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All Shook Down [Expanded Edition]
     

All Shook Down [Expanded Edition]

4.0 1
by The Replacements
 

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Battered and broken from the debacle of Don't Tell a Soul -- the album's failure to take off, followed by a disastrous tour supporting Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers -- the Replacements were on their last legs when it came time for 1990's All Shook Down, so worn down that the band ceased to exist for most intents and purposes. Paul Westerberg even began

Overview

Battered and broken from the debacle of Don't Tell a Soul -- the album's failure to take off, followed by a disastrous tour supporting Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers -- the Replacements were on their last legs when it came time for 1990's All Shook Down, so worn down that the band ceased to exist for most intents and purposes. Paul Westerberg even began recording the album as a solo project with R.E.M. producer Scott Litt, gradually turning it into the final Replacements album. It may bear the band's name, but All Shook Down never quite shakes the feeling of a solo album; above all, it's a writers album, with the focus placed entirely on the songs. To a certain extent, that was true of the ballad-heavy Don't Tell a Soul, but that felt over-thought from its conception to execution, where there is a light touch to All Shook Down, despite its plethora of guest musicians, including John Cale's viola on "Sadly Beautiful," Heartbreaker Benmont Tench, Terry Reid, and a duet with Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano on "My Little Problem." Instead of aiming for a crossover hit, Westerberg has now resigned himself to his status as an also-ran, even embracing it to some extent, so there are no sops to rock radio aside from "My Little Problem," whose bluster is jarring amidst the nimble folk-pop of the rest of the record. All the acoustic guitars and skipping electric guitars push All Shook Down far outside of the nascent Zeitgeist of grunge, or the sound of college rock in 1990; although Westerberg would soon be back in the thick of things with his Singles soundtrack -- sounding not too dissimilar to this record -- this finds him retreating from the rat race, reflecting on what he's been through. All Shook Down is designed as a coda to the Replacements' career, with Westerberg looking back to "When It Began," pleading that "Someone Take the Wheel" and wrapping the whole thing up with "The Last," as self-aware a final song as the Beatles' "The End." Westerberg balances these self-referential slices of autobiography with his self-deprecation and heartbreak, but all this melancholy never feels heavy, not even when he dips into thick sorrow on "Sadly Beautiful" or the disembodied spookiness of "All Shook Down." There's a palpable sense of relief to All Shook Down, as if Westerberg realized he dodged a bullet by not becoming a true rock star. This lightness is appealing, especially as it surfaces in his writing, which is surely more considered than it was even on Pleased to Meet Me, but it has an offhand quality, recalling the casual virtuosity of Let It Be and Tim -- it's the same guy, only older but maybe not too much wiser. And as it's true to that spirit, All Shook Down winds up being a note-perfect denouement to the Replacements' career, even if it's quiet and careful in a way the band never was at its peak. [Rhino's 2008 deluxe reissue of All Shook Down expands the album with 11 tracks: rough demos of "When It Began," "Kissin' in Action," "Someone Take the Wheel," "Attitude," "Happy Town," "Sadly Beautiful," and "Tiny Paper Plane," a sad and plaintive tune that went no further than the demo stage (and probably didn't need to). Also included are an alternate version of "My Little Problem" containing only Westerberg vocals (an improvement) and three of the non-LP songs from the promo EP Don't Sell or Buy, It's Crap: the straight-up, Rockpile-flavored rocker "Ought to Get Love"; "Satellite," Tommy Stinson's first (and only) lead vocal with the 'Mats; and the final version of "Kissin' in Action."]

Product Details

Release Date:
09/23/2008
Label:
Rhino / Rykodisc
UPC:
0081227990251
catalogNumber:
513980
Rank:
63270

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Replacements   Primary Artist
John Cale   Musician
Chris Mars   Musician
Terry Reid   Musician
Paul Westerberg   Musician
Benmont Tench   Musician
Steve Berlin   Musician
Michael Blair   Musician
Charley Drayton   Musician
Slim Dunlap   Musician
Abe Lincoln   Musician
Johnette Napolitano   Musician
Axel Niehaus   Musician
Tommy Stinson   Musician
Mauro Majellan   Musician

Technical Credits

Replacements   Audio Production
Paul Westerberg   Composer,Producer,Audio Production,Original Album Producer
Paul Berry   Engineer
Jay Healy   Engineer
Peter Jesperson   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer,Track Annotations,Memorabilia
Scott Litt   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production,Original Album Producer
Clif Norrell   Engineer
Tommy Stinson   Composer
Matt Wallace   Producer,Audio Production
Kim Champagne   Art Direction
Michael Rey   Art Direction

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All Shook Down 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This parting shot by the Mats is mostly a Paul Westerberg project. It's a sad, poignant little masterpiece. After the relative slickness of Don't Tell A Soul, the Replacements released their final album replete with references to substance abuse, friendship gone bad and life's hard knocks. All Shook Down and Let It Be are my favorite albums by this great post-punk band. Perfect music for late-night drives and rainy days.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago