Earlier this week, The Replacements re-issued their first four releases in Deluxe Edition form with re-mastered tracks, bonus material, and info-packed booklets: their debut Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash, the EP Stink, Hootenanny, and Let It Be. And I’ll be giving away the whole four CD set on The Afternoon Show today. Today and tomorrow are your last chances to win!
Even the CD booklet admits this: people tend to overlook Hootenanny. Frankly, I can’t understand why. It’s an album that definitely avoids the “sophomore slump” in my opinion.
The album opens with the boys trading off instruments, creating a hilarious cacophony of noise, while Westerberg shouts, “It’s a Hootenanny” over and over. So, from the start, you see the boys haven’t lost their rambunctious sense of fun. I mean, “Color Me Impressed” definitely retains that fast, loud, bratty sound from their earlier days. This video clip is pretty fuzzy, and it’s from 1986, but you can still get a great sense of the sneering attitude in this song (and check out Paul and Tommy’s hair!).
But The ‘Mats definitely explore different styles of music on this one. From the surf-guitar of “Buck Hill” to the brooding, slow-burner “Willpower”, The Replacements continued to leave their punk roots behind.
Paul’s sensitive side comes out more and more on this release, particularly on the standout track “Within Your Reach” on which he plays all the instruments himself and lets loose with some heart-wrenching lyrics. (Paul later confessed he cringes a little at this song.) Yet again, guitarist Bob Stinson frowned on the track, saying it “didn’t fit.” (Sadly, you can see his inevitable 1986 dismissal coming, can’t you?)
The Deluxe Edition contains a whopping seven bonus tracks, including alternate takes of “Treatment Bound” and “Lovelines” (with different lyrics), plus several outtakes, an early Westerberg original, and a funny demo of his titled “Bad Worker.”
Fun fact: the cover artwork was designed to mock a real 70’s folk album by Fake Name Graphx, aka Grant Hart of Hüsker Dü!