The Replacements never had a hit single. Career-wise they were masters of self-sabotage, but in the long decade between the fall of the Clash and the rise of Nirvana they were the heart and soul of the post punk/indie/ alternative/college rock movement that kept the faith alive. Their shows could be triumphs or disasters, often both in the same night. Their albums still sound terrific today. The band’s frayed DNA lives on in Green Day, Fall Out Boy, The Hold Steady and dozens of other beautiful losers. Leader Paul Westerberg’s songwriting was a blueprint for alt-country greats like Jeff Tweedy and Ryan Adams. Tom Waits recorded with them, Lucinda Williams sang about them, Peter Buck produced them, Tom Petty took them out as his opening act and swiped Westerberg’s line “a rebel without a clue.” The Replacements’ influence is everywhere.
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