For almost thirty years The Replacements have tirelessly been producing exciting, noisy and inventive punk and hardcore. This very limited four LP vinyl box set collects all the albums the band recorded for label Twin/Tone Records. The Sire Years capture the band’s most creative and high energy recordings.
9/10 The Doc Customer review, 14th July 2016
Call them outsiders, call them losers, call them anti-heroes, call them whatever the hell you want, but there can be no doubting the fact that the Replacements were responsible for some of the best guitar music of the 1980s. This box set brings together all their early stuff, from what you could kindly call "the messy period". What you have here is the sound of a band who are playing for the sheer hell of it, don't really give a shit what they sound like and have no idea how great they actually are. The sleeve notes for one of the songs off the first album says, "we wrote this ten minutes after we recorded it" and that pretty much sums it up. The first record plus Stink is pretty much rooted in punk and hardcore, but by the time you get to Hootenanny there are some blues and rockabilly influences creeping in too. There are loads of mistakes to be sure - wrong chords, fluffed lines, forgotten lyrics.....the band weren't averse to swapping instruments mid-song either, as they do on the splendidly messy Mr Whirly, and the story goes that even the drum machine on Reach manages to miss a beat, but it's all part of the charm. Let It Be is arguably their best album - although Tim has it's adherents too - featuring some of Westerberg's first truly great songs, such as Unsatisfied, Sixteen Blue and Answering Machine, plus the unexpectedly tender piano balladry of Androgynous. Westerberg is a great singer who wrote great lyrics, and Bob Stimson provides some killer lead guitar throughout. Would recommend this to anyone with even the slightest interest in US alt-rock from the 80s/90s - they're a luminary band for me and everything they ever did is worth having. If you don't know them, fifty quid might seem a lot to take a punt on, but I'd give it a go and prepare to fall in love. Would dearly love to see a follow-up collecting Tim, Pleased To Me Meet, Don't Tell A Soul and All Shook Down to go with this, as the original copies are rare as rocking horse shit and my old CDs are getting very, very worn......
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- The Sire Years by The Replacements
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