Here’s an early, rawer version of “Can’t Hardly Wait” that was originally intended as a song for the Replacements’ 1985 album “Tim” but was later reworked into a much slicker version for 1987’s “Pleased to Meet Me” … with the requisite horn and string section that was de rigeur for 1980s major label rock recordings. All I can say after hearing this earlier naked version is “Holy f–king s–t!” This was a great song even with the “slick” arrangement, but hearing it without all the polish is revelatory.
A really beautiful, Neil Young-style cover of the Replacements’ classic “Bastards of Young,” recorded live at Atlanta’s Criminal Records in 2008 by former D Generation lead singer Jesse Malin. The studio version can be found on the stellar 2007 album “Glitter in the Gutter.”
During the 1980s, the Replacements were the critics favorite that everyone thought would be the Rolling Stones to REM’s The Beatles. And if you heard 1984′s “Let it Be,” it would be hard to disagree. There’s not a bad track on the album andit wasn’t foolhardy to predict big things loomed ahead for the Placemats …… And I guess you don’t need a road map to predict what happened next. The major-label follow-up “Tim,” despite some great songs, sounded tinny and under-produced (and that’s compared to the indie “Let it Be” which even today, just crackles). The next one “Please to Meet Me” was better, but was so overproduced that it’s damn near impossible to listen to these days without wincing. They finally scored a semi-hit with the admittedly great “I’ll Be You” in 1989, but the other albums were even more hit or miss and they called it quits around 1991.
“Here Comes a Regular” is one of the highlights from “Tim” and it’s presented here in an alternate take that has more clarity, but is also rawer than the version that made it onto “Tim.” A fine example of what a great songwriter Paul Westerberg is.
CORRECTION: Forget what I said about “Tim.” This is now my favorite Replacements album. All I can say is that I was wrong … dead wrong … about the quality of “Tim.” Check it out below:
A gem from 1985’s “Tim” album. The accompanying video was considered “radical” and “ironic” back in the day, though nowadays, after 10 seconds, you get the idea and the concept doesn’t seem that clever. Still, it’s a great song and it beats pickin’ cotton and waitin’ to be forgotten.