I don’t know what they were thinking with “Never Mind,” but it sounds like they weren’t. While all of the tracks are good they aren't all great, as "Let It Be" and "Tim" were. 'Pleased to Meet Me' is considered the 'sell-out' album but really it sounds like a slightly more buffed up and moderately less consistent 'Tim'; I still like it a fair deal, the curveball tracks in particular ('Nightclub Jitters' and 'Skyway') do an excellent job of breaking up the track flow and stop monotony from their typical sound setting in. Original guitarist Bob Stinson was ousted from the band when it was time to record Pleased to Meet Me. What’s that song? “I just can’t fuckin’ mean it every night.”, Westerberg viewed performing, as he did everything, in stark black-and-white terms. Ladies with delicate skin like mine can download a map of the Skyway system when preparing for a visit and work out how to avoid interactions with sub-zero temperatures or breath-sucking heat and humidity. The music is presented in a 12 x 12 hardcover book loaded with dozens of rarely seen photos along with a detailed history of the Pleased To Meet Me era written by Bob Mehr, who authored The New York Times bestseller, Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements. According to Mehr, Tommy Stinson heard that Prince Gabe had died “fucking a whore,” adding, in what were no doubt rapturous tones, “That’s the way we wanted to go out. In spite of some über-Eighties, ultra-reverberated production (which still sounds better than their next album, Don’t Tell a Soul), the record was the band’s last moment of greatness. Westerberg sounds drunker than usual, straining to hit the notes and failing to achieve any sense of coherence in his phrasing. Send us a tip using our anonymous form. . Buddy Holly is too cute for the Replacements to sing about. I run into an inherent bias in evaluating “Red, Red Wine,” as I have been a wine snob since the age of twelve when my mother began what proved to be a lengthy and thorough oenological education, with close attention paid to the impact of a given terroir on the character of the finished product. Like Lennon after the “more popular than Jesus” brouhaha, Westerberg had to defend the song repeatedly in interviews; unlike The Beatles, The Replacements were not the most popular band in the history of the universe. They may be slightly off-center, but for the most part they are decent people with college degrees and jobs. Which the world sorely needs to be. Being difficult was a key part of who they were. Though not all of Dickinson’s enhancements worked out, hiring Steve Douglas was a masterstroke. Let me buy you a drink.” Then I’d take them to my shag-carpeted apartment and fuck them all, taking care to ensure that the three young’uns would survive the experience. I love that name. You can also follow the Album of the Day - a classic album presented in its entirety. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Change ). Speaking of degrees of shame, Westerberg recorded this alone, early in the morning before his mates had recovered from the nightly bender, because he didn’t want them to see him as soft. They lost some of their danger, recording the very produced LP as a trio with a supporting cast of thousands, yet still managed to cough up two all-time classics — the beat-skipping “Alex Chilton” on which you can hear Westerberg exuberantly catching his breath and the mellow love letter “Can’t Hardly Wait.” They also recorded a handful of almost classics (“Skyway,” “IOU”), and some tongue-in-cheek head scratchers (the faux-jazzy “Nightclub Jitters” and what might be the Replacements band diary, “I Don’t Know”). This is how music creates atmosphere, and this is one atmosphere I want to experience! Pleased to Meet Me should have ended with “Skyway,” but instead we get the producer-dominated “Can’t Hardly Wait.” This not-much-of-a-song had been around for a while, but The Replacements never found a satisfying arrangement. Album Review, Altrockchick, Music Review. ... of that voice of utter authority and you’ll begin to grasp the significance I am attempting to attach to The Replacements’ album cover. The Replacements Pleased To Meet Me. (Mehr).” Though the background “singers” are as sloppy as a poorly aimed-ejaculation, Paul Westerberg is on full-throated fire, a condition most apparent when the voices of his bandmates disappear on the chorus: One foot in the door, the other one in the gutter I’ve been cooped up in the house too long. Pleased to Meet Me was the sound of the Replacements trying for once. The Associated Press reported that Kirby died after he had “collapsed at home,” which sounds like journo-speak for dying in the middle of a glorious ejaculation. “Valentine” was a song pulled out of the reject pile at the last minute because Warner wanted another track to comply with the running time paradigms of the day, and the less-than-enthusiastic performance reflects that. . Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Shortly after a particularly disastrous Replacements performance, Russ Rieger, the head honcho of their management company, paid Westerberg a visit: The next day, at the band’s hotel, Rieger got into a heated discussion with Westerberg, telling him, “This car-crash mentality is something you have to move away from. I think I like Let It Be and Tim a bit more than Pleased to Meet Me, but I always love listening to The Replacements because of the imperfections. Now you can finally hear how they tried and where they succeeded. You write these amazing songs. