The Replacements - Fore Sale: Live At Maxwell's 1986
(Sire / Rhino)
Hard to believe but this new archival release by the great Replacements, For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986, is actually the first official live record in their discography. In February 1986, The Replacements were on the east coast leg of their tour promoting the recently released Tim, (October 1985). They had just performed on Saturday Night Live, (for which they were banned for profanity) and their album was actually making some waves in the Billboard charts. A 24-track mobile studio was on hand at Maxwell’s in Hoboken to capture the band as they ran through 29 cuts, all compiled here, including recent songs from that time, covers and even some early favorites.
This is also one of the last shows to feature the original lineup since Bob Stinson would leave the band later that year. The Replacements were notoriously known as a volatile live act and at times, not up to the task of performing and entertaining a live audience. This Maxwell’s show proves otherwise with the band successfully walking the line of a locked-in rock band and unhinged punk loose cannons. Tracks like “I Will Dare” (from Let It Be) come alive and an early highlight “Takin A Ride” (the first cut from Sorry Ma…) jumps out of the speakers. Their current single in 1986 “Bastards Of Young,” is similarly executed with Westerberg’s vocals hitting all the marks they were meant to. Personal highlights for me such as, “Color Me Impressed” and “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out,” also make appearances and once again, show how good the band could be when they showed up. Also turning up on the set is a Beatles cover, “Nowhere Man,” which while perhaps unnecessary, doesn’t take away from the charm and vitality of The Replacements in their prime years.
But the best aspect of For Sale: Live At Maxwell's 1986 is the audio fidelity. This has to be the highest quality recording from a band that has yet to put out an official live document. Perhaps it’s because the band has been reticent to approve the sale of their live recordings due to fidelity. If that’s the case, it’s no surprise they approved this recording. Because it sounds fantastic. Also includes a nice photo booklet insert with liner notes by biographer Bob Mehr. (Dom)
Check out a track here.