The Replacements WERE the founders of current
alternative rock. There are lots of pretenders to the throne, but Paul Westerberg and
company are the real deal.
This long overdue compilation sadly doesn't cover the seminal
albums on Twin/Tone -- legend has it the band destroyed those master tapes in a drunken
attempt to keep them from being cleaned up on CD. But the band's Reprise years, covered
here, had more than their share of brilliance.
There are two disks -- one of album tracks
and the occasional almost hit like "I'll Be You" and the other disk of b-sides
and rarities. From the giddy power pop of "Alex Chilton" to the sad seediness of
"Here Comes A Regular," the tunes are eye-openers.
Even more interesting are the
ones that got away. Winning lost moments include "Date To Church," in which
Westerberg has a drunken shout out with Tom Waits and their remake of "Cruella
DeVil" (yes, the 101 Dalmations song) from Hal Willner's long out-of-print Stay
Awake concept album. (12/97)