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – Streetcore, King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King. Rieger’s platonic ideal of a performer was Bruce Springsteen: someone who wrung emotion out of every lyric, put himself on the line with each show, and gave 100 percent night after night. Much was made of it being a digital recording, which in 1987 was seen … So true. The cover image of The Replacements' 5th studio collection is a telling one: PLEASED TO MEET ME has one foot in the door and the other one in the gutter, with the spirit of the Minneapolis band's punk roots given a newfound polish and a willingness to explore other genres. Westerberg needed to face that reality without embracing it and learn to live with the tension. But mostly I just happen to like the tune, and I think it sounds great. “That’s part of the reason people gravitated to him as an artist. “They wouldn’t be drunk enough early on in the day to get anything. These recordings all have a raw, intimate quality that sounded polished on the LP. Your comment about the fans being of a different ilk than the band rings true because I have a hard time associating The Replacements with my experience of Minneapolis—civic-minded nice people who smile a lot. You don’t have to be like them in order to relate to them. It also comes with a 12" x 12" hardcover book with rare photos and new notes by Bob Mehr, author of Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements. Was quite enjoying the style of the review up to this. What he couldn’t do was fake it. The quirky lyrics certainly jibe with the quirky subject of the tribute, at one point “Checkin’ his stash by the trash at St. Mark’s Place,” then “Runnin’ ’round the house, Mickey Mouse and the Tarot cards/Falling asleep with a flop pop video on.” But the most memorable and poignant lyrics are saved for the remarkable chorus, a wish for a different world in which the obscure Mr. Chilton is lifted out of oblivion and into the hearts of children everywhere: Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes ’round Channeling the guitar through a Leslie speaker gives the song a mid-period Beatles or early-period Who touch, but can’t save what is essentially a poor performance. In Pleased to Meet Me, Bill Sullivan sets out to explain what makes us, well, us. Even the collection’s rough mixes — usually the most over larded part of a box set — offer new insights. Three of those were played in clubs, so they don’t have horns, either. It was all or nothing.”. I’m not a hoodlum. By the end of the session, he was calling himself an ‘artist.’” Westerberg had always resisted such an elitist label, but by the end of the sessions he admitted, ” . 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I know there’s a dark underside in every city, but Minneapolis just seems so neat and tidy—and neat and tidy doesn’t come close to describing The Replacements. For years I pretended I wasn’t. At the end of the song, I’ll say to the band, “That was real nice, boys. For him, the Skyway isn’t a glass-enclosed path of convenience but a symbol of separation—and given the human tendency to see “higher” as superior to “lower” in everything from architecture to hierarchy, the Skyway becomes a metaphor for caste differences. Pleased to Meet Me should have ended with “Skyway,” but instead we get the producer-dominated “Can’t Hardly Wait.” This not-much-of-a-song had been around for a while, but The Replacements never found a satisfying arrangement. The ache in Westerberg’s voice feels deeper on several of the songs, and the way the group could settle into a jam, whether as a four-or three–piece, sounds easier. They may not have done as well in the charts as they might have if they’d totally sold out, but they made a greater contribution to music by remaining true to their blessedly human flaws. Lawmakers Promise Investigation, Firings of Capitol Police Following Insurrection, The Attempted Coup at the Capitol Proves This Is the United States of QAnon, Joe Scarborough Drops F-Bomb on MSNBC, Calls for Arrest of Donald Trump After Capitol Raid, Twitter Takes Bold Action Against President Who Can’t Hurt It Anymore, John Fogerty Debuts New Gospel-Flavored Protest Song to See Trump Off, The Best Albums of December 2020: Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and More. While some continue to champion the Replacements' Don't Tell a Soul and All Shook Down exit albums, Pleased to Meet Me truly represents the last vital effort of a great band beginning its descent. That’s what he wanted out of the Replacements. Westerberg’s vocal is appropriately weary and tinted with heartache, completely free of any hints of sardonic compromise. Devo – Q: Are We Not Men? That was really the only song on the album where he just didn’t get it. His three Big Star albums and the fabulous anti-masterpiece Like Flies on Sherbert didn’t do dick as far as the charts were concerned but turned out to be a source of inspiration for bands driving the alt-rock/indie movements in the ’80s and ’90s. Another interesting comment was from the author of the book, but was also backed up by Tommy Stinson. