Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Classic Bootleg Series Vol. 17: The Replacements - Putting On The Ritz (Live in NYC - 1987)

With Rich already incommunicado on the left coast and myself headed to Chicago tomorrow morning for three days of beer, baseball and God-knows-what-else, I thought I'd better toss up another classic boot to keep you kids happy 'til next week. This one will have to do with relatively little introduction, but somehow I think it will, just fine.

In the 80s, The Replacements were the great little band that couldn't. Brimming with originality and passion, and armed to the teeth with Paul Westerberg's consistently brilliant songs, the band never achieved the levels of acclaim and adoration that their material deserved. In the early days, with the ferocious Bob Stinson on lead guitar, this was largely because they rarely played a show even remotely sober. (Of the three 'Mats shows I saw in college, one was absolute genius, and the other two were total disasters, with scarcely a single song played well, or even all the way through, before one or more bandmembers -- and Bob almost always -- passed out.) After Bob's tragic but seemingly inevitable death, Slim Dunlap ably took over on lead guitar, and while the shows thereafter lacked some of the early passion and reckless charm, they at least became more coherent and professional.

This tape comes from that later era, recorded at The Ritz in New York in July of '87 on the Pleased To Meet Me tour. With its excellent sound, the band's quality performance and an absolutely killer setlist that nicely balances songs from the band's entire career to that point (and in rapid-fire fashion -- the 25 songs fit on a single CD), this is among the best live recordings of this legendary band, which remains in my personal pantheon to this day. Westerberg was simply The Man, able to pen a punk anthem like "Favorite Thing" one day and then a perfect, romantic little pop song like "Kiss Me On The Bus" the next. If you're old enough to have been there, you know what I mean. If you aren't, you've got some catching up to do. (And, all you youngsters who've wondered why we call our periodic posts of leaked and advance tracks "Can't Hardly Wait," well, now you know.) Crank it up loud and enjoy.

THE REPLACEMENTS - Putting On The Ritz (live at The Ritz, NYC - July 27, 1987)

Cover insert - front
Cover insert - back
Back insert

01 I.O.U.
02 Nevermind
03 Hold My Life
04 I Will Dare
05 Lovelines
06 Can't Hardly Wait
07 Little Mascara
08 Swingin' Party
09 Bastards of Young
10 Within Your Reach
11 The Ledge
12 Waitress In The Sky
13 Sweet Home Chicago
14 Favorite Thing
15 Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out
16 Unsatisfied
17 Go
18 Nightclub Jitters
19 California Sun
20 Another Girl, Another Planet
21 Kiss Me On The Bus
22 Skyway
23 If Only You Were Lonely
24 Color Me Impressed
25 Takin' A Ride