Depending on whom you talk to, the Replacements were either the pride or the scourge of Minnesota’s Twin Cities. But a majority of alternative rock fans and bands think the ’Mats were among music’s most influential and exciting bands. Today, we’re ranking all of their studio albums in order of awesomeness.

The Replacements formed in the late ’70s in Minneapolis, consisting of brothers Bob Stinson (lead guitar) and Tommy Stinson (bass), Chris Mars (drums) and Paul Westerberg (vocals and guitar). Although Westerberg was the last to join, it was his songs – ramshackle punk tales at first – and musical curiosity that would turn the group into one of the most interesting bands of the ’80s, outgrowing the local hardcore scene.

The quartet made four records for indie Twin/Tone, starting with the 1981 punk classic Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash and culminating in 1984’s much-celebrated Let it Be, which displayed Westerberg’s growth as an insightful songwriter. The Replacements made the jump to Sire Records with 1985’s Tim, and continued to evolve as the boys explored a diversity of sonic approaches. But then Bob was fired and, with the increased expectations that come with being on a major label, the band sometimes struggled to match a mainstream sound with their intensity.

By the time they went to tour behind 1990’s All Shook Down, Mars had left, Westerberg had his eyes on a solo career and the Replacements went belly up a year later. Although Paul and Tommy re-started the band from 2013-2015, the Replacements never made another album. That means this gallery pertains to the band’s eight records that spanned a decade of college rock. Let’s take a journey “left of the dial.”

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