The Shit List: The Ten Best Replacements Tunes EVER!

In honor of tonight's Replacements show at the Riviera, that will see local heroes the Smoking Popes open, we're compiling our list and checking it twice of the BEST Mats tunes ever!

"I'll Be You"

Quite frankly, I've never understood the amount of scorn directed towards Don't Tell A Soul over the years.  To our ears, it stands one of the band's better records and was a time you could not turn on MTV without seeing the video for "I'll Be You" right next to "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "She Drives Me Crazy".  This song marks the band's last valiant grab for the brass ring before the wheels fell off and makes the list for a) being a knock-down, drag-out rocker that never fails to quicken the pulse, and b) reminding us all of those halcyon days when the Mats were getting regular rotation on MTV, just like Guns 'n' Roses!

"Can't Hardly Wait"

Was this tune recorded in 1965 or 1985?  Jim Dickinson's soulful production adds just the right amount of Stax influence to one of Westerberg's most immediate songs.  While the band may have hated it, Dickinson's decision to add the horn part after-the-fact was totally the right move.


I still remember the day I bought Pleased To Meet Me and dropped the needle on Side One, song one, only to be knocked backwards out of my chair by this barrel house rocker that had all the wild energy found on Stink, but with a tighter performance and better production.  Playing this tune while driving is a supreme gas that never gets old, although it can get costly if you drive a red Corvette, I imagine.


This is just one of those songs that stops me dead in my tracks every time I hear it.  I've listened to it countless times trying and figure out what makes it such a great song and, thus far, the best I can come up with is "everything".

"Answering Machine"

Like a lot of folks, I was reading a lot about the band and was compelled to mail-order a copy of Let It Be because no store in my immediate area had it.  I will admit that my underdeveloped teenage ears were initially challenged by what I heard, but this was the first tune that made me say, "Okay, this Westerberg guy' is a fucking genius."

"Bastards Of Young"

The legendary video is so fucking defiant, but the song itself is a mega-rock anthem that classic rock stations should be playing every hour on the hour instead of whatever tired crap they're playing in between commercials.


I played this song almost by accident while mourning the loss of a friend and I have to tell you, it was probably the worst song I could have played at that moment because it just took all the sadness and hurt and disappointment that I was feeling and put it into words.  To this day, I can't hear this song without tearing up a little bit.

"Fuck My School"

I wish I could have seen the band during their embryonic punk stage, but this song from the Stink EP is like chugging a can of Punk Concentrate.

"Alex Chilton"

After falling in love with this song, I couldn't help think how cool it must have been to have a song this great written about you.  Near as I can tell, the song's namesake took the honor in stride and just kept on trucking.  I remember thinking there's no way that one guy can be this bad-ass, but it turns out that Chilton was exactly that bad-ass.

"Here Comes A Regular"

I honestly didn't think there was any way that Westerberg could top "Unsatisfied", but, instead, he created a song that tapped into a whole different type of despair.  We've all seen the guy whose only refuge from the world is a bar stool in some forgotten hole-in-the-wall.  With an opening line like "Well a person can work up a mean, mean thirst after a hard day of nothing much at all", Westerberg shows an expert command of the human condition to rival that of Ray Davies, turning in one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs ever committed to tape.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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