The Replacements Box Their Dead Man’s Pop

Unlike some of their fans at the time (and the band itself), I thoroughly loved The Replacements’ 1989 album Don’t Tell a Soul from the get-go. Their first album with guitarist Slim Dunlap, it may have toned down the band’s blaring raggedness in favor of maturity (gasp!) and a smooth pop sheen (double gasp!), but honestly there were clear indications of such tendencies on previous records, and more importantly, the album’s songs are just incredible. It stands out in so many ways in the group’s catalog, and I’ve always considered it one of their very best.

Whichever side of that divisive effort you’re entrenched on, you should be ecstatic at the news of Warner Bros.’ forthcoming box set collecting a newly completed mix of the sessions for the album (restoring many elements that were altered in post-production); previously unreleased demos, alternate versions and outtakes; tracks the band recorded with Tom Waits; and the complete 29-song Milwaukee show from 1989 that provided a handful of tracks for the promo-only Inconcerated Live EP.

Capping it all off is a hardcover book loaded with rarely seen photos and a detailed history of the era by band biographer Bob Mehr. The whole shebang, dubbed Dead Man’s Pop, will be available from Rhino Records beginning Sept. 27.

Photo by Bonnie Schiffman.