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Music: The Replacements
Crowning Music of Awesome

"Oh, meet me anyplace or anywhere or anytime
Now I don't care, meet me tonight
If you will dare, I might dare"

The Replacements, "I Will Dare"

Defining Alternative Rock bands, before it was cool. The definitive lineup included Paul Westerberg (rhythm guitar, vocals), Tommy Stinson (bass), Bobby Stinson (lead guitar) and Chris Mars (drums). Bobby Stinson was replaced by Slim Dunlop in 1987 and Chris Mars by Steve Foley in 1990. Since the breakup of the band in 1991 Westerberg has released numerous solo records, and Tommy Stinson has played in a number of bands, most notably with Axl Rose and Friends.

Starting out as a loud fast Hardcore Punk band, they transitioned into a melodic alternative rock band, driven by the heart on the sleeve, earnest songwriting of Paul Westerberg. In terms of general popularity the Mats barely register compared to the likes of their contemporaries REM or their arguable successors Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. But don't feel too sorry for them though, much of their unpopularity can be attributed to their drunken stage antics and penchant for biting the hand that feeds.

The band reunited in 2012 and played several shows in 2013. Westerberg has not ruled out a new album.

Discography

  • 1981: Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash
  • 1982: Stink: "Kids Don't Follow" Plus Seven
  • 1983: Hootenanny
  • 1984: Let It Be
  • 1985: Tim
  • 1987: Pleased to Meet Me
  • 1989: Don't Tell a Soul
  • 1990: All Shook Down

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.


"Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Tropes":

