Replacements – I.O.U.

THIS sound is what I missed in the 1980s while growing up in that era. The Replacements were a throwback band in a lot of ways. The guitar could have come off of Exile on Main Street. The guitar tone does not sound pretty or clean…that sound went missing in the land of overproduction in the 80s.

IOU was more band biography as were several of their songs, Westerberg was eager to cancel out old relationships...“I want it in writing / I owe you nothing.”

The song appeared to be directed at former manager Peter Jesperson and guitar player Bob Stinson, but Westerberg said the literal inspiration came from an encounter with Iggy Pop: “I was on the bus with him after a show, and somebody asked for his autograph. He wrote, ‘IOU NOTHING.’ I thought it was the coolest thing in the world.”

This was off of the album Please To Meet Me recorded in Memphis with Jim Dickinson producing. Dickinson also produced Big Star’s Third/Sister Lovers album a decade before. Bob Stinson was out of the band at this time and it was recorded as a trio of Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, and Mars.

Westerburg has said he wanted their albums to sound timeless…not as tied to the decade they were recorded in. For the most part, he got his wish.

This song kicked off the album Please To Meet Me with a bang. To these ears…the best pure rock band of the 80s.

I.O.U.

Give me a/get me out of this little stinkin’ fresh air
Ninety days in the electric chair
Step right up son
Gonna show you something ain’t never been done
You’re all fucked

Listen, it don’t cost much
I lay down the line that you touch
Never do what you’re told
There’ll be time, believe me, when you’re old
You’re all wrong and I’m right

Please be on your honor
Please be on your side […sucker?]

Listen to the story all right
I’m losing all I own on that dotted line
Step right up son
Gonna show you something ain’t never been done
You’re all wrong and I’m right

You see I want it in writing, I owe you nothing
Want it in writing, I owe you nothing
Want it in writing

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

48 thoughts on “Replacements – I.O.U.”

    1. They started out as pure punk but then they went into a wide area of things. For a time REM and the Replacements could sound similiar but they always had that hard edge to them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yeah, the only song I remember getting much airplay up north was ‘Alex Chilton’, which is excellent but I guess something of an outlier for them in its rather mainstream almost pop sound.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well that and “I’ll Be You” which was a hit but that was in the later part of their career.

        Like

    1. You know it does remind me a little of Edmunds. I’m reading a Zeppelin bio and I didn’t know but Dave Edmunds was signed to their record company Swan Song…I had no clue.

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      1. You made me curious…he released on their label from 1976 to 1981 but that didn’t include Rockpile. I think Girls Talk was his biggest hit in the UK at #4 during that time…and Queen of Hearts also charted well there.

        This gives me an idea about a post…vanity labels like Apple, Stones label, and Swan Song.

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      2. I think they pushed pretty hard until Bonham died and that stopped everything. Bad Company was the band that benefitted the most.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. There are SO many…I never realized that. So many had a label even if it just lasted an album….I’m looking forward to researching it.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I discovered the Replacements in 1990 with All Shook Down. Played it on repeat quite a bit. I didn’t know until this post that All Shook Down had a different sound than their previous work. Gonna check them out on Spotify. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found them around the time of this album…I grew up in the 80s and never was a fan of the synth pop stuff… so this band was right down my alley. They were rawer before All Shook Down….personally I think their best albums were Tim, Please To Meet Me, and Let It Be (yea they named it that).
      Thank you for commenting!

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      1. The reason for me being like that was when I was 8 years old in the 70s I heard The Beatles….after that, I listened to 60s and 70s music and I never warmed up to the synth craze.

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  2. A guy I used to live with used to play Let It Be all the time and also Tim, but I never got too into it. Did you ever hear of a band called Shoes who I think were around about the same time? I used to have two albums by them and that guy used to say they were just Replacements imitators or something like that. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I did…I posted one of their songs before…(Boys Don’t Lie)….Replacement Imitators…wow. Green Day has said to be influenced by them and Nirvana.
      They could have been more popular but they sabatoged themselves at every turn… I liked their rawness at the time.

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      1. I know. I didn’t think Shoes sounded anything like replacements. This guy was just one of those know-it-alls who just wants everyone to think that he knows more about music than anybody else in the world but they really don’t know what they’re talking about half the time

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I know the type…they know enough to be dangerous…I agree with you.
        The Shoes were more power pop…at least what I’ve heard.. the Replacements could go there but not a lot.

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  3. What a great rocker, Max. I love the attitude. I can see where Iggy would be a terribly bad influence lol. I do see rock and roll and an act of rebellion. Speaking of rebellion, I’m about halfway through the new Elvis movie and am shocked at what I’m seeing. Have you seen it? (I think you have) If so is what they show in there accurate???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No I haven’t seen it yet but I won’t to. I’ve read books about Elvis and Tom…Parker was awful…at the end of his career he took 50 percent of what Elvis made…He made Elvis a lot of money but at the cost of his credibility.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. p.s. Just an fyi, I think the guy who played Elvis looked a lot like him, but he does not have the presence that Elvis had. Tom Hanks plays a despicable Colonel very well, and I can see why Elvis was drawn in by that snake.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s hard watching music biopics to me if I know the history…it’s like the Queen movie…just so many mistakes…I’m going to give this one a shot though.

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      3. To tell the truth, I prefer the old kind of Hollywood biopics where they didn’t try to dig too deep and search for the truth blah blah blah. The old ones are better . You know what kind I mean, the ones that usually starred Susan Hayward. LMAO. I actually have a real fondness for those kind of movies. I’ve seen them all

        Liked by 1 person

      4. LOL…I’ve liked the baseball biopics that were made like the Lou Gehrig one…Pride of the Yankees. Hey I’m all about older movies…I love silent movies with Clara Bow, Buster Keaton, etc.

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      5. Cool…Like I’ve said before…The Beatles were extremely lucky to have Brian Epstein…there were more Parkers than Brian’s out there.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Good question…I know George Martin was done recently…. I’ve never read one but I see one called The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story by Vivek Tiwary
        I do need to find one and read it. There is a good doc on youtube. I’ve watched this a few times.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Now I”m going to have to find a book from audible! I’m reading one more Zep book and then I’ll get one about Brian…I would love one about Stuart Sutcliffe also.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah It’s like your basic standard biopic but Kurt Russell gives a better idea of what Elvis was all about than this new guy. This new guy is too sad-faced and he acts too sensitive or something to make you think of Elvis Presley.

    Liked by 1 person

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