Release Date: Sep 27, 2019
Record label: Warner Bros.
The Replacements story is filled with what-ifs and near misses. Their legend, essentially, is that if the chips had fallen differently, they might have become a popular band and had success into the 1990s, like their friends and rivals R. E.
Don't Tell a Soul gave the Replacements their only charting hit, but that modest success came at a cost. The album, like nearly all the 'Mats albums that preceded it, had a difficult birth, with the group battling original producer Tony Berg at Bearsville Studios in New York before finding a suitable collaborator in Matt Wallace, a soon-to-be-star producer at the dawn of his career. Wallace believed he was also hired to mix the album, but Sire always planned to hand over the recordings to a mixer with a proven commercial track record, so they wound up in the hands of Chris Lord-Alge, who gave the original tapes a cavernous, shiny mix that was state of the art circa 1988.
The Lowdown: Conceived and shouldered through by Trouble Boys writer Bob Mehr and Rhino's Jason Jones, Dead Man's Pop peels back the history on The Replacements' 1989 sixth studio album, Don't Tell a Soul. Upon release, the album featured a glossy mix by Chris Lord-Alge, who gave Matt Wallace's original production "a three-dimensional, radio-ready sound." Some critics praised the FM wash, others weren't so pleased. The band was in the latter camp.