Tommy Stinson told his hometown newspaper back in 2007 that the reason the Replacements never released a live album is because, quite simply, “there are no good Replacements live recordings.” Fortunately, the newly issued “For Sale: Live at Maxwell’s 1986” proves the bassist wrong. Here are five more known recordings that could do the same, if properly released.
1. “Soundcheck 1981” (7th Street Entry, Minneapolis, Sept. 5, 1981): This no-nonsense set from early in the band’s (and the venue’s) existence was properly captured by a mobile studio and film crew hired by Twin/Tone Records, who also caught a fine Hüsker Dü set that night. The ’Mats guitars were a little out of tune, but so what?
2. Club Lingerie, Los Angeles, Oct. 26, 1984: A relatively high-quality audience recording that finds the band fresh off the release of its most celebrated album, “Let It Be,” and offers several strong cover songs, too.
3. “Inconcerated: In Full” (Milwaukee, June 1989): Former Sire Records executive Michael Hill said the recording of the full concert — whittled and issued later that year as a rare six-song EP — is in the vaults “and it’s awesome,” as the band pulled together with new guitarist Slim Dunlap and unleashed more anthemic and ambitious songs off the “Don’t Tell a Soul” album.
4. “It Ain’t Over ’Til the Fat Roadies Play” (Chicago’s Grant Park, July 1991): This popular bootleg is historic as the final gig before the band split up. It has a fun, old-school ’Mats spirit to it, and it’s worth hearing the band’s last lineup with the late Steve Foley on drums.
5. St. Paul’s Midway Stadium, Sept. 13, 2014: Whether or not the one and only hometown gig on Westerberg’s and Stinson’s reunion run with the replacement Replacements was the best of the bunch — it beat out the other four shows I saw — it was certainly the most meaningful.