Replacements Albums, Best of the Worst: Don't Tell a Soul vs. All Shook Down

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WIth these two records, it's pick your poison: on DTAS, it's "who's ass can we kiss" and of ASD, it's "who's ready to kiss the ass of me, genius songwriter."

I just shuffled together the tracks where I don't get those vibes, plus the bonus track which show the Replacements at their big-haired best. And removed from the execrable "We'll Inherit the Earth" (Kid, I want you to write a song like "The One I Love" or "Where the Streets Have No Name") and "My Little Problem" (ahead of it's time, if you were hoping the future would be John Cougar/Sheryl Crow duets), they sound a lot better. I even like the electric piano on "I Won't" now.

A
1. Talent Show
2. I'll Be You
3. Portland
4. All Shook Down
5. I Won't
6. Gudbuy T' Jane

B
1. Wake Up
2. Attitude
3. Anywhere's Better Than Here
4. Merry Go Round
5. Kissin' In Action
6. Date To Church
7. The Last

bendy, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 15:56 (eleven years ago) link

Am I the only one who likes "Rock'n'Roll Ghost"?

Jesus Christ, Attorney at Law (res), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 16:04 (eleven years ago) link

probably?

Mr. Que, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 16:04 (eleven years ago) link

Don't Tell a Soul and these aren't the worst

Reggiano Jackson (gabbneb), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 16:14 (eleven years ago) link

Achin to Be might have some embarrassing lyrics, but the reason you care is that you showed up for the melody

Reggiano Jackson (gabbneb), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 16:16 (eleven years ago) link

the embarrasing lyrics can be found on We'll Inherit the Earth and Asking Me Lies, not Achin To Be

Mr. Que, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 16:24 (eleven years ago) link

(relatively speaking of course--maybe all of the lyrics on Don't Tell a Soul are kinda bad?)

Mr. Que, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 16:25 (eleven years ago) link

yeah, "Asking Me Lies" is a really weak song, from lyrics to rhythm to production. "We'll Inherit the Earth", on the other hand, has such a inflated sound that it's hard to pay attention to the lyrics. I think it's a pretty good song overall, and great at the end, but then again I have a soft spot for Air Supply.

Euler, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 16:27 (eleven years ago) link

i guess i'll go with All Shook Down, even though it has that song Don't You Wanna Be My Little Problem, ugh. . .

Mr. Que, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 16:27 (eleven years ago) link

If not for the shiny production, Don't Tell a Soul might be their strongest album front to back.

No, I'm not kidding.

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 16:56 (eleven years ago) link

Gotta be All Shook Down for me...Don't Tell a Soul had some great songs ("I'll Be You" is stunning despite the extremely dated production) but All Shook Down had a vibe that just made it so much more comforting to listen to, and the ragged desperation in Paul's songs and singing was so much more authentic than the corporate ass-kiss that Don't Tell a Soul ended up being, whether that was the intention or not.

People railing about the production quality on DTaS is entirely fair - this was a band that made its entire career up to that point being ragged fuck-ups. Dressing them up with a new suit and hair cut may make them look better temporarily, but ultimately there's just something wrong about it. Would really much rather have heard those songs (stadium-fist-pumping glory of some of them notwithstanding) without the gloss...would have made for a much better record.

Sean Carruthers, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 16:57 (eleven years ago) link

the production's never bothered me on Don't Tell A Soul--it's not half as noticable as it is on Tim--it's that the songs kinda suck except for Talent Show

Mr. Que, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 16:59 (eleven years ago) link

Keep in mind that I love some of the production/engineering work done by the people that worked on DTaS - the Sons of Freedom s/t album was amazing and it was enhanced by that production thump. With the 'mats, it was just the wrong fit.

Sean Carruthers, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 16:59 (eleven years ago) link

the production's never bothered me on Don't Tell A Soul--it's not half as noticable as it is on Tim

You've got to be kidding.

Jesus Christ, Attorney at Law (res), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 17:57 (eleven years ago) link

I resent the characterization of All Shook Down being one of the worst, really. It's my favorite 'Mats album, even over Tim and Let it Be or whichever one seems to be the consensus fave at the moment. There's a great warm, sort of private sound on All Shook Down that was a perfect goodbye kiss from the band (or what was left of the band at that point).

Conversely, Don't Tell a Soul is tied with Pleased to Meet Me as the worst, most phoned-in sounding 'Mats album. All Shook Down was a welcome step up after two dud albums.

