Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tweedy and The Replacements

I've been on a Replacements kick the past week or so. They're a band that I've been aware of for a long time, of course, but I never bought any of their music, and can't say I'm all that familiar with their catalogue. Then with the recent reissue of a few of their earliest albums, I decided to give them a shot, and I've really been enjoying Let it Be. (Are they trying to say something by naming it after a Beatles album? I'm not sure what the story is with that.)

This may not sound intuitive at first, but the band they remind me of most on this album is Still Feel Gone era Uncle Tupelo. Some of the themes are similar, and you can even just barely detect a dash of country at the edges of some of the Let it Be tracks ("Unsatisfied" in particular strikes me as, at the very least, a song it would be very easy to do an alt-country version of). But the main thing that strikes me is how clearly influenced Jeff Tweedy was by Paul Westerberg's vocals. There's an mp3 floating around on the internet of Wilco covering "Color Me Impressed" live, and before playing it Tweedy jokingly says "Everything we do is based on The Replacements." But compare these two songs and tell me that there's not a grain of truth in that:

Here's "Answering Machine" from Let it Be:

And here's Uncle Tupelo doing "Gun":


Chris said...

Good call on the comparison. "Gun" is basically a paint-by-numbers Replacements song.

Chilton said...

Let it be was named as such because the Mats (Replacements nick name) were in a van on the way to a show and discussing what to name the forthcoming album. After not coming up with anything they decided they would name it after the next song that came on the radio. It was Let It Be.