Hey, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Five Reasons The Replacements Should Be Inducted


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recently made its annual announcement of nominees. Out of the 16 artists, half of them are nominated for the first time; one of those bands is The Replacements.

In an excellent article over at Salon called “Keep the Replacements out of the Rock Hall,” Alex Pareene — whose favorite band is, in fact, The Replacements — writes about how he doesn’t think the band should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He argues that they don’t deserve to be in any hall of fame because they were never really that famous. And that the band members themselves wouldn’t care. And that, essentially, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is stupid.

I get it. I see where he’s coming from. But to me, at least, being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame still makes a statement. It’s still a big deal. It seals a band’s influence in rock history. And so, as a response to Alex Pareene’s article, here’s why I think the Replacements should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1. The Replacements embodied what Rock and Roll is all about

Rock and Roll, a term that seems to encompass more and more genres these days – was originally about youth and rebellion. Few bands embraced those ideas better than The Mats.

2. The Mats were highly influential

They may never have become a household name, but there’s no doubt of The Replacements’ influence on the rock music that’s followed, with bands like Green Day, Counting Crows, Nirvana, They Might Be Giants, and The Decemberists all hailing the band as instrumental in their careers.

3. They learned from the best

The Mats were big fans of rock and roll royalty such as The Rolling Stones, The Faces, Lou Reed, and The Beatles. Paul Westerberg had a special fondness for 1970s power pop legends Big Star, writing the song “Alex Chilton” as tribute. With teachers like these, some amount of talent had to have rubbed off.

4. The Replacements evolved

Despite the legendary drunken antics of the band onstage during their shows, where fans never knew if the band was going to play originals, all covers, walk offstage mid-set or just not show up, the music, mostly penned by Westerberg, is what really made the band great. Over the band’s 13-year career, the music went from loud, angry anthems of rebellion to thought-provoking reflections of death, growing older, and sobriety. There are a lot of good bands. But the truly great ones grow over time; the music evolves, even if it means that, in the end, the band doesn’t survive. The Replacements just got better and better, which leads to my last point.

5. They have a great story

The Replacements never made it big. And they, arguably, never really wanted to. With members in and out due to excessive drugs and drinking, creative differences plaguing the band, reckless on-stage antics and the eventual death of two of its members, The story of The Mats is the story of Rock and Roll.

If you need more convincing, then read my previous article on the band. Then vote for them before December.

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