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Classic Album Reviews: The Replacements | Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take out the Trash / Stink / Hootenanny / Let it Be Reissues

The Minneapolis punks' early releases are reissued in all their shambling glory.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Old records never die — they just get deleted. Then, a few years or a few decades later, they get reissued. Usually with bonus tracks, remastered sound, expanded liner notes and other goodies because they think that will convince fans to buy them all over again. And it does. This summer, those evil reissue pixies have been working overtime, putting out multiple titles by some of your favourite artists. Here are some of their latest irresistible offerings. Damn them all to hell.

The Replacements
Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take out the Trash / Stink / Hootenanny / Let it Be Reissues

WHO? Hey, if you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you. Oh, all right. These boozy Minneapolis misfits — led by the one and only Paul Westerberg — were quite possibly the most important and influential American punk band of the ’80s. So now you know.

WHAT? These are their first four releases, reissued in all their shambling glory and remastered to sharpen up their fuzzy punk edges. Regrettably — but somehow, fittingly — there are no bonus tracks. Once an underachiever, always an underachiever.

WHICH? If it’s hyperactive punk grit you like, try 1981’s Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash or the ’82 EP Stink. They’re overflowing with magnificently sloppy punk anthems like Takin’ A Ride, I Hate Music, Shiftless When Idle and Kids Don’t Follow. To hear Westerberg’s first successful efforts as a more mature and personal songwriter, go for 1983’s more experimental Hootenanny or — better still — 1984’s essential Let it Be, which contains I Will Dare, Unsatisfied and Androgynous, some of the band’s finest moments.

WHY? Because without The ’Mats, there’d be no Goo Goo Dolls. OK, wait, that’s not a good reason. How about this? Because they were drunken, loud, obnoxious, tragic and brilliant. Like all great rock bands ought to be.