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Albums Of The Week: The Replacements | Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

With nearly 70 previously unreleased demos, basement tapes & live cuts, the 40th anniversary box of the ’Mats’ punky full-length debut is a treasure trove for fans.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Minneapolis legends The Replacements celebrate 40 years of musical mayhem with the anniversary box set edition of the band’s debut album Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash. Featuring the ’Mats’ original lineup — lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Paul Westerberg, drummer Chris Mars, and brothers Bob and Tommy Stinson on lead guitar and bass respectively — the LP exploded with a wild and rollicking sound with now-classic songs like Takin’ A Ride, Shiftless When Idle and Customer.

This four-CD set offers a remarkable document of The Replacements‘ formative years. Of the set’s 100(!) tracks, 67 have never been released before, including the first demos the band recorded in early 1980, as well as a professionally captured concert from January 1981. Along with a newly remastered version of the original album, it also uncovers many unreleased rough mixes, alternate takes, and demos from the band’s first 18 months together. An LP included in the set, titled Deliberate Noise, presents an alternate version of the original album using these previously unreleased tracks.

The Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash Deluxe Edition is presented in a 12 x 12 hardcover book loaded with dozens of rarely seen photos. The set was produced by Twin/Tone Records co-founder Peter Jesperson, Rhino’s Jason Jones, and Replacements’ biographer Bob Mehr, who received a Grammy for Best Album Notes for his work on the band’s acclaimed 2019 boxed set Dead Man’s Pop (the expanded anniversay edition of 1989’s Don’t Tell A Soul). Mehr again penned the detailed liners that accompany this set, which features new interviews with the surviving bandmembers. Former manager Jesperson also provides a remembrance of the Sorry Ma era.

The set opens with a remastered version of the original album that’s been expanded with the non-album B-side If Only You Were Lonely. From there, a second disc titled Raised In The City, delves into the group’s very first recordings (Try Me, She’s Firm, Lookin For Ya), as well as studio demos for album tracks (including Shutup and I Hate Music), outtakes (Shape Up and Get On The Stick, among them) and rare basement recordings (Lie About Your Age, Johnny Fast). A handful of these appeared on Rhino’s 2008 reissue of Sorry Ma, but more than a dozen included on the new set have never been released. Four outtakes on the collection’s third disc, Tape’s Rolling, debuted on the same 2008 reissue, but here they’re joined by more than two dozen unreleased recordings. Highlights include electrifying alternate versions of Johnny’s Gonna Die and Love You Till Friday, alternate mixes for Rattlesnake and More Cigarettes, plus Westerberg’s home demos of You’re Pretty When You’re Rude and If Only You Were Lonely.

The set ends on a high note with the earliest professional live recording of The Replacements. The previously unreleased concert, dubbed Unsuitable for Airplay, was captured by Twin/Tone’s mobile unit on Jan. 23, 1981, at the 7th St Entry in Minneapolis. A portion of the show was later broadcast on local community radio station KFAI. The concert took place as the band was in the midst of work on Sorry Ma. The show’s setlist is packed with evolving versions of songs that would appear on their debut album (Hangin Downtown, Somethin to Dü, Rattlesnake), along with other early numbers that were never released (Mistake, Excuse Me), plus choice covers of Johnny Thunders and the The HeartbreakersI Wanna Be Loved, Slade’s My Town, The KinksAll Day and All of the Night and Dave EdmundsTrouble Boys, among others.”