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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 6 October 2002
'All Shook Down' is one of the key albums of the 1990's, influencing the fusion of country and rock that would become known as alt country (such bands as Uncle Tupelo and Whiskeytown; Wilco's The Lonely 1 is about 'Mats main man Paul Westerberg). The Replacements were one of the key bands from the 1980's, alongside Husker Du and REM (all signed to Warners strangely)- sadly this would be Westerberg & co's final release. Now seen as somewhat a cult band like Big Star and Uncle Tupelo, hopefully they will find a fresh audience. Westerberg was viewed as an icon, as books such as Demonology and Garden State (by Rick Moody) and films like Heathers make reference to him (the school in the Winona-classic is called Westerberg High!). This is one of Westerberg's finest, despite being a solo album in all but name, and ranks next to other highs: 1984's Let It Be (featuring the timeless existentialism of Unsatisfied) and 1998's Suicane Gratification.
Every track is wonderful, as great rock as 70's Stones or early T-Rex- songs like Merry Go Round, When It Began, Happy Town, Someone Take the Wheel and (especially) Bent Out of Shape capture the disintegrating Westerberg. John Cale guests on the gorgeous Sadly Beautful, the Dunlap/Stinson/Mars line-up play on Attitude and the ever dependable Benmont Tench guests (Mighty Like a Rose/Dust/Sheryl Crow). One Wink at a Time captures a humurous, therefore more scary state of damage (very Sister Lovers), while the sublime Nobody looks at failure. My Little Problem goes for soulful backing vocals, pre-empting the sound of Primal Scream on Give Out But Don't Give Up. Torture is a minimal guitar accompanied bruiser, while the title track recalls The Jesus & Mary Chain. Final song The Last sounds like a suicide note, Westerberg seemingly resigned to the end...
All Shook Down is one of the key albums of the 1990's , though hopefully it will be reissued remastered and with bonus cuts (and maybe liner notes by Westerberg?) to accompany the recent reissues of early Replacements. One of the greatest rock albums of all time, this is one that you won't be able to live without...
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on 18 April 2009
Every time I listen to this record, which is frequently, I ask myself how this didn't become one of the biggest selling records of all time. It is filled with classics- 'Merry Go Round', 'Nobody', 'Sadly Beautiful', 'All Shook Down', 'Happy Town', 'My Little Problem', it is pure pleasure from beginning to end. I will never understand how Sire/Warners failed to promote this album and bring it its deserved audience. 'Please to Meet Me', their album of three years previous, was the nearest they got to a commercial break and as superb as that album is and as much as I love it, I think this album, sadly their last, is better, which is saying a great deal. Now remastered with bonus tracks, don't miss out second time round.
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on 25 February 2016
could be better
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