October 14, 2009

12 Favorite Replacements' Songs and Covers

I've been on a huge Replacements kick the last few months. I recently finished the communally-written biography It's All Over But The Shouting and then, shortly after, saw Deer Tick perform "Can't Hardly Wait" in concert. The Mats never made it big, but their influence still abounds. After getting a hold of all the bootlegs and EPs this past weekend (Shit, Shower & Shave, Inconcerated, Shit Hits The Fans, etc.), I decided to compose a definitive list of my favorite Mats songs, as well as their best covers. Enjoy.

The Favorites:
1) "Can't Hardly Wait" (Tim outtake version)
I prefer this raw version of the classic: more guitar, less horns and polish.
2) "Favorite Thing" (from Let It Be)
Great opening riff. Bob Stinson's guitar drops beautifully in and out of this song. It's pure adrenaline and fun.
3) "Bastards of Young" (from Tim)
One word: anthemic. It's probably the second best song Westerberg ever wrote.
4) "If Only You Were Lonely" (outtake from Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash)
Best line: "Somewhere there's a smile with my name on it."
5) "Nowhere Is My Home" (from Boink!!)
From the 1985 Alex Chilton-produced sessions—released in the UK only.
6) "Buck Hill" (from Hootenanny)
The Mats response to surf music—and in particular the Trashmen's "Surfin' Bird"—was an ode to a Minnesota ski hill. To love the band, you have to be able to laugh with them.
7) "Talent Show" (Studio demo from Don't Tell A Soul)
A keyhole into the band's reckless onstage nature. Also catchy as hell.
8) "Kiss Me On The Bus" (from Tim)
Charming, light pop from the band that wrote "Fuck School" and "I Hate Music." Who knew?
9) "I Will Dare" (from Let It Be)
REM's Peter Buck has a nice mandolin riff, but Stinson plays the real groove.
10) "Careless" (from Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash)
1:08 of their early no-frills punk, but it still has that signature Mats sound thanks to Stinson's riff.
11) "Androgynous" (from Let It Be)
The best lyrics Westerberg ever wrote. Undoubtedly, he was ahead of his time.
12) "Little Mascara" (from Tim)
"All you ever wanted was someone to take care of you / All you're ever losin' is a little mascara." Great line.

Favorite Covers:
"Black Diamond" (KISS)
"I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man" (Prince)
"20th Century Boy" (T. Rex)
"Route 66" (Chuck Berry/Rolling Stones)

Here's the Mats performing "Kiss Me On The Bus" on SNL in 1986. They infamously changed into each other's clothes after their drunken version of "Bastards of Young"—hence Bob Stinson's little pants. They were banned from the show afterwards, mostly for directly cursing into the camera.

Buy it at Insound!The Replacements


  1. hehe...little pants.

  2. I loved the version of Can't Hardly Wait done on Sat Nite Live where I think the drummer messes up or yells something and they crack up the rest of the song...think it was just Paul as solo artist and not the Mats.

  3. Ha, I wish I could've seen that. Too bad there's not a Mats documentary with all that great footage.

  4. I looked on youtube last night and didn't see it so I googled a bit more today and found a forum with links to download it & the links are still good.


    (about 2:15 in on the mp4 version...is the part I was talking about)

  5. Excellent tip Karen. Thanks!