The Replacements is a band regarded as the pioneer of alternative rock music and released a good number of albums during its career. Many of them are high acclaimed, critically, including Tim and Let It Be, two albums regarded as the band's best. The band inspired many in rock music and were themselves influenced by the likes of The Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, Faces, Slade, The Beatles and The Ramones. Unlike many bands of the time, they played heart on the sleeve rock songs that blended the throaty howls of Westerberg with self deprecating lyrics. Famous for their live concerts, which often involved the band trashing their instruments, they are an act to catch live.
The Replacements were founded early in 1978 when Tommy Stinson received a bass guitar from his brother, Bob Stinson. He joined up with Mars, a high school dropout, and began playing music as Dogbreath. Initially, the band played songs by Yes, Aerosmith and Ted Nugent. They were then joined by Westerberg, who was then working as a janitor at the office of a US senator. Initially, Westerberg would listen them to play and was then invited by Mars to jam with them. They then changed to their name to The Impediments, inspired by English punk rock bands of the time such as The Buzzcocks, The Damned and The Clash.
Soon, the group that began as Dogbreath became The Replacements. They soon recorded a tape, which they handed to Peter Jesperson, founder of Twin/Tone Records. They were signed onto Jesperson's label and the band members credit his enthusiasm, vision and faith in keeping them going. They began writing songs and soon had an album worth of them. The album, titled Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash, was released in 1981. In 1982, the band released an EP titled Stink and were, by then, playing shows as far out as Chicago. The EP also marked their departure away from hardcore punk and began recording songs for a new album.
In 1983, they released their second studio album, Hootenanny, marking a less hardcore sound and more sensitive lyrics. The album saw airplay on two hundred plus radio stations in the US and was praised by The Village Voice as 'the most critically independent album of 1983'. The year also marked their first US tour and Tommy Stinson was, by then, starting tenth grade. They played at many East Coast venues including concerts in New Jersey's City Gardens. They also visited New York City, Detroit, Philadelphia, Cleveland and played twice more in New Jersey.
In 2012, the band announced that it had reunited after a decades long hiatus. Tommy Stinson and Westerberg began recording an EP that contained a number of covers. It was released as a limited edition ten inch vinyl dubbed Songs for Slim and its two hundred and fifty copies were sold online via an auction to benefit former member Dunlap who had suffered from a stroke. Later that year, a documentary on the band was also released and their first show after twenty two long years was played at Toronto's Riot Fest. In concert, the two original members were joined by drummer Josh Freese and guitarist and vocalist Dave Minehan. In 2014, the band played two sets at two Coachella festivals and were also joined at one of the concerts by Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day fame. Today, the band is on tour and can be seen play live with The Replacements tickets in hand.