Album Review: For Sale: Live at Maxwell's 1986 by The Replacements
Excellent, Based on 4 Critics
AllMusic - 90 Based on rating 9/10
Depending on what night you saw them, the Replacements could be one of the greatest, most inspiring rock bands to ever take the stage, or a sloppy, sodden mess not fit for the cheap beer on their rider. While the good shows outweighed the bad, the Replacements' outsized consumption of booze (and other substances), their dramatic emotional ups and downs, and their collective self-destructive streak made them something of a crapshoot as a live act. And their reputation in this area was not helped by The Shit Hits the Fans, the cassette-only authorized bootleg that captured the 'Mats in 1984 stumbling through a set dominated by shambolic covers of songs they didn't really know.
When you talk about the Replacements’ early years, the myths and outrageous anecdotes quickly pile up like empties around a trash bin. But for all the tales of drunkenness, “SNL” bans, and cross-dressing that define the band’s legacy, no transgression encapsulates their prankster personality better than the decision to christen their 1984 breakthrough album Let It Be. As frontman Paul Westerberg has famously quipped, the heretical act of shoplifting an album title from the Beatles was their simple way of saying “nothing is sacred.
There are Replacements fans and there are Replacements fanatics. In large part, the latter believe the band peaked in 1986 with Tim, their final studio statement with the original lineup (guitarist Bob Stinson was dismissed due to his erratic behavior later that year). This live double album, excavated from the Warner Brothers vaults, is for them. It captures a professionally recorded (on 24 tracks) gig from the titular Hoboken, N.J.
If legend and half-remembered first-hand accounts are to be believed, going to see the Replacements in their heyday was something of a gamble. Either you got a blistering set from one of the greatest rock .