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Baker's Dozen

Constellations In The Sky: Jonathan Donahue Of Mercury Rev's Top LPs
Yousif Nur , October 22nd, 2015 10:15

From spooky narrations in the Catskill Mountains to avant-garde masterworks, the New York band's singer and guitarist tells Yousif Nur about the albums and one song that have had a lasting impact on his own music


The Replacements - Let It Be
Like The Chameleons, they should be playing stadiums, or should've at their time. This album is one of the standards of great American music. Some of the songs here are up there with some Frank Sinatra tracks, some Bing Crosby moments. Like 'Unsatisfied', for instance, that's a pop standard worthy of Billie Holiday. Again, they couldn't seem to get out of their own way for a period of time. The thing with The Replacements is if you ask Wayne Coyne, Michael Stipe or J Mascis, they were the ones that would say: "The Replacements, that would be the band to be in." They were everybody's band before they made their own band. They almost would have been what The Velvet Underground was at the time for the bands around them.

They also had that catalysing effect of being crazy - they had a nonchalance that most could only dream of. At times they had a recklessness, which put them a few steps behind where they should've been, but that was The Replacements. And it was the first time that the bands we loved actually made a real record. Their songs were going to stand the test of time, songs that we were all going to cover. I know it was like that being around a lot of the bands during the mid-'80s. They had that magnetism Sonic Youth had, but had songs we could all cover, sing and play. Now you hear stories of them playing to 200 people at Coachella and you can't believe how it didn't translate to the younger generation.

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