Songs that ruined the band: I’ll Be You

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“If, it’s a temporary lull / Why’m I bored right out of my skull …”

While this may not be the actual song that ruined the band, this song signifies an important turning point in Replacements history: it was their “crossover” hit.

Like the great communication theorist Neil Postman once said (and I paraphrase): a new technology is not a this or that proposition; it’s a this AND that, meaning that while it does do some good things, it does other things that may not be viewed as good. A crossover hit can open a band to new audiences and new opportunities; however, it does so at the risk of alienating fans who have fostered an identification with the band (“This is MY band, not yours”).

While there were rumblings of discontent prior to the album’s release, this song seems to signify a turning point for The Replacements. The band broke up after its follow-up.

letitbeIs it any wonder, then, that the album the band’s “hit” came from, Don’t Tell a Soul, is relegated to the cut-out bin, while the earlier album Let It Be, a classic that didn’t cross over, remains full price?

(Something larger to ponder is the fact that “Cut-Out Bin” is a foreign term to most of the people reading this post …)

You Tube note: Live at Orange County Speedway, 1989. Classic ‘Mats performance, you can see Paul Westerberg, bored and restless, just playing around with the arrangement …


One thought on “Songs that ruined the band: I’ll Be You

  1. This is quite possibly one of the best Replacements tunes. I’ll agree, it is a crossover hit, but really… it’s such an endearing song and one that strikes all the right chords, literally and thematically. To me, I don’t think this is the song that “ruined” the band, as the band never really dropped. Say what you will about “All Shook Down”, but at the end of the day, it’s still a solid album of music that The Replacements came to represent in their latter, highly unappreciated half of their career.

    Maybe I’m just obsessed with ’em, too. 😉

    (Any Mats coverage is good coverage to me.)

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