July 17, 2008

Today's Hotness: The Replacements, Johnny Foreigner

The Replacements, Bob-era
>> Venerable U.S. music publication Billboard today published details about the next slate of Replacements reissues, which will be released by Rhino Sept. 23. The four records represent the storied Minneapolis quartet's major-label efforts, namely the albums Tim, Pleased To Meet Me, Don't Tell A Soul, and the highly under-rated final set All Shook Down. Each record comes with its own complement of bonus tracks, just like the four Twin-Tone era issues released earlier in 2008, and you can read the highlights at Billboard right here. We are particularly excited to hear the demos for "Torture" and "One Wink At A Time," the latter track featuring the amazing opening line "The magazine she flips through is the special double issue..." Equally enticing is the prospect of new recordings from bandleader Paul Westerberg, who according to cryptic blog posts and published reports will release this Saturday new recordings for the knavely sum of $.49 per track at his web site. It has been widely reported, perhaps most recently in this May "Spin" article, that Westerberg has given something on the order of 60 new tracks to his manager, and one can only speculate that the material that will be made available this weekend is culled from that.

>> So we still haven't received the presser from Canadian-based label group Nettwerk about the North American release of Johnny Foreigner's terrific full-length debut Waited Up Til It Was Light. But fortunately there remain web sites out there that -- for better or worse -- continue to publish press releases verbatim. So thanks to that, and to Google, we've found the release here and learned the following compelling information. While the physical release of the full-length will not be in stores until October (precise date not specified), the set will available through digital storefronts including ITunes July 22. That is _next week_, give or take three months before the real thing hits racks. This is a smart play by the notably forward thinking label Nettwerk, because every day that Waited Up Til It Was Light is building hype in North America but not available for sale is another day during which the young and the savvy will just illegally download the set for lack of any available affordable commercial option (we can speak from experience when we say buying the import is muy, muy caro). The record was issued in the UK June 2, so it is -- at least occasionally -- out there to be had digitally despite management's best efforts. While you're counting down the hours until you can buy the record next Tuesday, we recommend reading the latest diary entry from Johnny Foreigner fronter and guitarist Alexei Berrow. You can check that out here. We reviewed Waited Up Til It Was Light here in June, and we reviewed Johnny Foreigner's American live debut here in December. A video for "Salt, Peppa and Spinderella," the forthcoming third single from the full-length, is expected to be available (again) at YouTube sometime this weekend.

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