Posts Tagged ‘Tommy Stinson’

This limited edition and EXCLUSIVE bundle comes with a 14-track cassette featuring highlights from the box along with two additional unreleased tracks: the outtake “Asking Me Lies” and an instrumental of “I Won’t” (Bearsville Version). The cassette also features the original, unused cover art for Don’t Tell A Soul.

Back in 1987, Minneapolis rock and roll renegades The Replacements famously stole their Twin/Tone master tapes and threw them in the Mississippi River. A year later—while wrapping up work on their Warner Bros. album, Don’t Tell A Soul—the group absconded with a collection of their reels from Paisley Park studios. Thankfully, those tapes were spared a watery fate, and instead stashed away for decades by the band. Now they’ve been recovered to form the basis of The Replacements first-ever boxed set, Dead Man’s Pop.

Although Don’t Tell A Soul ultimately became the group’s best-selling effort, The Replacements were unsatisfied with the sound of the record. The band has radically reimagined Don’t Tell A Soul to create a 4CD/1LP set that features the album mixed as it was originally intended (Don’t Tell A Soul Redux), along with a collection of previously unheard tracks (We Know The Night: Rare & Unreleased), and a classic concert from 1989 (The Complete Inconcerated Live).

The box features a newly completed mix of the album by Don’t Tell A Soul producer Matt Wallace (based on his 1988 Paisley Park mix); a disc of unreleased recordings (including a session with Tom Waits); plus the band’s entire June 2nd, 1989 show at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In total, the box includes 60 tracks–58 of which have never been heard before.

Presented in a 12 x 12 hardcover book – loaded with dozens of rarely seen photos – the set features a detailed history of the Don’t Tell A Soul era written by Bob Mehr, who produced the box with Rhino’s Jason Jones, and also authored The New York Times bestseller Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements.

Mehr writes: “While it’s impossible to unhear a record that’s been around for three decades, this version, Don’t Tell A Soul Redux, is the album the band made and intended to release. In addition to Matt Wallace’s mix, Redux also restores several crucial elements from the sessions, including original drums tracks, vocal takes and tempos that were altered in post-production…[and] the band’s original sequence of the album.”

Wallace says: “The true spirit of The Replacements was always there on the recordings we did back in 1988, and now you can hear and feel it clearly…This was the project of a lifetime for me when we recorded it 30-plus years ago, and it’s even truer today as we’ve finally fulfilled our original vision.”

Paul Westerberg, Slim Dunlap, Tommy Stinson and Chris Mars started recording Don’t Tell A Soul in June 1988 with Tony Berg at Bearsville Studios, but the chaotic sessions were cut short and mothballed. Nine unreleased tracks from Bearsville appear on Dead Man’s Pop, including early versions of “I’ll Be You,” “Darlin’ One” and “Achin’ To Be” and the previously unheard “Last Thing in the World.” The collection also features tracks the band recorded with Tom Waits, five of which have never been officially released: among them, “Lowdown Monkey Blues,” “We Know The Night” and a cover of Billy Swan’s “I Can Help.”

The final two CDs of Dead Man’s Pop capture the band performing live in Milwaukee during the “Don’t Tell A Soul Tour.” A few songs from the concert originally appeared on the promo-only EP Inconcerated Live (1989), but the bulk of the 29 tracks included have never been released. The entire show has been newly mixed by Brian Kehew (Ramones, The Faces).

Additionally, Dead Man’s Pop will include Wallace’s Don’t Tell A Soul Redux mix on 180-gram vinyl.

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The Replacements began to turn away from their early punk aesthetic on “Hootenanny”, the second studio album setting themselves up for stirring new successes. Unfortunately, this album also marked the beginning of the end for the band’s seminal lineup.
They had begun their discography with the hardcore, thrillingly haphazard 1981 album Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash, followed by the similarly constructed Stink EP a year later. This was booze-addled co-founding guitarist Bob Stinson’s forte, the place where he felt most at home. Frontman Paul Westerberg had other ideas.

