The REPLACEMENTS – ” Alex Chilton ” EP Record Store Day

Posted: January 13, 2018 in MUSIC
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The Replacements

The legendary Replacements embarked on a highly anticipated national tour, fulfilling the wishes of a legion of fans who were either too young or too naive to see them the first go-around. The shows, luckily, were still beautiful fuck-ups. What with Paul Westerberg smoking cigarettes between songs, during songs, even inside a camping tent that was erected on the stage for some reason, and Tommy Stinson leaping around like a kid during “Bastards of Young,” there was little left to be desired. As a message to fans, Westerberg donned a new white shirt each night of the tour, with a spray-painted letter on the front and back. By the end of the tour, the message read, “I have always loved you. Now I must whore my past.” Perhaps that’s enough said.
Record Store Day 2015 Release on 10″ black regular weight vinyl 4 song EP. Originally released in the UK as a 7″. Unlike many of their underground contemporaries, The Replacements played ‘heart-on-the-sleeve’ rock songs that combined Westerberg’s raw-throated adolescent howl with self-deprecating lyrics. They were a notoriously wayward live act, often performing under the influence of alcohol and playing fragments of covers instead of their own material.

This is one of the most beloved songs by the Replacements is “Alex Chilton”. This hook-filled number from their 1987 LP, Pleased To Meet Me,  is a tribute to Memphis musician and fabled cult hero, Alex Chilton (Box Tops, Big Star). It’s been performed during virtually every ‘Mats concert since its release. This includes their 2013-2015 reunion, in which it carried a new weight, as Chilton had passed away in 2010. In 2014, the Replacements appeared on The Tonight Show, and “Alex Chilton” is what they played.

Replacements leader Paul Westerberg first met Alex Chilton at a 1984 gig in New York City. Westerberg, not knowing exactly what to say, blurted out, “I’m in love with that one song of yours—what’s that song?” Chilton would produce the demos for the next Replacements album, Tim   (1985), and sang back-up on their ode to college radio, “Left of the Dial”.

The Replacements recorded Pleased To Meet Me in Memphis at Ardent Studios, the same studio as Big Star. The man behind the board was Jim Dickinson, who produced the storied third   Big Star album. Alex came into the studio a few times while the Replacements were working on the record (and laid down a guitar fill for “Can’t Hardly Wait”), but the band avoided the awkwardness of playing “Alex Chilton” whenever AC was around. Chilton eventually heard the track while on tour with the ‘Mats in April of ’87. He conceded that it was “a pretty good song,” and seemed to appreciate the gesture, which was to both honor him and increase his exposure.

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