's so much awesome there, and it's so poorly-represented on the recordings.
posted by The World Famous at 5:19 PM on December 7, 2009


Dear BitterOldPunk,

Sorry. We cannot accept any of those rock and or roll outfits because we are irrelevant.

Thanks,

Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame
posted by eyeballkid at 5:22 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


That version of "Can't Hardly Wait" shows up in the (otherwise kinda lacking-no Twin/Tone shit? wtf?) "All For Nothing and Nothing For All."
posted by eyeballkid at 5:29 PM on December 7, 2009


beautiful post. noisy, brash, horrible and wonderful. thank you.

personally, i never travel too far without the 'Mats.
posted by radiosilents at 5:34 PM on December 7, 2009


Man, I wish someone could get into the original studio multitrack recordings of all of the Replacements albums and re-produce them so that they don't sound weak, thin, overproduced, over-reverbed, and orchestrated. There's so much awesome there, and it's so poorly-represented on the recordings.

I agree about the bad recordings but I don't agree about the amount of awesomeness. This band was not very good, even though the occasional song like 'Answering Machine' showed some promise.
posted by grounded at 5:40 PM on December 7, 2009


Man, I wish someone could get into the original studio multitrack recordings of all of the Replacements albums and re-produce them so that they don't sound weak, thin, overproduced, over-reverbed, and orchestrated. There's so much awesome there, and it's so poorly-represented on the recordings.

I agree about the bad recordings but I don't agree about the amount of awesomeness. This band was not very good, even though the occasional song like 'Answering Machine' showed some promise.


Two wrongs. No right.
posted by josher71 at 5:51 PM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hot damn, this is a banner day at Metafilter. This post rocks both literally and figuratively.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:52 PM on December 7, 2009


Dammit, Internet—let me load YouTube so I can listen to this awesomeness!
posted by limeonaire at 6:11 PM on December 7, 2009


Couldn't agree more punchdrunkhistory. I discovered Napster about 3 months before it was shut down and found lots of great stuff, but the Replacements bootlegs I found there were just incredible. Learn How to Fail, the "airshaft version" of Can't Hardly Wait (the holy grail for mats fans), Portland, Swinging Party, Within Your Reach, Johnny's Gonna Die, Another Girl Another Planet...They came up on a mix a few years ago when I was on a road trip and, full disclosure, there may have been a jazz cigarette involved, I was just stunned at how perfectly beautiful they were.

The only two bootlegs I purchased on cd were Shit Shower and Shave, and Shit Hits the Fans where they do drunken covers of REM, T Rex, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin from CBGB's.

tkchrist -- Let It Be :)
posted by vronsky at 6:12 PM on December 7, 2009


Oh my god, what's that song? I'm in love with that song!
posted by klangklangston at 6:14 PM on December 7, 2009


Hi. I'm the only person in the world between 30 and 55 that not only doesn't like and never listened to the Replacements, but can't even name or recognize a song they ever did.
posted by yhbc at 6:29 PM on December 7, 2009


How can you not like them, or even have an opinion of their music, if you haven't listened to them?
posted by plastic_animals at 6:33 PM on December 7, 2009


Okay, to expand - I had never heard of them (no, really!) until I starting hanging around MeFi, and everyone seemed to think they were punk gods or something. Several people have sent me songs, files and mixtapes, and I have yet to hear anything that's recognizable, memorable, or even enjoyable.

Yes, your favorite band ...
posted by yhbc at 6:40 PM on December 7, 2009


There are a small handful of bands/artists which have what I call "full immunity" in my car - that is to say, if they come on the radio, I may for no reason change the station, and neither may anyone else. Of those seven artists, The Replacements come up the least, which is a damn shame (you'd expect it to be Souisie, but XM's "First Wave" station plays her all the time, actually)

Anyway, anytime the 'Mats come across my airwaves, with perhaps the most immediately recognizable guitar sound this side of Jack White, I know it's going to be a good day, and a kick-ass post of demo versions is even better.

(full disclosure, I am in fact under 30, but grew up under the musical instruction of two older brothers and the Singles soundtrack - with two great Westerberg tunes - came at exactly the right time in my life.)
posted by Navelgazer at 6:54 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


yhbc: Okay, to expand - I had never heard of them (no, really!)

you're not the only one yhbc....

"I can't believe I've only just discovered the Replacements
How have I only just found out about the Replacements?
Some of them are nearly as old as my parents
How have I only just found out about the Replacements?
I want to love them but I'm can't be sure"

posted by Slack-a-gogo at 7:22 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Great to hear Can't Hardly Wait without the horns. Saxophones ruined a lot of the 80s.
posted by gngstrMNKY at 7:54 PM on December 7, 2009


The "Can't Hardly Wait" demo is especially awesome. Thanks, vronsky.

Is this the thread where I get to admit that Don't Tell A Soul is my favorite Replacements record?
posted by mintcake! at 8:09 PM on December 7, 2009


The Replacements are tough to explain to guys like yhbc. They should have been U2. They should have been REM. They should have been Nirvana. But instead, they were the Mats; and we loved them.

So 25 years later I am completely Mr. Normal (1 wife, 2 kids, 3 cars, 4 eyes...), and I get home from 8 hours of being the corporate stooge to see what got posted to the blue. I start clicking on Vronsky's links and I open up a beer (and I don't drink on weeknights), and I wish I had a cigarette (and I haven't smoked since they had to kick Bob out of the band), and I think damn that's good.

