Like many Replacements fans, I have been eagerly waiting for these to finally come out. For those of you who’ve heard of The Replacements, but don’t know much about them, I implore you to buy all four of these and live with them for a while. The brilliance of their songwriting was always there, but you can really hear it evolve over the course of these first four releases.
Having grown-up in Minneapolis, I was fortunate to be around when The Replacements were first starting out, and I consider myself lucky to be an early witness to their brilliance. Part of the beauty of these guys was definitely their energy and spirit. Of course, this genuine spontaneity meant that sometimes, well, they sucked. But even when they sucked, it was great because it was never calculated.
For example, check out this video of The Replacements playing 7th Street Entry, back in Minneapolis in 1981. In fact, see if you can spot me in the audience! It’s so great to see all this old footage. And so strange to see how young everyone looks, especially Tommy. He must’ve been only 14 or so? Too bad the camera doesn’t turn around so I can see how young I must’ve looked then, too!
The Replacements never seemed to get the credit they deserved, especially early on, for having a sensitive side. On this track, “Johnny’s Gonna Die,” you can see a maturity to the songwriting lurking underneath the rawness (and out-of-tune guitar!). It took them a few releases for it to really shine, but that’s just the fun of the journey.
Today, I’m gonna focus on that raw first release, their 1981 debut, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash. From the bratty title to the scrawled cover art, it’s clear this is more of a punk rock affair, and the songs are bursting with youthful, reckless, drunken energy.
The Deluxe Edition for Sorry Ma… includes their original four song demo, some outtakes, a rehearsal track, an alternate take on “Customer,” and the b-side rarity “If Only You Were Lonely” from their “I’m In Trouble” 7″ single.
Fun fact: the track “Somethin To Dü” is, well, obviously a tribute to fellow Minneapolis punkers Hüsker Dü (by stevens). The band insist the song is friendly, and that they regarded Hüsker Dü as an early influence to their sound. The two bands shared a friendly rivalry, started when Twin/Tone chose to sign The Replacements over them, and then later, Hüsker Dü got the opening slot for a Johnny Thunders gig that The Replacements wanted. The song also boasts some charming naïveté with the line “Stand around and sweat/Girls? You bet!”