"Now that I'm 30, have a wife, son, mortgage, and sad excuse for a career, I never thought that I'd pull this one out of the collection. I pictured being old and gray when my grandchildren would bring it to me in my wheelchair and I'd fondly recall the days when "alternative" meant alternative and you had to seek this music out, not turn on the radio. I've been listening to this CD (I've still got the LP, too!) all summer (mostly in the garage, at my wife's insistence). From the first Stinson-powered attack on "Takin' A Ride" to the last chord of "Raised In the City", it continues to be, at least for me, almost a time capsule. This was one of the most listened-to albums of my high school days. For those of you who have only been exposed to the 'Mats through their later efforts (post-Stinson), you're really missing the essence of one of the bands who inadvertently shaped the rock sound of today's "alternative" bands. Bass player Tommy Stinson was 14 years old when he and his brother Bob (guitar), Chris Mars (drums), and Paul Westerberg (vocals, guitar) made "Sorry Ma...". I saw them in a seedy little club in Indianapolis performing on a stage barely big enough for Mars' drum set to fit on and it remains one the most vivid shows in memory. The album itself is fast, in-your-face, 3-chord noise, nothing else. But as they say in the industry, it's got a "hook". Paul's lyrics make him one of the best songwriters noone knows about, even on this first album. My grandkids will have to get their own copy of "Sorry Ma.." because I'll have worn mine out, and that's a lot of plays for a CD."
A Classic Post-Punk Text
I.M. | Manhattan Beach, California United States | 04/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When this came out, Rolling Stone took a moment to turn away fromarticles about Jann Weiner's 60's party pals to give this amazing disc three of five stars, asking "Who knows if they'll make any more albums? And who cares?" The Replacements went on to become a booze soaked sonic legend. And now people only read Rolling Stone to ogle the cover phots of Britney Spears.
It's all there in "Sorry Ma" -- the hooks, the clever lyrics, the Westbergian angst, long before it turned into post-Replacements self-pity and general crappiness. With the rest of the band (fueled by the late flamethower lead guitarmaster Bob Stinson) compelling him to rock, Paul did. And how.
They took punk and made it relevant to suburban kids who didn't feel like dressing all in black -- "Customer" has more truth in its 68 seconds than a crateful of "real" punk. "Kick Your Door" down is a straight ahead rocker that hits you in the gut; "Shiftless When Idle" is a powerpop marvel. "I Hate Music" is a sonic declaration of war on pretense. The only weakness is "Johnny's Gonna Die," lauded by most, but actually embodying Paul's worst musical instincts. The rest of the band propbably let it in in exchange for Paul kicking butt on the rest of the album.
You cannot understand or experience American post-punk pop without "Sorry Ma..." Rolling Stone be damned."
Sufing on Post Punks Gravestone
S Furness | Watertown, MA United States | 07/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't even try to say this is a punk album! Please! Punk issimple, basic, Primal scream. This album is shear beauty in it'spost-punk ethos. The Replacements expanded the punk formula even further in the Mat's second album "Stink", but this album is the best "First album" in history. "Customer" was the first Mats song I ever heard. It was back in 81 and I was 80 miles away from MPLS. down in farm country and straining to hear on my new Pioneer Stereo with the big antenna on the roof trying to pick up anything other than country and western (Yes both kinds of music) OK, you say it's a great "Punk" album but so what! Well then there is the song "Johnny's gonna die" and you know the Mat's are headed for super cala fraga greatness, not just post-punk greatness. So Put Sorry, Ma on and also sample Stink, Hootenanny, LET IT BE (The Greatest), and Tim. And Hell, Pleased and All Shook aren't bad either. Simply the best Band of all time, no questions. Ya the Beatles are a close second but the passion and pure midwestern American thing just isn't there in the Beatles case. So fly to Europe and you can say the Beatles were the greatest. OK? The Replacements Rule! God Bless America!"
Anyway I Ain't Got Noplace Else To Go
Hap | Austin,TX United States | 02/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm (ironically, I guess) replacing this with a new copy for the third time. It's crude, it's rough, it's loud, it's obnoxious, it's funny and it's great. This release and "Hootenanny" are wonderfully Midwestern surly snot-faced kid-like and I could not live without them. They have defined what this sound is/was and possibly always will be. It's as close as you'll ever get to what an early live Replacement's gig was like. I suppose if you weren't around when they were fresh and new it may sound a little....no...wait a minute....that's not true....I cannot stoop to any kind of mealy-mouthed defensiveness. This album is great. Not charming. Not friendly. Not just a display of Westerberg's burgeoning songwriting talents. It's great all by itself. I proudly know the lyrics (such as they are) to all the songs and I will spit them out with vigor until the day I die. It's unbridled, undisciplined and unruly. You know....PUNK."
Who cares whether its true "punk"?
Harper | SF, CA | 12/16/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"if you like early iggy pop and the stooges, you'll understand what i mean when i say sometimes its better when its rough, ragged and unsophisticated. if you don't, you won't like this album. this is a bunch of kids who dragged themselves out of the gutter, hosed themselves off (hopefully) and managed to put together a record in between blackouts. and i like it a lot."