  • The Alcoholic: All the original members, particularly Bobby Stinson.
  • Alternative Rock
  • Big "Shut Up!": "Shutup"
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: The back cover of Let It Be is a closeup of what looks to be a garage door covered with various in-jokey graffiti, including "Twin Tone eats slotty crap" note  - Twin/Tone was the record label they were signed to at the time. Humorously, on some editions of the album, the Twin/Tone logo appears directly beneath that message.
    • The rarity "Lookin' For Ya" (which they would re-work into "Love Lines") ends with Paul Westerberg ad-libbing "Keep your riches, give me a Budweiser!" This is because it was originally recorded for Trackin' Up The North, a compilation put together as part of a "Rags To Riches" battle of the bands co-sponsored by Miller High Life.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "Fuck School"
  • College Radio: The subject of "Left of the Dial".
  • Cover Version: "Black Diamond", originally by KISS. They were also known for throwing in sloppy, half-remembered covers during their live shows - the bootleg turned semi-official Live Album The Shit Hits the Fans consists almost entirely of such things.
  • Dance Sensation: "Mr. Whirly"
  • Downer Ending: "The Ledge".
    • The band's career in general.
  • Dreadful Musician: All of their albums have ropey parts, but Hootenanny really takes the cake.
  • Driven to Suicide: The main character of "The Ledge". It's never explicitly stated why he wants to kill himself, but the song implies he feels ignored by the world.
    • The demo version of "Can't Hardly Wait" had alternate lyrics that made it much clearer that the song was about suicide. It's possible they changed the lyrics because it was going to be on the same album as "The Ledge" and two songs about the topic on the same album could have been pushing it.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: "Here Comes a Regular"
  • Drugs Are Bad: "Dope Smoking Moron"
  • Drunken Song: "Beer For Breakfast"
  • Emo Teen: "Sixteen Blue", likely semi-autobiographical.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Bobby Stinson was let go from the band partly as a result of his excessive drinking. YMMV on how impressive/shocking that is.
  • Fan Nickname: The Placemats, the Mats
  • Gayngst: Possibly the protagonist of "Sixteen Blue". He wonders if he is gay, because he shows no interest in girls and doesn't understand sexuality, and he lies to his dad about going on a date.
  • Hardcore Punk: Most noticeably on the first two albums, occasionally thereafter.
  • Harsh Vocals: Most of the rocky tracks.
  • "I Am" Song: "I'm in Trouble"
  • I Am the Band: Increasingly Westerberg, much to Tommy Stinson's well publicised chagrin, to the extent that All Shook Down was nearly released as a solo record
  • "I Want" Song: "Here Comes a Regular" and "Unsatisfied".
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Applicable to a lot of the rockier tracks.
  • Jangle Pop: One of the genre's more Punk-influenced and aggressive bands, but they still count. They started to play songs in this style on Hootenanny. "I Will Dare", incidentally, is perhaps the band's most "jangly" sounding track- it even features Peter Buck as a guest guitarist!
  • Lampshade Wearing: From "Swinging Party":
    "Bring your own lampshade, somewhere there's a party"
  • Leave the Camera Running: The video for "Bastards of Young", a static shot of a stereo system playing the song at the wrong speed.
  • Ludd Was Right: Westerberg has a thing against the Answering Machine.
    • In the liner notes for the CD of All Shook Down: "The musicians who played on this recorded thing include"
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Dick and Jane from "Androgynous".
  • Meaningful Echo: "Here Comes A Regular" has "ain't much to rake anyway in the fall".
  • Miniscule Rocking: They did start as a hardcore punk band. Specifically, Sorry, Ma packs 18 songs into 36:47.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Their early, Hardcore Punk material is normally in the 6-7 range, while the later Alternative Rock / Jangle Pop stuff ranges anywhere from a 2 (or even a 1 in a handful of cases) up to a high 5/low 6.
  • Mood Whiplash: They go from earnest, genuinely touching songs like "I Will Dare" or "Sixteen Blue" to blatantly crass ones like "Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out" and "Gary's Got A Boner" seemingly at random. "We're Coming Out" does it in a single song: it starts out as one of their Hardcore Punk songs, slows down for a jazzy, piano-based section, then starts speeding back up again and quickly ends in chaos.
  • Name's the Same: "Red Red Wine" is NOT the same as the UB40 song.
  • New Sound Album: Hootenanny, which introduced the Country Music and Folk Music influences and more varied and introspective songwriting that characterized their later records. Pleased To Meet Me and Don't Tell A Soul marked a slight shift in sound towards more "polished", characteristically 80s-sounding production (it's the reverb!) and more obvious Power Pop influences. And finally, All Shook Down was in a more low-key, even more Folk-and-Country-influenced Singer/Songwriter sound, basically being a Paul Westerberg solo album in all but name.
  • Non Sequitur: "Asking Me Lies" is made up of these.
  • Rockumentary: Color Me Obsessed
  • Scare Chord: The beginning of "Anywhere's Better Than Here" if you aren't expecting it.
  • Self-Deprecation: Most evident in the EP titles Stink note  and Don't Buy Or Sell, It's Crap. Even their name was picked to make them sound second-rate - the intended implication is that they'd only be added to a concert lineup if a more popular band backed out and it was the best the promoters could do on short notice.
  • Sexy Stewardess: Skewered in "Waitress in the Sky"
  • Shout-Out:
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Some variation of this occurs in the video for "The Ledge", about a man Driven to Suicide. The video consisted of a bunch of generic shots of people eating chips and sitting on couches. About halfway through there's an inspirational scene in which Westerberg stares at the camera for a few seconds and then picks his ear using his middle finger.
  • Take That: "Seen Your Video", a swipe at hair metal bands of the era. (however, they've been known to cover merry-go round by motley crue live, as hear don "shit hits the fan" so it's clear they don't hate all of them)
  • Talent Show: "Talent Show"
  • This Loser Is You: The whole band, and a significant part of their appeal.
  • Title Only Chorus: "Gary's Got a Boner", subverted after the first chorus with "Gary's Got A Soft On".
  • Twin Cities:
    • "I Bought A Headache" mentions the St. Paul Civic Center.
    • The Minneapolis police break up the party at the start of "Kids Don't Follow"
    • "Run It" mentions Lyndale, which is a neighborhood in Minneapolis, and Garfield, which is an avenue in Minneapolis.
    • "Buck Hill" is named for a ski hill in Burnsville, a suburb south of Minneapolis.

Joni MitchellReprise RecordsThe Smiths
Lou ReedCreator/Reprise RecordsKenny Rogers
Lou ReedCreator/Sire RecordsRide
R.E.M.Jangle PopThe Smiths
Red Hot Chili PeppersMusic of the 1980sThe Residents
Sun Kil MoonAlternative IndieThe Residents

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