“It had been a year or six months of touring and doing the Stink thing,” Westerberg says in the excellent “Trouble Boys The True Story of the Replacements”, “and the last thing I wanted to do was really bash out another one like that. … It was impossible to sing that shit anyway; it was ripping my throat raw.”

The Hootenanny, album was issued on April 29th, 1983, It re-drew the Replacements‘ musical boundaries. Suddenly, they were dabbling in pop and old-school rock sounds, and country and folk, too. Some of it was quite frankly ironic, but the album still represented a huge leap forward – and it completely reshaped the Replacements‘ audience.

They’d gotten there by finally speaking to their own deeper, quite fundamental contradictions. After all, this was a band that could somehow come off as both sensitive and sarcastic, darkly poetic and strikingly sophomoric. Westerberg’s roving muse was actually matched by the built-in musical tendencies of bandmates Bob Stinson, his bass-playing brother Tommy Stinson, and drummer Chris Mars.

“If it doesn’t rock enough, Bob will scoff at it,” Westerberg says in Our Band Could Be Your Life, “and if it isn’t catchy enough, Chris won’t like it – and if it isn’t modern enough, Tommy won’t like it.”

Having already changed recording venues in favor of a mobile 24-track unit at a warehouse in Roseville described in the liner notes as “a warehouse in some godawful suburb north of near downtown Minneapolis, The Replacements began trying on new personas: “Willpower” brought to mind the Psychedelic Furs at their most atmospheric, while “Take Me Down to the Hospital” revealed a blues base. “Mr. Whirly” boasted an overt Beatles influence a parody of the Beatles track “Oh! Darling” (with the opening bars of “Strawberry Fields Forever”) and bears the writing credit “mostly stolen” on the record label

, and “Buck Hill” referenced surf rock. “Color Me Impressed” rankes as one of Westerberg’s best early paeans to outsiders. “Within Your Reach” even included a bit of synth.

As he plumbed deeper emotions, Westerberg headed toward something that might be called singer-songwriter punk. “There was less concern of trying to make an album that was all fast rock and roll songs,” Westerberg adds in  Trouble Boys. “The record was going to be whatever turned out best on tape.”

At the same time, however, Hootenanny still remained connected to their unstructured roots. The title track, a chaotic blues shuffle in which all of the Replacements switched instruments in order to annoy their fastidious co-producer Paul Stark, was placed at the top of the record. They then charged right into “Run It,” an unapologetically hardcore romp. In these moments, the late Bob Stinson transformed once more into a revelation of guttural expression, weird angles and coiled aggressiveness.

“I mean, what he played just came from somewhere else,” said former manager Peter Jesperson “It was instinctual, more than most people that I’ve ever experienced. He just played a weird amalgamation of things that he admired, filtered through the weird Bob Stinson brain.”

Through it boasts a surprisingly jazzy approach, the lyrics of “Lovelines” were also pure punk: Westerberg reads classified ads, verbatim, straight out of Minneapolis‘ City Pages, you can even detect the sound of turning pages as the song ends. They begin “You Lose” with Westerberg talking back to the control room. “Are we going to record this one?” he asks. Then, as the music suddenly surrounds him: “I see. Well, in that case …”

Meanwhile, the Replacements were still an on-stage mess, as they consumed staggering amounts of alcohol before performing. “If it’s a small crowd, it helps sometimes because you see double,” Westerberg once quipped. “Then you can fill the joint.”
That’s part of why almost all of Hootenanny was cut live, with minimal overdubbing of lead vocals and guitar. They were constrained, quite frankly, by Stinson’s outsized appetites. “The major consideration was how drunk Bob was going to be when he came to the sessions,” Stark said in Trouble Boys, “and how much you could get out of him before he got too drunk to work. With Bob, we only had about 20 or 30 minutes to record every night.”

