Hootenanny (Expanded Edition)
The Replacements’ second album (1982’s Stink was just an EP), 1983’s Hootenanny, presents the band at a transitional point. They’d come close to teaming with the loud, fast rules of hardcore punk (“Run It” tilts that way) but were clearly more interested in forging their own irreverent path, mixing elements of country, blues, folk and old time rock n’ roll until it was all a jumbled, glorious, Replacements mess. The title track features the band playing each other’s instruments and not particularly well. This goofy indifference bleeds into the other tracks, where “Take Me Down to the Hospital,” “Mr. Whirly,” and “Treatment Bound” take on silly and serious concerns simultaneously. “Color Me Impressed” and the solo Westerberg track “Within Your Reach” point towards the introspective songwriting that would solidify the group’s legend beyond their live hi-jinks. This reissue features six bonus cuts, including a manic take on “Johnny’s Gonna Die” from their debut album (listed here as “Johnny Fast”) and alternate versions of “Treatment Bound” and “Lovelines,” as well as a hilarious Westerberg home demo of “Bad Worker,” an anthem for slackers and underachievers everywhere.