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 17:58 (eleven years ago) link

You've got to be kidding.

didn't PP say something about Tim sounding like the band was playing down the hall? at least On Don't Tell a Soul you can hear everything, nothing's muffled

Mr. Que, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 18:02 (eleven years ago) link

Where the first four records sounded like The Replacements were playing live in front of you, this one sounded like they were playing in a room through the wall and down the hall in some loft you were trying to sleep in.

OTM^^^

Mr. Que, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 18:03 (eleven years ago) link

Pleased to Meet Me is their best, Don't Tell a Soul is their worst (unlistenable apart from Talent Show and I'll Be You), All Shook Down is like half of a good album

Kitchen Paper Towel (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 18:04 (eleven years ago) link

Pleased to Meet Me has a lot of really half-assed songs on it. Aside from "Alex Chilton" and "Skyway," most of this album teeters on total shitdom. The songs on Don't Tell a Soul are not all that bad; it's a production issue more than anything else. And "Anywhere's Better than Here" flat out kicks ass.

Jesus Christ, Attorney at Law (res), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:01 (eleven years ago) link

I.O.U. - - Great opening song
Alex Chilton - classic
I Don't Know" - - silly and stupid in a good way, total throwaway, not in a Kiss Me on The Bus sentimental way
Nightclub Jitters" – i could see people not liking this, but i dig it
The Ledge" – good, not great
Never Mind" – great
Valentine" - - this plus Never Mind great one two punch
Shooting Dirty Pool" - get your money on the table, get your head out of your ass
Red Red Wine" how could you not like this song?
Skyway" – fuck yeah
Can't Hardly Wait" fuck yeah part II: the return of Fuck Yeah

Mr. Que, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:05 (eleven years ago) link

start to finish excellent

Mr. Que, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:05 (eleven years ago) link

The problem is that most of the PTMM album is just Replacements-by-the-numbers. It has their unique sound, and it's instantly recognizable. It's just not that good. Even though it's the first Replacements album I owned, it's the one I always forget exists. The songs for the most part don't warrant returning to. "Never Mind" is like a bad attempt at re-writing "Unsatisfied." "Nightclub Jitters" is an interesting genre exercise, but it's not that great of a song. "Valentine" is pretty much the definition of a generic Replacements song. "IOU" is almost a carbon copy of "Gary's Got a Boner" but less memorable and less funny. "I Don't Know" sounds like it was written in the studio 5 seconds before the record button got pressed. "Shooting Dirty Pool" is faceless bar-rock, and might as well have been performed by George Thoroughgood and the Destroyers. I have to really try to enjoy this album.

Jesus Christ, Attorney at Law (res), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:18 (eleven years ago) link

Pleased to Meet Me has a lot of really half-assed songs on it.

REAL TALK

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:19 (eleven years ago) link

every Replacements album has a bunch of half-assed songs on it - this is a band whose entire rep is based on pretty much never using their whole ass.

Kitchen Paper Towel (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:22 (eleven years ago) link

"Never Mind" is like a bad attempt at re-writing "Unsatisfied."

???? The two songs don't sound anything like each other

Mr. Que, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:23 (eleven years ago) link

OU" is almost a carbon copy of "Gary's Got a Boner" but less memorable and less funny.

don't get this at all, the latter is a jokey throwaway lyric and the the former is a barnstorming opener. I agree with Mr Que's assessments of the individual tracks fwiw. If this is by the number those are some damn good numbers.

Kitchen Paper Towel (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:23 (eleven years ago) link

"Never Mind" is like a bad attempt at re-writing "Unsatisfied."

???? The two songs don't sound anything like each other

also this. one is a 12-string acoustic ballad and the other is a mid-tempo rocker

Kitchen Paper Towel (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:24 (eleven years ago) link

I Don't Know" sounds like it was written in the studio 5 seconds before the record button got pressed.

That's what makes it good!

"Shooting Dirty Pool" is faceless bar-rock, and might as well have been performed by George Thoroughgood and the Destroyers.

hahaha no.

Mr. Que, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:24 (eleven years ago) link

Let's go back to pretending these two records don't exist, okay?

Jeff LeVine, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:30 (eleven years ago) link

Well, I still feel like "Never Mind" is trying to go for a similar feeling as "Unsatisfied" but can't really pull it off. The riffs for "IOU" and "Gary Has a Boner" are really similar IMO. Anyway, my point is that PTMM is kind of forgettable and empty to me.