Bob Stinson had tried to go on the wagon the summer before, but fell off again. At one point, Tommy Stinson was desperate enough to discuss replacing his brother with Dan Murphy of the band Soul Asylum. But Tommy, then still in high school, wasn’t in any position to redirect his wayward sibling. Up to this point, The Replacements had been limiting their schedule to regional weekend runs so the younger Stinson could be back in class on Mondays.
So, Stark adjusted. “We realized [Bob Stinson’s] lead guitar playing was best between his fifth and seventh beer, and after the seventh beer he was worthless,” Stark says “If he hadn’t had the four, he was worthless, as well.”

It all came together, somehow. Paul Westerberg felt like they’d finally stumbled onto something special, something uniquely their own. He later called Hootenanny “the first album that sounds just like us.” Certainly, it set the table for 1984’s breakthrough Let It Be. A year later, the Replacements were signed by a major label.

Still, seeds of discontent were already sown. Bob Stinson had flatly refused to include the Westerberg ballad “You’re Getting Married” on Stink. (“That ain’t the Replacements,” he reportedly said. “Save it for your record, Paul.”) Westerberg actually recorded this album’s more sensitive “Within Your Reach” all alone. The pair were clearly headed to a critical juncture: “When we played the loud, fast shit, it was his band,” Westerberg says in Trouble Boys, “but I felt like I can only do so much of that. I have to do this [ballad] crap, too.”

Westerberg closed out Hootenanny with “Treatment Bound,” a brutally frank admission.”We’re getting no place fast as we can,” he lamented. But that would change soon. Hundreds of college-rock stations added Hootenanny to their playlists, and it got great reviews. Meanwhile, Tommy Stinson quit school. The Replacements were his full-time job now.
In the spring of ’83, they made their first East Coast trip. The Replacements played CBGB that June. By the fall of 1984, they had released one of the most important albums of the era. Within two years after that, however, Bob Stinson had gone. He didn’t live another full decade.

The Replacements
  • Paul Westerberg – rhythm guitar, vocals (drums on track 1, all instruments on side 2, track 1)
  • Bob Stinson – lead guitar (bass on track 1)
  • Tommy Stinson – bass (rhythm guitar on track 1)
  • Chris Mars – drums (lead guitar on track 1)

Hootenanny sold more than 38,000 vinyl copies. In 2008, The album was remastered and reissued by Rhino Entertainment, containing seven additional tracks.

Two priceless gifts were bestowed upon Replacements fans this year, most notably the formal release of the band’s oft-bootlegged 1986 live set at Maxwell’s. Unfortunately, that nostalgia trip diverted attention from a new collection of gloriously boozy rock ’n’ roll songs by the Mats’ main sideman and erstwhile Guns N’ Roses bassist, Tommy Stinson. Recorded under his long-dormant Bash & Pop moniker, Anything Could Happen hears Stinson cement his status as the Keith Richards of Generation X: a reedy-voiced, rock ’n’ roll traveler finding his muse in country, blues and Maker’s Mark. Also like Richards, the spiky-haired Stinson manages to be eternally youthful and world-weary at the same time, a study in contradictions that carries through to his songwriting. “I might change my life,” the protagonist sings on the title track, but you’re not entirely sure he believes it.

No surprise that this push and pull of hope and regret is a consistent thread as Stinson faces down the other side of 50. Really, though, what’s so special about Anything Could Happen is that it doesn’t try to be special at all. Instead, it conjures a freewheeling, live-to-tape basement jam fueled by adrenaline and a few cases of beer. And isn’t that what rock ’n’ roll is all about?

Image result for the replacements band

The Replacements were always going to be a risk for any label to sign in the mid eighties. The band’s reputation for sloppy live shows, drunken interviews and overall contempt for anything resembling self promotion was already legendary. Not that any of this ever worried the band, when Sire eventually signed the Mat’s in 1986 they seemed more concerned with keeping up with their local rivals Husker Du (who had just signed to Warners) than proving any doubters wrong.

