Originally named Impediments by Tommy and Bob Stinson (bass and guitar respectively), along with Chris Mars (drums) and chief songwriter/vocalist, Paul Westerberg (vocals/guitar), Replacements would be purveyors of three-chord Punk Rock. Their early works were just plain bad in the production area, basically being just plain lo-fi. Signed to Minneapolis based, 'Twin/Tone', the band started off with their debut Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash in 1981, the raw attitude, cathartic melodies and humor shining through. The follow-up, Stink (1982), however, pumped up the speed, but harmony was more prominent on the later albums of Hootenanny (1983) and Let It Be (1984). The albums were enough to attract the attentions of 'Sire', and in late 1985 the Replacements released the Tommy Erdelyi produced (a.k.a. Tommy Ramone; ex-Ramones) Tim (1985). Granted a bigger budget that only a larger label could offer, the band tempered their sound and mixed it with hooky riffs while retaining much of their antitheticy. After the release, however, Bob was the first to leave the act. Bob, as it happens, was one of the more noteworthy members, especially during live shows when he played dressed in a ladies dress or in the nude; he would be replaced with Robert "Slim" Dunlap. The act would then release what many consider their best work with Pleased To Meet Me (1987); the album featuring Westeberg's songwriting abilities at it's best with tracks like Skyway, and especially, Can't Hardly Wait being the Pop song he'd been threatening to write since the band started. Unfortunately, the positive reviews failed to translate into sales. Don't Tell a Soul (1989) found them to be more restrained despite the return of Stinson. The restraint, however, was enough to get them their first chart position at 57 US (most of their albums to this point were only released in the US).
All Shook Down (1990) might as well have been a Westberg solo effort and got only a 69 US The band was clearly on it's last efforts and the chop finally came in 1992 with Tommy forming Bash & Pop to release one album, Friday Night Is Killing Me the following year, while Westeberg worked on his solo debut, 14 Songs, the record lacked the style of old, and any chance of a Replacements reunion was finished when Bob succumbed to a drug overdose the following year. It would be Westeberg who got some US chart success in the late 1990s with Eventually (1996) and Suicaine Gratification (1999).
On June 13, 2006, 'Rhino Records' released the compilation album Don't You Know Who I Think I Was?, consisting of songs from the 'Twin/Tone' and 'Sire/Reprise' years and including two new songs, Pool & Dive and Message to the Boys.
On October 3, 2012, it was announced that The Replacements had re-formed and that Westerberg and Tommy Stinson were in the studio recording an EP containing song cover versions. Titled Songs for Slim, the EP was sold in a 250-copy edition of 10" vinyl and auctioned online to benefit former band mate Dunlap, who had suffered a stroke.
The Replacements played their first shows in 22 years at Riot Fest in Toronto (August 24 and 25, 2013), Chicago (September 1315) and Denver (September 21 and 22).
The band performed for the first time in Spain and Portugal at the Primavera Sound festival on May 28, 2015 and June 5, 2015 respectively, as part of a brief European tour. At the Portugal show, Westerberg announced onstage that it was the band's final show. T-shirts he had worn to previous shows had hinted at this outcome: each shirt had two letters on it (one each on front and back), ultimately spelling out, "I have always loved you. Now I must whore my past."