So there's billions of people between 30 and 55 that have never heard of the Replacements. Color me impressed.
posted by Edward L at 8:39 PM on December 7, 2009 [6 favorites]


Oh, and for anyone who has tried listening to the Replacements and couldn't get into it... listening on headphones or cheap computer speakers just doesn't work. The way those albums were recorded, you need to hear them turned up on a real stereo. Otherwise they sound kind of flat. I'm sure the new remasters have been brickwall limited.
posted by gngstrMNKY at 8:48 PM on December 7, 2009


"Hi. I'm the only person in the world between 30 and 55 that not only doesn't like and never listened to the Replacements" --- well you're also a lawyer, so that's two stikes against you right there :P

But seriously, hey I'm the only person I know who likes them yhbc, other than some kindred spirits here on mefi. But they were part of an incredibly fertile musical era inspired by late 70s downtown NYC that spread to the more rural parts of America like Athens Ga., and Minneapolis/St. Paul that helped to define the sound of the early 80s.

Paul once described Bob as "either the dumbest genius or the smartest idiot I know." I think this works well to describe the Replacements. I always thought that if you could cross the NY Dolls with Big Star you would get the Mats.

"...instead, they were the Mats; and we loved them.' And this :)



some solo Tommy

Without a View

Not a Moment Too Soon
posted by vronsky at 8:58 PM on December 7, 2009


Great to hear Can't Hardly Wait without the horns. Saxophones ruined a lot of the 80s.

There's a single edit of Can't Hardly Wait sans horns, that I have on a 7" somewhere in the archives. I really do prefer it, although the horns were okay in other songs on that album.

This thread, with mentions of Boink! above, reminded me of my quest to find my own copy of Boink. It never seemed to come into my record store but I had friends at other stores keeping watch for me because it seemed really, really important to have it. I'd gotten my legitimate tape of The Shit Hits The Fans, and Boink! was next on my list.

I was at Lollapalooza in 1994, running around all hot and sweaty and on drugs of some sort, and a buddy of mine from Eastside Records in Tempe ambushed me, grabbed me around the waist and swung me around and hollered "I GOT YOUR BOINK!" and for a moment I thought something really crazy was about to happen to me, but turns out someone had brought the record into his shop and he was holding it for me and I went over there the next day and picked it up.
posted by padraigin at 9:15 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Zen Arcade, Let it Be and Double Nickles on the Dime all came out within a few months of each other 25 years ago. What a year.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 9:54 PM on December 7, 2009


Upon hearing the demo of Alex Chilton my fingers instinctively twitched into the Rock Band positions. That being said, The Replacements are awesome. And, incidentally, so is Rock Band.
posted by chemoboy at 10:55 PM on December 7, 2009


BitterOldPunk: I am 29, and you just essentially described a huge chunk of my music library.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:57 PM on December 7, 2009



Man, I wish someone could get into the original studio multitrack recordings of all of the Replacements albums and re-produce them so that they don't sound weak, thin, overproduced, over-reverbed, and orchestrated.


This goes double for Husker Du. "Flip Your Wig" has some great songs, but the production is so awful it's almost unlistenable. "Zen Arcade" has a lo-fi charm to it at least, but I wish they'd taken more than a weekend to record it.
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:04 PM on December 7, 2009


Zen Arcade, Let it Be and Double Nickles on the Dime all came out within a few months of each other 25 years ago. What a year.

Reckoning, Purple Rain, The Smiths, and half of Black Flag's studio output also came out in 1984.

Zen Arcade and Double Nickels On The Dime, in fact, were released on the same day: July 28, 1984.
posted by dw at 11:06 PM on December 7, 2009


These are great. I'll cop to being a total fanboy but this is one of those things where alternate versions just go to show how good the songs are. These really are really good songs, not just cause they're dipped in the memories of many a jazz cigarette and some girls' long dark hair - they're smart and tough and just, good.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:36 PM on December 7, 2009


"and I have yet to hear anything that's recognizable, memorable, or even enjoyable."

Seriously? Alex Chilton and Bastards of Young aren't instantly recognizable, memorable or enjoyable? You fail power pop.
posted by klangklangston at 8:04 AM on December 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't think it's possible for me to love the Replacements any more than I do. Thanks for the post
posted by Outlawyr at 8:57 AM on December 8, 2009


What Outlawyr said.

The Replacements, and much of Westerberg's solo output just SPEAKS to me. I'm alway surprised in some way, when others aren't the same, because it feels so BASIC. Tastes being what they are though, I've come to realize that loving the replacements is not universal!
posted by Richat at 9:52 AM on December 8, 2009


Yeah. Who was that guy that said the 80's sucked? He just don't know. Of all music collection I end up listening to, comparing to, and surprised by, the stuff from the early eighties/late seventies the most. And not just becuase I was college age then. I actually own much more music from the 1960's and 1990's. To me it's that the late 70's/80's just had soooo much variety and originality.
posted by tkchrist at 4:56 PM on December 8, 2009


Late to the party, punchbowl's empty, dead soldiers on the kitchen table but gawdDAM is that version of 'Can't Hardly Wait' wonderful.
posted by Kinbote at 7:55 PM on December 8, 2009


Hmmm, it seems the gorgeous, atmospheric "airshaft version" of Can't Hardly Wait I mentioned above was included in the Rhino reissues -- music player, top right, scroll down to outtake - acoustic. guess it's not as hard to find as it used to be. That is a really well done review of late period Replacements, and a good mix of tunes too.
posted by vronsky at 8:26 PM on December 8, 2009


I just remembered something. Back in the late 80s, the New Yorker (under Gottlieb) started to run a popular music column. It was a first for them, having only reviewed jazz and classical up to that time. I can't remember the writers name, but he was very good. One day I was reading the magazine and there was an announcement that the writer had died (iirc, unexpectedly, and tragically young). They went on to say that he had been working on a long piece about the Replacements for the magazine, which sadly, was never published.

I wonder what kind of difference that kind of exposure would have had on the band? I guess we'll never know.
posted by vronsky at 10:02 PM on December 12, 2009


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