By – Kristi Houk
Recommended if you like: ANY POST 80’s ROCK AND ROLL
“Everybody wants to be special here…”
It’s about time.
Replacements fans everywhere are likely giving a collective fist bump over this stunning, 4 album deluxe box set containing a remix of the misfits from Minneapolis fourth beloved album (their first on a major label and arguably their best collection of tunes), Tim. It’s an embarrassment of riches, really. The box set includes the brilliant Ed Stasium (Ramones engineer) remix of the entire record, disc two is a complete remastering (finally), disc 3 is a collection of demos and alternate takes, and disc 4 is a recording of a live show from 1986 at the Cabaret Metro, Chicago.
Admittedly, I was 10 when the original recording was released in 1985, but being a devout fan, I am over the moon for this reissue. The original always sounded a little, well, off. The production sounded muddy, under the mix, and the drums had a tinny ring that never sat well. On the Let It Bleed Edition, however, the songs are given the chance to spread out and pierce straight through the heart—as they were intended. Even more compelling is how Bob Stinson’s manic, bluesy guitar solos are free to rip through the joint. You can actually hear Westerberg’s brilliant, intricate rhythm guitar parts! I had no idea. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention often overlooked drummer, Chris Mars, who really stands out on this set. He carries the record and provides the backbone/stability on a train that could derail at any moment.
Much has been written about the ‘Mats and I encourage you to read the heart breaking biography Trouble Boys: The True Story of The Replacements written by Bob Mehr who coincidentally also wrote the insightful liner notes for this set.
The songs on Tim speak for themselves and provide a keyhole into what the band was going through at the time—drugs, booze, unrequited love, hopelessness, self-doubt and failure. I’ve always posited that Westerberg is the best American songwriter of all time. Go listen to “Little Mascara,” “Left of the Dial” and “Here Comes a Regular” off this glorious new box set as as well as the unreleased track, “Nowhere is My Home” and I am pretty sure you’ll agree.
AVAILABLE ANYWHERE YOU BUY QUALITY VINYL
AND IF YOU ARE IN THE 205 – ONLY AT SEASICK RECORDS
Written by: kristi houk
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