Saturday, February 16, 2013

Nowhere Ain't Too Far From Here

Here's a mess of ancient Replacements outtakes that I put together just for you (yeah right). Actually, none of these tracks have been anything too hard to find of late, with a couple of them popping up thru 'legitimate' sources while the rest already appeared on a couple of other blogs 4 or 5 years ago. Of course, those particular blog files are probably long gone by now if you tried to google 'em anyway, plus they were on the sort of music blogs that think the Gaslight Anthem are hot shit, so fuck 'em. I'm gonna post these now because I've owned these tracks practically since before Blogger was even invented, when I paid 25 bucks for a bootleg CD full of them about ten or eleven years ago. Screw you, crappy music blog people. Go fuck off to Tumblr or something.

There's like 26 tracks on this CD, but I'm not gonna bother posting every slightly-different variation of already-released songs, although I will include "Careless" -- recorded in '80, pre-Sorry Ma apparently -- because it shows how solid the 'Mats intent was, even from the very beginning. There's also a tossed-off version of "Red Red Wine" which is pretty nice, too; the blazing-fast version on "Pleased To Meet Me" is probably my 3rd favorite track on that album, but the version here chugs along at a mid-tempo pace and does a much better job of bringing out the groove in the song. I also like it because it reminds me of when the 'Mats would do slower country versions of songs like "God Damn Job", plus the made-up reference vocal is kinda funny ("Keep suckin' the soda/Wisconsin and Minnesota").

As for the other stuff, "Nowhere Is My Home" was one of those 'legendary' 'unheard' 'Mats tracks at one point (similar in stature to the original version of "Can't Hardly Wait"), finding itself passed around in lore for a year or two based on word-of-mouth accounts of live shows long before any real studio-recorded version surfaced, which in this case ended up being the unused Chilton sessions that also produced the "Tim" version of "Can't Hardly Wait". Most of the other tracks I'm posting here are basic rockers, some of which morphed into other more recognizable songs and some which didn't. "Temptation Eyes" and "Street Girl" are both pretty corny, at least compared to everything else in the Replacements' oeuvre at the time. "Temptation Eyes" in particular seems to be an attempt to cultivate some sort of Journey/Loverboy-type 'radio hit' (*duh, it's a cover), so maybe it's a good thing that idea wasn't developed any further. If some of these tracks seem a little crappy-sounding compared to cleaned-up versions that might've come out sometime later, keep in mind that this was probably bootlegged from a cassette tape that had been sitting in someone's pocket since the '80s, but that's what things were like back then; the only way to trade music back-and-forth was on crummy cassettes, so people expected things to sound like a bunch of suck. It was all part of the fun.

For whatever reason the booklet was printed with two different sets of artwork, depending upon which way you wanted to fold it, so I scanned a little bit of both. The girl-with-the-candle photos are by Richard Kern, and yes, they credit him on one of the other pages in the booklet.

The Replacements -


"Nowhere Is My Home"

"Who's Gonna Take Us Alive"

"Temptation Eyes"

"Street Girl"

"Perfectly Lethal"

"Time Is Killing Us"

"P.O. Box"

"Red Red Wine"


Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised the bootleg liner notes don't identify it, but "Temptation Eyes" is a cover of a song by cheesy '60s SoCal folk-pop-rock band The Grass Roots. Westerberg always claimed in interviews to have a soft spot for this type of AM bubblegum pop (I remember him mentioning The Raspberries a few times in support of this). A version of this song was released on the "Let It Be" reissue a few years back - I like the way the 'Mats sort of celebrate and destroy the song at the same time (although I guess you could say they sort of did that with all their songs, covers and originals). For all you Jeopardy fans out there, a (barely related) trivia tidbit - The Grass Roots' lead guitarist Creed Bratton currently plays a character named Creed Bratton the on the TV show "The Office." Don't know why I know that.

Brushback said...

Ha, I should've guessed a bit better that it was a cover. That makes the 3rd or 4th time that I've been caught like that.