1983, Music

Hootenanny (1983) by The Replacements

This is a bizarre, jokey mess of a record, as much of a transition record (in hindsight) as any record I’ve heard by an American band.

There’s a fair amount of hardcore here that reminds me of their first record. And even on the tracks that stray from that genre (defined, it seems, as much by its volume as by the idea that you can only play hardcore) there is still a general attitude of “fuck you.” For a few examples:

  • The title track sees them switch instruments so it’s pretty incompetent.
  • Multiple songs quote from famous songs from the past, and one song involves reading the classifieds.
  • The last song is basically a drunken demo.

One might find this lazy but it’s clear it’s meant as a lark (and a lark designed to piss off adults).

Then there are the more serious songs, some of which do give hints that they would shortly change their style. But only one of these songs are, in my mind, good enough to measure up to Westerberg’s later songs (that’s “Color Me Impressed”).

I get the appeal of something like this – it’s a lot less self-important than so much of the hardcore of the era and there’s a certain joie de vie in the goofy tracks.

But I just can’t find enough on here to really like it all that much. For this short a record, it’s kind of uninteresting.

5/10

All tracks written by Paul Westerberg, except where noted.

  1. “Hootenanny” (B. Stinson, C. Mars, P. Westerberg, T. Stinson) 1:52
  2. “Run It” (C. Mars, P. Westerberg) 1:11
  3. “Color Me Impressed” 2:25
  4. “Willpower” 4:22
  5. “Take Me Down to the Hospital” 3:47
  6. “Mr. Whirly” (Lennon, McCartney) 1:53
  7. “Within Your Reach” 4:24
  8. “Buck Hill” (C. Mars, P. Westerberg, T. Stinson) 2:09
  9. “Lovelines” (B. Stinson, C. Mars, P. Westerberg, T. Stinson)
  10. “C.P. Readers” 2:01
  11. “You Lose” (B. Stinson, C. Mars, P. Westerberg, T. Stinson) 1:41
  12. “Hayday” 2:06
  13. “Treatment Bound” 3:16
  • Paul Westerberg – rhythm guitar, vocals (drums on track 1, all instruments on track 7)
  • Bob Stinson – lead guitar (bass on track 1)
  • Tommy Stinson – bass (rhythm guitar on track 1)
  • Chris Mars – drums (lead guitar on track 1)

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