Paul Westerberg always seemed to understand that for the kind of band he was going to run, danger was a part of deal. Indeed, the Replacements seemed to revel in it. One of their very first songs was a tribute to Westerberg’s great hero and soon-to-be inevitable heroin casualty Johnny Thunders. On “Johnny’s Gonna Die,” Westerberg sings with an offhand casualness: “Johnny always takes more then he needs / knows a couple chords / knows a couple leads / and Johnny’s gonna die.” The sentiment is decidedly not, “Hey, we should probably do something before Thunders finally kicks it!” It’s more like he’s noting the weather outside, an absolutely prosaic dispatch. Westerberg even ends the song with a sort of cheerful refrain of “bye, bye” — it was 10 years before Thunders would finally leave the building, but the Replacements had already skipped ahead to the eulogy.

For all of the tremendous hilarity surrounding the band’s legendary antics, the Replacements’ story is far more tragedy then comedy. The band wasn’t a suicide pact, but they were a sort of four-man Russian Roulette game. Excess bordered on mandatory. A much-repeated (and unconfirmed) story tells of Westerberg confronting the deeply troubled and dependent founding lead guitarist Bob Stinson before a show when Stinson had just finished 30 days in a detox clinic. Westerberg brings him a bottle of champagne and tells him: “Either take a drink, motherfucker, or get off my stage.” It doesn’t matter so much if this is true or not, simply because it is plausible. Being wasted was Bob Stinson’s brief in the Replacements — he really wasn’t good enough a technical player to keep around sober and levelheaded. The fact that he was eventually fired for being overly erratic is an unamusing irony.

All Shook Down [Explicit]

‘All Shook Down’ (1990)

The band’s final LP gets punished for what it’s not – a real Replacements record. Paul Westerberg began ‘All Shook Down’ as a solo effort and only shifted to include his bandmates during sessions. On its own merits, and stripped of ‘Don’t Tell a Soul’’s misguided bombast, the album is pleasant. It is fine. The steady “Merry-Go-Round” has a nice hook and Paul’s sleeve-hearted storytelling is solid – even if, as he looks back, Westerberg takes his band’s legacy more seriously than the boys did in the moment). But middling tempos and hushed shuffles make ‘All Shook Down’ the audio equivalent of beige. Stuck between being a Replacements record and a solo debut, the album doesn’t satisfy in either way. Westerberg’s pen is typically astute and nimble here, noting the soon-to-be-disastrous marriage depicted in “Nobody” and the fractious future of an unsettled newborn in “Sadly Beautiful.” It’s an album reckoning with the consequences of all that has come before. On the final track the band would ever release, “The Last,” Westerberg ruefully acknowledges: “It’s too late to run like hell.”

When The Replacements ended their 33-show reunion tour in June 2015, founding bassist Tommy Stinson walked away with his head held high. Armed with a pocketful of new songs and a clean slate, he holed up in his home studio in Hudson, NY and played solo tour dates with a group of A+ players/friends backing him, including Luther Dickinson, Frank Ferrer, Cat Popper, Steve Selvidge, and Joe “The Kid” Sirois. They had more fun than humans should be allowed to have, and over the next year and a half they pieced together a brand new record. Bash and Pop A new band record with 1/4 of The Replacements is better than none. This is everything I love about rock and roll.. all rolled into one great song.

The group performs a song off their album ‘Anything Can Happen.’ Which is exactly what happens – watch this one to the end! from the Stephen Colbert Show.

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Tommy Stinson, his Bash & Pop mates and Fat Possum Records are proud to present to you “On The Rocks,” the first new track from Anything Could Happen, the long-awaited follow-up to the band’s 1992 debut, Friday Night Is Killing Me. Find it in stores January 20, 2017. Check out the Official video here: