Google Play Free Song of the Day 4/17/2014

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The Replacements

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Bastards Of Young


The Replacements

About the artist



Moving to a major label was inevitable for the Replacements: they garnered too much acclaim and attention after Let It Be to stay on Twin/Tone, especially as the label faced the same distribution problems that plagued many indies in the mid-’80s — plus, the ‘Mats’ crosstown rivals, Hüsker Dü, made the leap to the big leagues, paving the way for their own hop over to Sire. The Replacements may have left Twin/Tone behind but they weren’t quite ready to leave Minneapolis in the dust, choosing to record in their hometown with Tommy Erdelyi — aka Tommy Ramone — who gives the ‘Mats a big, roomy sound without quite giving them gloss; compared to Let It Be, Tim is polished, but compared to many American underground rock records of the mid-’80s (including those by the Ramones), it’s loose and kinetic. The production — guitars that gained muscle, drums and vocals that gained reverb — is the biggest surface difference, but there aren’t just changes in how the Replacements sound; what they’re playing is different too, as Paul Westerberg begins to turn into a self-aware songwriter. A large part of the charm of Let It Be was how it split almost evenly between ragged vulgarity and open-hearted rockers, with Westerberg’s best songs betraying a startling, beguiling lack of affect. That’s not quite the case with Tim, as Westerberg consciously writes alienation anthems: the rallying cry of “Bastards of Young” and the college radio love letter “Left of the Dial,” songs written with a larger audience in mind — not a popular audience, but a collection of misfits across the nation, who huddled around Westerberg’s raw, twitchy loneliness on “Swingin Party” and “Here Comes a Regular,” or the urgent and directionless “Hold My Life.”


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