No, All Shook Down Is Just As Bad As You Remember

Posted September 20th, 2010 by eric

When The Replacements’ All Shook Down came out in the fall of 1990, I was a junior in high school. I’d been a Replacements fan for exactly two years, but even as a 16-year-old, I knew that this was the sound of a band sucking. A few of my friends went out and bought this record, anyway, despite my protests, thinking this was some cool new band. No, it was a formerly amazing band on its sad, last leg. The Awl’s Dave Bry perfectly encapsulates this record’s lackluster effect:

…by the time All Shook Down came out, they [The Replacements] were not at their peak. They were close to calling it quits and they knew it, it seemed. [Paul] Westerberg intended a lot the songs to be solo material, apparently. Session musicians play the parts of band members on many of the tracks. On the whole, it’s not nearly as good as their best work.

“Not nearly as good as their best work” I have to assume is some kind of intentionally subtle understatement. Bry backtracks slightly upon reflection, and decides that maybe it’s not so bad after all. But that’s where he and I differ. It is just as bad. In fact, sucks. It shouldn’t even have the name The Replacements on the cover. The production is a schlocky, generic mess. And session musicians instead of the band members? Are you kidding me? That’s the death knell right there…

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