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New Release Tuesday

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Do you realize that The Replacements' "Let It Be" is 22 years old? Indeed, if "Unsatisfied" was a chick, she could buy you a drink at the swinging party. In 1997 Warner Bros put together a 34-track double disc of Replacements "hits" called "All For Nothing / Nothing For All" but none of their earlier groundbreaking Twin/Tone material was included.

Today the skies have parted and the angels are looking down lovingly on us as Rhino releases a genuine 20-track Greatest Hits collection that spans the entire career of the Minnesota godfathers of grunge, PLUS includes two new tracks. Finally you can put on a disc that nicely segues from the raw punk of "Kids Won't Follow" to the innocently sweet and sad "Color Me Impressed" to the drum machine-aided "Within Your Reach", without having to have your pal burn it for you first.

These Replacements nuggets still hold up beautifully on the nicely titled "Don't You Know Who I Think I Was?" And even though the band refuses to reunite for a money-grubbing tour, you can see and hear their former bassist Tommy Stinson in Guns N' Roses -- meaning if Axl finally gets around to releasing "Chinese Democracy", little Tommy would be on two of the most anticipated CDs of the year.

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Also out today is Sonic Youth's latest, "Rather Ripped", which is decidedly less noisy than some of their trademark gems. Still mysterious and amazingly original, and back to perfoming as a quartet, the New York legends give us a clearer, cleaner offerring of sonic love. "Or" is dreamy and sleepy and stony and a little scary and is in tune with the subtlety of this record. Even the feedback seems in tune. Ah Sonic Youth, so good to have you back. But why do you have to open for Pearl Jam this summer? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

More releases today by Widespread Panic, Busta Rhymes, Keb' Mo', Three Days Grace, The Futureheads, and a double live CD by everyone's favorite motorist Billy Joel.