Jesus Christ, Attorney at Law (res), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:48 (eleven years ago) link

I was going to care about your opinion but then I remembered you're that guy that hates Steely Dan

Kitchen Paper Towel (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:55 (eleven years ago) link

I don't like PTMM, but do like Steely Dan. Where do I fit into Shakey's list of internet respect?

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:56 (eleven years ago) link

This is such a perplexing forum.

Jesus Christ, Attorney at Law (res), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 20:04 (eleven years ago) link

Que OTM re. PTTM: great album (was about to say "great fucking album" but actually, no).

Euler, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 20:30 (eleven years ago) link

I'm probably alone, but I prefer the horns-and-all version of "Alex Chilton" to the demo or whatever. PTMM isn't a great album, but it's a pretty good one that could have been great had "Shootin' Dirty Pool" and "Red Red Wine" been left off.

And, hey, sometimes the high budget production frills help, like the saxophone blurts and Tommy's laugh on "I Don't Know."

Bud Huxtable (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 20:35 (eleven years ago) link

man "Red Red Wine" is my favorite moment on there; I have no idea what they're singing about (uh, wine, I guess) but c'mon, the wild singalong at the end is awesome.

Euler, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 20:38 (eleven years ago) link

uh i don't think it cost a lot of money to mix in Tommy's laughing

Mr. Que, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 20:38 (eleven years ago) link

that's not my point: they had a guiding hand in the studio who could offer mixing details like the laugh.

Bud Huxtable (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 20:40 (eleven years ago) link

I'll bet Tommy Ramone cost more than Jim Dickinson

Mr. Que, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 20:40 (eleven years ago) link

It's hard to believe that the same Jim Dickinson who made "Kangaroo" is the same guy who ruined "Can't Hardly Wait."

Jesus Christ, Attorney at Law (res), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 22:42 (eleven years ago) link

It's hard to believe Jim Dickinson.

staggerlee, Thursday, 11 June 2009 00:00 (eleven years ago) link

i understand and agree with complaints about the production on dtas. i understand and disagree with complaints about the production on tim. i think something is very wrong and strange with complaints about the production on pleased to meet me.

would you ask tom petty that? (tipsy mothra), Thursday, 11 June 2009 04:48 (eleven years ago) link

This thread has my blood pressure up. Both of these albums are amazing and this:

If not for the shiny production, Don't Tell a Soul might be their strongest album front to back.

No, I'm not kidding.

― I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Wednesday, 10 June 2009 16:56 (Yesterday)

is pretty much OTM.

Complaining about the production on DTAS while singing the praises of Tim (probably the most poorly produced album of all time) is ludicrous. Typical hipster sacred cow shit.

It goes like this:
PTMM > Let It Be > Don't Tell A Soul > the rest

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Thursday, 11 June 2009 08:07 (eleven years ago) link

"Hipsters" also think Tim has better songs, hipster.

Bud Huxtable (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 June 2009 12:27 (eleven years ago) link

I generally don't mind the production on any of the albums to the point where I can't listen to them-- with the exception of the horns on PTMM. Horns on a Replacements album is completely unfitting.

Jesus Christ, Attorney at Law (res), Thursday, 11 June 2009 14:47 (eleven years ago) link

Even though it doesn't have any single song that approaches I'll Be You, All Shook Down is a much better record than Don't Tell A Soul.

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 11 June 2009 14:56 (eleven years ago) link

I just think that rock n' roll should be sung while wearing a vest.

Pleasant Plains, Thursday, 11 June 2009 15:21 (eleven years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 15 June 2009 23:01 (eleven years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 23:01 (eleven years ago) link

finally i can call this my favorite replacements record and no one will look at me like i have two heads

― american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, September 27, 2019 2:26 PM bookmarkflaglink

Well now your favorite replacements record has two heads!

pplains, Thursday, 3 October 2019 13:22 (nine months ago) link

lol

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 3 October 2019 13:24 (nine months ago) link

it's my not-so-secret theory that Westerburg's most poignant tunes are about and for Tommy.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 3 October 2019 13:24 (nine months ago) link

Love the way Anywhere's Better ends now.

pplains, Thursday, 3 October 2019 13:29 (nine months ago) link

The only subject I know for sure is his sister, who inspired "Waitress in the Sky." I think some are about Lori Bizer, who worked at Twin/Tone?

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 3 October 2019 13:34 (nine months ago) link

it's my not-so-secret theory that Westerburg's most poignant tunes are about and for Tommy.

― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, October 3, 2019 9:24 AM (eleven minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

I always tear up about those lost tonsils

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Thursday, 3 October 2019 13:37 (nine months ago) link

Other Subjects:
Johnny Thunders "Johnny's Gonna Die"
Bob Stinson "Good Day"

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Thursday, 3 October 2019 13:39 (nine months ago) link

"Lay It Down, Clown" was about Peter Buck's reluctance to share his speed stash.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 3 October 2019 13:48 (nine months ago) link

Don’t forget Gary!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 3 October 2019 14:21 (nine months ago) link

“Left of the Dial,” one of the members of Let’s Active (Faye?)

Three Borads and the HOOS (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 3 October 2019 14:30 (nine months ago) link

Left of the Dial” is the story of this girl, a guitar player, Lynn Blakey, who toured with Mitch Easter’s Let’s Active. We got to be friends. She wanted me to write her a letter, but I never write letters. I figured the only way I’d hear her voice was with her band on the radio, left of the dial on a college station. And one night we did. We were passing through a town somewhere, and she was doing an interview on the radio, left of the dial. I heard her voice for the first time in six months for about a minute. Then the station faded out.

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Thursday, 3 October 2019 14:33 (nine months ago) link

yep
it's almost like this theory he only wrote about himself was total bullshit!

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 3 October 2019 14:34 (nine months ago) link

also I tell you what I don't know how many artists would give their blessing to a book that makes them look that bad, then give the author the plum gig of writing liner notes to a big box set

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 3 October 2019 14:36 (nine months ago) link

also isn't Achin' to Be about his sister Mary Lucia?? I swear that was in the book

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 3 October 2019 14:40 (nine months ago) link

What did it take to twist Paul’s arm to get this to come out?

It was funny. I think he left it up to management and Bob Mehr, like, “If you guys want to do this. Fine. Fuck it.” And he’s kind of checked out on it. I don’t know if there was anything bad about it. He just doesn’t like going backwards in time. He doesn’t like the whole idea of, “We released this and that.” Like, what about this painting I’m making right now? I get it. The fans like that kind of stuff. He’s enough of a music fan to know that.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/replacements-tommy-stinson-dead-mans-pop-interview-889797/

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 3 October 2019 14:41 (nine months ago) link

Well, damn. According to Mehr’s liner notes, Westerberg wanted Pete Townshend to produce DTAS. I’m absolutely certain that my 16-year-old brain would’ve exploded had that come to fruition.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 5 October 2019 18:46 (eight months ago) link

This was only an opinion, but didn't Chuck or somebody draw the conclusion that "Achin' To Be" was about a Natalie Merchant-type?

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 5 October 2019 18:56 (eight months ago) link

What’s a Natalie Merchant type?

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Saturday, 5 October 2019 19:15 (eight months ago) link

Girl.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 5 October 2019 19:29 (eight months ago) link

Too Liberal To Function

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 5 October 2019 19:54 (eight months ago) link

Kidding aside, I guess artistic, kind of shy, earnest, partial to granny dresses and thrift stores.

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 5 October 2019 19:57 (eight months ago) link

Manic Pixie Song Character

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 5 October 2019 20:06 (eight months ago) link

Kidding aside, I guess artistic, kind of shy, earnest, partial to granny dresses and thrift stores.

So he WAS singing to little 14 year old me?? Whoa

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Saturday, 5 October 2019 20:16 (eight months ago) link

"She's kind of like an artist, and kind of like a movie, but mostly Saoirse Ronan is... ACHIN' TO BE"

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 5 October 2019 20:17 (eight months ago) link

There’s a little part in the recent oral history of Lilith Fair where Liz Phair remembered having water splashed in her face by Natalie Merchant that made me lol
It made me think Natalie Merchant had/has more impish spirit than I gave her credit for!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Saturday, 5 October 2019 20:19 (eight months ago) link

I very distinctly remember the Natalie Merchant connection coming from this article in Spin where the writer says Achin' To Be is about a "girl who you know looks like Natalie Merchant." (Totally recommend flipping through that issue btw)

j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Saturday, 5 October 2019 21:05 (eight months ago) link

I'm pretty sure in the book it specifically says it was about his sister but maybe I'm misremembering

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 5 October 2019 21:11 (eight months ago) link

That issue had a reasonably significant impact on me. While Sex Machine isn’t quite as great as they make it out to be (though an un-futzed-with version is coming out next month), many of the other lists sent me on investigating scurries.

And the Winger ad is all-time.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 5 October 2019 21:13 (eight months ago) link

> That issue had a reasonably significant impact on me.

Me too! I still have my copy

j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Saturday, 5 October 2019 21:19 (eight months ago) link


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