Replacements, The - Tim
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These reissues complete Rhino's ambitious treatment of the Replacements catalogue, with all eight of the legendary (a shopworn word in rock criticism, but these guys deserve it, for reasons good and bad) Minneapolis band's official releases in expanded and remastered deluxe editions. Rhino's decision to release the records in two flights-- the first covering the Twin/Tone years, the second their time on Sire-- cleaves their career into distinct halves, a division that seems sharper now than it did at the time. Yeah, everyone back then noticedTim's horrible record cover and weird production, but to those not tuned into major/indie politics, it just seemed like "The record after Let It Be," not a talking point for a discussion on what happens when underground bands sign with a major. But returning to these four records after a lengthy re-immersion in the Twin/Tone platters, one gets a sense of exactly what had changed. The run of 1981's Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash to 1984's Let It Be, for all the variety on display, feels of a piece, the work of a wildly creative and energetic band with a strong sense of exactly who they were. Each of the Sire albums, on the other hand, seems to begin with, "Well, I guess we can try this and see what happens." There's no sense of continuity, nothing builds from record to record. Every one seems to come from a band starting over.