3 Minute Record

"We learned more from a three minute record baby than we ever learned in school..." -from No Surrender by Bruce Springsteen

[New Feature] Influential 3 Minute Records

As the Springsteen quote in the header above suggests we as listeners learn greatly from the lyrics included in our favorite songs. Many times these lyrics reference something different from what we're accustomed to and as curious human beings we tend to seek out new ideas. Many of these searches occur during our development years - adolescence or in the period just after - and tend to influence us for many years to come. For our first installment of Influential 3 Minute Records I present the classic song...

Cover of

The Replacements - "Left Of The Dial" from Tim (Sire Records, 1985). The term "Left of the Dial" refers to the area of the FM radio dial where college radio stations typically broadcast due to FCC rules.  These stations are lower power and have a D.I.Y. or underground aesthetic. Before the world got smaller with the advent of the internet these stations carried the news of the music scene (along with local underground newspapers and 'zines) and gave traveling underground or punk artists a safe haven. Paul Westerberg, the band's main songwriter, writes a classic song about road weariness and missing your friends while out on tour. Not only is this song a classic, but Tim is arguably The Replacements best album (others may suggest Let It Be or Pleased To Meet Me and on some days they'd be right). This song influenced me to seek out that scene and that there was more to what commercial radio or MTV fed to us .

Leave your suggestions for other influential records in the comments. Thoughts on this pick? Let's hear 'em!