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The Replacements

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 "B**tards of Young" featured nothing but a stereo system, playing the song -- thereby cutting themselves off from the mass exposure MTV could have granted them.

After the tour for Tim, Bob Stinson was fired from the band, allegedly for his drug and alcohol addictions. The Replacements recorded their next album as a trio in Memphis, TN, with former Big Star producer Jim Dickinson. The resulting album, Pleased to Meet Me, was more streamlined than their previous recordings. Again, the reviews were uniformly excellent upon its spring 1987 release, but the band didn't earn many new fans. During the tour for Pleased to Meet Me, guitarist Slim Dunlap filled the vacant lead guitarist spot and he became a full-time member after the tour.

Two years later, the band returned in the spring of 1989 with Don't Tell a Soul, the Replacements' last bid for a mainstream audience. The bandmembers had cleaned up, admitting that their years of drug and alcohol abuse were behind them, and were now willing to play the promotional game. Don't Tell a Soul boasted a polished, radio-ready production and the group shot MTV-friendly videos, beginning with the single "I'll Be You." Initially, the approach worked -- "I'll Be You" became a number one album rock track, crossing over to number 51 on the pop charts. However, Don't Tell a Soul never really took off and failed to establish the band as a major commercial force.

Defeated from the lackluster performance of Don't Tell a Soul, Paul Westerberg planned on recording a solo album, but Sire rejected the idea. Consequently, the next Replacements album, All Shook Down, was a solo Westerberg record in all but name. Recorded with a cast of session musicians as well as the band, All Shook Down was a stripped-down, largely acoustic affair that hinted at the turmoil within the band. Chris Mars left shortly after its fall 1990 release, claiming that Westerberg had assumed control of the band; he would launch a solo career two years later. The Replacements toured in support of All Shook Down, with Steve Foley, formerly of the Minneapolis-based Things Fall Down, as their new drummer. Neither the tour nor the album were successful, and the Replacements quietly disbanded in the summer of 1991.

Tommy Stinson formed Bash & Pop the following year; in 1995, he formed a new band called Perfect. Dunlap released a solo album in 1993. Bob Stinson died February 15, 1995, from a drug overdose. Westerberg began a solo career slowly, releasing two songs on the Singles ("Dyslexic Heart," "Waiting for Somebody") soundtrack in 1992; he also scored the film. He released his debut solo album, 14 Songs, in the summer of 1993 to mixed reviews. Paul Westerberg's second solo album, Eventually, was released in the spring of 1996. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography


Longtime fan, but never got to see them before they broke up. Now at 45 I'm psyched to be seeing them in Philly this Spring!
The greatest band that ever was or will ever be.
Great to see paul and Tommy out on the road together this spring and summer.
Won't make a show this year but I am fortunate to have seen them 5 times between 1983-1988.
Helped that I went to school at the university of iowa during this time and that the 'Mats made numerous appearances in the Midwest during these years.
Being an old foagey, I had lost interest in the rock music that came after 1981. Not to say it wasn't good, it just didn't work for me. However, a few of the 80's bands did get my attention and The Replacements were one of the best.
Saw them in Austin Texas 2014 , they were great , brutal Texas sun in there faces for the first 20 minutes ! Didn't stop them from jumping all over a Replacments left of the dial set list , that covered every matts fans wish list , great range of material , so well done ! They were unreal Glad I was there .
Mats Rule!
Great American band! 'Nuff said!
One of my favorite songs growing up. To the memories. :)
when I get depressed I put on a mats record and it makes me feel worse and somehow that's better...saw them first at the Longhorn in mpls, Chris wasn't old enough to be in the bar... They played at Duffy's a lot in Mpls, I worked next door at Nib's, and walked over to see them all the time...On Friday night they would blast the doors off the place and beg for money to buy beer and literally fight on stage to pick up change, and scream for a waitress to bring pitchers and cups to the stage...
Seeing them tomorrow night in NYC!
they are back - with dave minehan (from boston punk legends The Neighborhood s ) on guitar.
The Replacements are LEGENDS!
I love this track. It's the first I've ever heard of this band. And the simplicity of the lyrics remind me of past times of the youth and irresponsibi l i t y that i once held so dear, but also the passion that comes with the love of the music and wanting to share it.
gavriel.reis n e r
Yes, touring. I nabbed two tickets for New York at the old tennis stadium on September 19.
Saw em last summer. They headlined Riot Fest and came to play! A finally realized outfit. Their touring again...
petersondave y
The best band ever and it's not even close.
I saw a banner somewhere last month (April 2014) that these guys were reunited for a short tour....anyo n e ?
The greatest rock band that never was!
Answering Machine is one of my favorite songs *in general*, not just by The Replacements . One of my favorite bands - I would've loved to have been around to see them live, even if they were sloppy as hell.
clash, sex pistols, public image, ramones, and now the replacements

