The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting: An Oral History

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9780760330623: The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting: An Oral History

At the dawn of "Morning in America"--a period that would nurse the rise of suit-and-tie culture--there emerged a national network of anti-corporate record shops, college radio stations, fanzines, nightclubs, and entrepreneurial record labels.

In the watershed year 1981, this "indie" scene fostered several seminal releases. Among recordings by bands such as Sonic Youth, Black Flag, Husker Du, The Minutemen, and R.E.M. was an album called "Sorry Ma . . . Forgot to Take Out the Trash", recorded by a scruffy, flannel-clad quartet from Minneapolis called The Replacements. Now, for the first time, all of the hearsay, half-truths, legends, and allegations associated with this maelstrom of a rock & roll band are unraveled in this oral history by longtime Twin Cities music journalist Jim Walsh.

Through interviews with family, friends, and fans; former manager Peter Jesperson; Twin/Tone record label cofounder Paul Stark; and musicians around the nation influenced by the band, Walsh lays bare with painful clarity a tale that unfolds like a tragic comedy in three perfect acts. Celebrated by national publications, "the Mats" often seemed more hell-bent on sabotaging their status as critical darlings than parlaying it. With their markedly apolitical stance amid their decidedly political peers, their uncool embrace of "classic rock" influences like KISS and The Faces, and their Dionysian appetites (and the resulting tendency to literally fall on their own faces), The Replacements lasted 12 years despite themselves.

From the bands founding to their rise through the local and national club circuits, their major label deal in 1985, and the slow and painful implosion that followed, The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting lays down the gripping oral history behind the little band that could--but didn't.

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Book Description:

This is the story of The Replacements, a band in three acts: from its founding through its ascension from the club scene to the national indie circuit and a major label deal in 1985, to its slow and painful implosion. 

Twin Cities music journalist Jim Walsh tells the story of the band that began in a basement and was eventually celebrated by The Village Voice and Rolling Stone. Walsh follows The Replacements’ remarkable rise (seven LPs, a spot on Saturday Night Live, a Grammy nomination) and their equally thunderous downfall.

From the Back Cover:

Here, finally, is the rollicking story of the notorious and celebrated band, as told by veteran music journalist Jim Walsh, an eyewitness who was always at the periphery of the storm, and often at its eye.

 

“The Replacements were superheroes: They rescued a whole planet from ’80s music. Jim Walsh’s loving, engrossing oral history is the book they deserve.”

 

—Nick Hornby, author of High Fidelity, About a Boy, Fever Pitch, and Songbook

 

 “The Replacements were all at once 100-percent right and totally and completely wrong; absolutely inspiring and thoroughly infuriating; gloriously brilliant and utterly stoopid. Any writer who would dare tell their story would have to match those attributes and contradictions, but there was only one up for the task, and Jim Walsh has done a tremendous job of it.”

 

—Jim DeRogatis, pop-music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times, co-host of Public Radio’s Sound Opinions, and author of Let It Blurt: The Life and Times of Lester Bangs, America’s Greatest Rock Critic

 

“The rest of us have only seen the Replacements through ‘a crack in the drapes.’ Jim Walsh actually took the wheel from time to time and managed to get closer to the band than I ever thought possible. He makes me lonesome for the ’80s.”

 

—Joe Soucheray, St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist and host of KSTP-AM’s Garage Logic

 

“The Replacements made a mark on Minneapolis ‘serrated and deep, like a battle scar,’ as one person remembers in this book. Can the life of a band be captured in mere words? Jim Walsh uses oral history as the way to know if any of it mattered, or if it even happened.”

 

—Diane Middlebrook, author of Suits Me, the biography of the cross-dressing jazz musician Billy Tipton and Her Husband, about the marriage of poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath

“(Seeing the Replacements) changed my whole life. If it wasn’t for that, I might’ve spent my time playing in bad speed-metal bands.”

 —Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day

  “Reading Jim Walsh makes me think things that are kinda corny and totally powerful and true: that rock and roll can save your life; that even scruffy punks can form real family bonds; that you may only be young once, but if your spirit's right you can kick ass forever. Listening to the Replacements makes me feel the same things, and in that I'm like a lot of folks in my generation. Walsh was a participant observer in the counterculture that birthed this great band, and this insider account is as honest and insightful as oral history gets. You can really smell the beer.”

 —Ann Powers, pop-music critic at the Los Angeles Times and author of Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America and Tori Amos: Piece by Piece

  “Whether you were there when it all went down or just wish you'd been, this account of the ’Mats' enduring chokehold on music history is as ragged as a punk's pedicure, as bittersweet as an illicit pot brownie, and so pure it floats to the top of the rock-lit heap. Immeasurably more transporting than an ordinary memoir, Walsh's book is a poetic toast to a band so effusively careless that everyone who saw them instantly cared. If you've ever fallen in love with ‘that song,’ followed your favorite band from the VFW hall to the arena tour, or felt a Frankenstein-like primal spark at the sound of an opening riff, you'll get it. At turns wounded and joyful, the communion of voices brought together in All Over But the Shouting chimes like a Strat and builds like a heartbeat.”

 —Diablo Cody, author of Candy Girl: A Year In The Life of an Unlikely Stripper; the film Juno, and the blog Pussy Ranch

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