Tim (The Replacements, October 1985)
This album was released two years before I was released, yet somehow makes me feel like I’m in high school rebelling against my parents and having a blast while doing it. The beginning of this album draws me in though, and I’m not sure why. I picture myself hitting the road (somewhere in Arizona or Nevada, clearly). And driving fast. In a comfortable. And possibly myself, or someone else standing up screaming at the top of my lungs. There’s definitely this sense of doing whatever you want, right at the start of the album with the opening track, “Hold My Life”, letting lyrics like “If I want, I could dye…my hair” establish to mood. But there also seems to be this fine line between losing control, and getting control (“Hold my life/because I just might lose it”).
- Hold My Life
- I’ll Buy
- Kiss Me On The Bus
- Dose Of Thunder
- Waitress In The Sky
- Swinging Party
- Bastards Of Young
- Lay It Down Clown
- Left Of The Dial
- Little Mascara
- Here Comes A Regular
Track 2, “I’ll Buy” jumps in with a more punk/alternative-rock element to it, but again its got this theme of free-spiritedness and being being able to do anything you want – travelling, buying nice things. It also has this really classic sound to it, and the chorus makes you want to sing along.
There’s a familiarity to this album that I’m not sure if I can place. I guess it reminds me of a mix between R.E.M.’s alternative guitar with some of Elton John’s percussion and that kind of classic rock sound. It’s fun though. This album just continues to encourage screaming at the top of your lungs in wide-open spaces. In other words, its fun, its a bit rebellious, its playful and its classic. Tracks like “Bastards Of Young” and “Dose of Thunder” remind me of bands like The Rolling Stones and Starship, respectively (“We built this city on rock and roll…”)…and that’s cool!
Then there’s “Waitress In The Sky” which has the Summer feeling of The Beach Boys, combined with a guitar-drum lead-in that makes me think that Meatloaf might start singing “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”…but doesn’t.
“Left Of The Dial” is a clear throwback to small-town bands playing small-town concerts. I also read that it pays homage to the fact that college radio stations typically are on the left side of the radio dial, and so this is actually considered to be somewhat of an anthem to college radio stations. Again, cool!
I hadn’t heard of The Replacements before a week ago. Had you? I wasn’t really looking forward to hearing this album, but I was pleasantly surprised. The album bursts with rebellious, youthful accounts of various experiences like convincing a young lady to let you steal a kiss from her, and the attraction and flirtatiousness of airline flight attendants, but it also has an element of determination and strength that pierces through the rest of the fun and party-life themes.
Check this album out. If you don’t know The Replacements, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.