all talentless over rated hacks
they must be a good punk band because bobonnit hates them
claricentp91 7
If you wish to add some extra money to you wallet go to BLUDOS.COM They offer really easy free online jobs where you can make a few extra hundred dollas a week !
shawnnavuz71 1
People interested in making a few extra bucks per day you can check out BLUDOS.COM This site makes me around 70 usd per day. It's free to sign up.
On the ballot this year. Fan poll is up.
Can't Hardly Wait (Tim Version) best song ever.
Hootenanny - My fav, defines I dont' give a f**k but still absolutely great songs/album. Paul Westerberg is integrity personified.
my fave is all shook down... so good!

The bio says early on they sounded like Husker and that Husker was the leader in the Minneapolis punk scene. I think both of those statements are crap. I love Husker, but only Bob Mould felt like it was some kind of competition. Replacements couldn't care less.
They just got back together and are playing a few shows
What happened to these guys? One day, I saw this cassette (that's what they called it, kids) called All Shook Down, & I bought it. It lived maybe another ten minutes or so...
He made Bob drink or quit the band after he had gotten sober and essentially killed him. No support.
Love the replacements . Hell yeah.. rock on PAUL!!!
Love this stuff. The feeling in Paul's lyrics and the feeling (and sometimes pain) in his voice - these guys are the real deal. Lucky enough to watch them live when I was younger. Didn't really appreciate them at the time like I do now...wish I had.
Love it!
They suck. Like having a lead vocalist who can't sing, a drummer who knows one riff and a guitarist with mediocre talent is supposed to be cool ?
I would hardly call walking offstage in the middle of a WXRT Free 4th of July concert quietly disbanding. I was there. But still, ya gotta love a loud, sloppy pop band. Thank you 'Mats.
The 'Mats made such a huge impact on me that I have a line from Achin to be tattooed on my back.
'Mats-my favorite band of all time!
Tim is one of the greatest albums EVER! But I do love them all, I wish that Westerbergs' grandpaboy material was available om pandora, damn it!
God! I love this song! I hated the Replacements on tour -- but their music was so incredible! I love Minneapolis!
Love Paul Westerberg as a lyricist!
this song is not on this album - it was never released on an album while the band was still together. I believe it was from outtakes from the record sessions from this album but the song Talent Show with the same chorus ended up on the final release.
When you wish upon a star that turns into a plane...
The Replacements are my favorite band.
great bio! but please don't ever refer to Husker Du as The Huskers - that's really p**sy.
it should be noted Westerberg is still making records!--Ju s t on his own terms, he's making raw, jangly punk rock in his basement. no great arrangements or polish, but the songwriting talent is still there. Saw him and his only friends band in Asheville,NC a few years back and they blew the roof off. Long Live Paul!
the replacements music touches my soul.
Someone reminded me I saw them in 86', too. The Living Room in Providence Rhode Island. Thought it would be a great first date. It was.
Replacements , Run Westy Run, Husker Du,Suburbs. Ahh great bands and great times!!
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