Cameron’s Corner, The Replacements

Cameron Campbell, Staff Writer

The Twin Cities have always been a hot bed for music of all genres. The city’s scene has created musicians such as Doomtree, Soul Asylum, The Hold Steady, and of course, Prince.

There is a stereotype that comes with your identity if you are from Minnesota. It is believed that musically we only listen to Bob Dylan or Prince. Now, I for one love both of these two musicians.

However, it is not the only thing I listen to and they are not my favorite musicians, nor am I alone in the state of 10,000 lakes. This could be read as sacrilege to many 1980’s Minnesotans.

The band that triumphs over them all is The Replacements. Their wide spectrum of music carried and created the sound for the Twin Cities, a sound that can still be heard today in a lot of Minnesota rock bands.

The Replacements came onto the scene in 1981 with their hard punk album “Sorry Ma Forgot to Take out the Trash” or “Sorry Ma” for short.

The first song on the album “Takin a Ride” rips in with a fast guitar and drum build up. Then when Paul Westerberg’s vocals kick in you can hear why this band became such a big deal.

“Takin a Ride” is one of their most well-known songs in their extensive catalog. They even opened up with it on their first reunion show at Riotfest back in 2013.

If you are into early punk rock this album is essential. The songs that should be sampled are: “Takin a Ride,” “I Hate Music” and “I’m in Trouble.”

If straight punk isn’t your thing then you might like their later more evolved alternative rock sound. Their song and lyric writing became a lot more mature after their first two albums.

The Replacements’ 5th studio album from 1987 is arguably their best album, “Please To Meet Me” boasts multiple classic songs.

One of those songs is “Alex Chilton.” This song is of course about the musician, Alex Chilton. The song was an instant classic to fans. It also became one of the bands biggest hits in their career. Another song on the album is a love song called “Skyway.” Westerberg wrote the song in the setting of the Twin Cities, since they are known for their many skyways.

The song is about seeing a woman up in the skyway who he wants to meet. Finally, when he works up the courage he goes up to the skyway and notices her getting on the bus he takes every day.

The song may be the most beautiful song The Replacements ever wrote during their career.

The last song on “Please To Meet Me” is my favorite Replacements song of all time, “Can’t Hardly Wait.”

The song is upbeat with a catchy guitar riff and a great use of horns in the chorus and bridges.

Some believe this lively tune is about suicide. However, the other half believes that is Westerberg’s way of saying that he’s tired of touring and drinking constantly. This comes through in lines like these:

“I’ll write you a letter tomorrow. Tonight I can’t hold a pen…Hurry up, hurry up, ain’t you had enough of this stuff. Ashtray floors, dirty clothes, and filthy jokes”

Either way you look at it “Can’t Hardly Wait” still stands as one of The Replacements’ strongest and best songs.

There isn’t another band like The Replacements. Every single one of their seven albums will leave who craving more. Westerberg voices compliments the music in his band and also the music scene of the Twin Cities incredibly well.

If you haven’t heard of The Replacements, it may be too late to see the band live, but it is never too late to become a fan of the best band to ever come out of the Twin Cities.

Cameron Campbell is a staff writer for  The Dakota Student. He can be reached at  [email protected]