[Bootleg] Paul Westerberg - Unintentionally, Home Demos 1981-83

Not including the rare exception (I’m thinking “If Only You Were Lonely” and “Within Your Reach”), the very early days of The Replacements were characterized by loud, raucous trash-punk songs played at full volume and full speed ahead. It wasn’t until 1984’s Let It Be that Paul Westerberg allowed the more vulnerable side of his songwriting equal time as his band’s drunken ferocity. I read somewhere a long time ago, before all the recent bonus-tracked reissues offered a glimpse, that Westerberg used to record stuff on his own all the time and slip the tapes to the band’s manager, Peter Jesperson. I remember reading that he was nervous of what his bandmates would think of the gentler side of his songwriting in those early days, so a lot of good ideas for songs got passed over in favor of what turned up, classic as they are, on Sorry Ma and Stink.

Unintentionally is a long traded collection of very early, very rough, Westerberg solo material that, when I first heard it about 6 or 7 years ago, didn’t come close to what I’d always imagined those recordings to sound like. Unintentionally is, to put it mildly, a warts and all collection (and coughs, and yes, even some belching). A few of the songs have turned up in other places of late - “Bad Worker” is a bonus track on the remastered/ expanded Hootenanny, and “You’re Getting Married” the same on the Stink reissue. There’s a fascinating series of song snippets wherein you can here the evolution of “If Only You Were Lonely”, whose whiskey breath and broken-heart-on-the-sleeve attitude is the original blueprint for many a classic Westerberg ballad, and even the fun throwaway “Fuck School” turns up in an abbreviated early form.

Unintentionally isn’t for the faint of heart - there’s nothing like the glossy acoustic perfection of “Skyway” or “Sadly Beautiful” that Westerberg churned out less than a decade later. This is simply a wracked voice, a vaguely tuned acoustic guitar, some attempts at piano noises, and a lot of tape hiss. But for Mats fans it’s a great look into the early songwriting of our great hero. If you listen to nothing else from this collection, don’t miss out on the opener - “Its Hard To Wave In Handcuffs” - a hysterical, twisted, strangely touching piano “ballad”. Oh yeah - and it recently came to my attention that this version I’m posting is actually missing the last few tracks, so if you can send those along I’d be very grateful….

ZIP - Paul Westerberg - Unintentionally, Demos 1981-83 (28 MB)
(artwork at bottom of post)

1. MP3 :: It’s Hard To Wave In Handcuffs
2. Piano Noises
3. Bad Worker
4. Bad Worker
5. Don’t Get Married
6. Hold Me In Suspension
7. Gimme Torture
8. A Little Bit Drunk
9. A Little Bit Drunk
10. Hold Me In Suspension
11. A Little Bit Drunk
12. All That We’ve Been Through
13. Still Be Waiting
14. A Little Bit Drunk
15. I Wish You Were Lonely
16. Still Be Lonely
17. If Only You Were Lonely
18. Fuck School

If you follow this blog you know I've been on quite the Mats kick as of late. Check out these bootlegs from the past few weeks:

[Live/Bootleg] The Replacements - It Ain’t Over ‘Til The Fat Roadies Play
[Live/Bootleg] The Replacements - Murder At Maxwells
[Live/Bootleg] The Replacements - Live at The Roxy, LA
[Live/Bootleg] The Replacements - Shit, Shower, & Shave
[Live/Bootleg] The Replacements - Simply Unacceptable, July 1985

And Captains Dead has posted a couple of noteworthy Replacements items lately as well. Check those out:

Live in Dekalb, 4/85
Sire Era Demos



bob said...

so cool..thank you

cruise_elroy said...

any chance you could make this one live again? rereading 'all over but the shouting' and dyin' to hear "hold me in suspension"…