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. But as he spit out the  words again to Rieger, it went far deeper. Westerberg’s tone lies somewhere between devil-may-care and fuck-it-all; his voice is filled with grit and power. 342 Comments. “For him there was no middle ground,” said Rieger. There are lots of versions of “Can’t Hardly Wait” without strings, as well as versions without horns. “IOU NOTHING,” penned Iggy, which Westerberg thought “was the coolest thing in the world.” (Mehr) While fans may interpret that act as cold rather than cool, it helped Westerberg clarify the attitude of an artist towards admirers: if you don’t maintain a healthy distance, you run the risk of letting them define you and deflect you from your artistic trajectory. “I. It has a unique ring to it. Learn how your comment data is processed. It took some doing, but I did find some Mud Boy stuff on YouTube, and his production was spot-on: roots music perfection. The first seven of these demos represent the last recordings made by all four original members of The Replacements. ( Log Out /  The Replacements were fully committed to being real, and for the most part they managed to stay real despite enormous pressures to engage in pretense. In gearing up for their sophomore major label album the band began recording demos in a hometown studio. Compare that to the orientation of Mr. Westerberg, as captured in Bob Mehr’s Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements. . When he sings, “I’m the boy they can’t ignore/For the first time in my life, I’m sure,” he knows that all the attention he’s receiving now is as utterly impersonal as the lack of attention paid to him in his brief existence. . He said, “If ‘Alex Chilton’ had been called ‘Buddy Holly,’ it could’ve been the Weezer song.” Litt seemed to be implying that the Replacements should have done something like that, but I think it would have been all wrong. Douglas spends most of the time in minimalist mode, strengthening the bottom, but when he finally gets his place in the sun (after the countdown pause in the middle and on the fade), his wild solos sync perfectly with the drunken exuberance of the band. The Replacements | Pleased to Meet Me-Deluxe Edition | (Rhino/Sire) 4 out of 5 stars. Rarely in the annals of music history has an album cover said so much. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Case in point Pleased to Meet Me, the only album Minneapolis’ The Replacements recorded as a trio. ( Log Out /  Speaking of artists who weren’t particularly fan-friendly, Alex Chilton certainly had more than his fill of professional management demanding he shape himself into a pop idol during his years with The Box Tops, moving on to start a band that would be as widely acclaimed and as commercially unsuccessful as The Replacements. April 18, 2020. After he sees the girl walking high up in the Skyway, he turns his attention to his appearance: “In my stupid hat and gloves . I’m in love with that song.”. By the way, do you know what the “R” stands for? While you do hear a few sops to commercial considerations on Pleased to Meet Me, most of those were added by Dickinson post-production. Some producers are helpful, some are not. I’ve never met a Roscoe. Doh! I think that underlines the fact that the appeal of the Replacements is not so much their outrageousness as just the fact that they were, in their own way, very genuine. Much better version—the lead guitar is ripping. And now I can deal with that.”. “That” is the simple truth that nearly every artist in history has at one time or another sold out to the (usually) men with the money. When Westerberg said it to Jim Dickinson (producer), it was a question of trust; as he acted it out with the record company, it was a matter of insecurity. I’m a fucking artist. Unlike, say, the Velvet Underground, who turned into just as wonderful a group when John Cale was axed, the Replacements lost a good bit of steam once the elder Stinson was gone. The Replacements – Classic Music Review – Pleased to Meet Me. I owe him my best.” DiMag was the ultimate professional, giving it his all even when his body howled in protest, even when he would have rather skipped the doubleheader and stayed in his New York hotel residence bonking Marilyn Monroe. Altrockchick. The joy generated by that fade makes “Alex Chilton” a leading contender for that all-important song I’m going to play at full blast when this fucking coronavirus shit finally comes to an end. The remaining three-person lineup rocks as hard as they ever did, but though the album received its fair share of critical accolades, Pleased to Meet Me sold only slightly better than Tim (#131 on the Billboard charts compared to #189). They were contrarians right from the start. 'Can't Hardly Wait' is an awesome song too. In stock on November 18, 2020. You know that he’s on his game in the second line of the song when he elongates the completely unimportant word “right” in the phrase, “Step right up son” with gravelly delight. Up in the skyway. “I’m not giving you 100 percent night after night,” replied Westerberg. Please try again later. disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. The Replacements recorded a lot of music around Pleased to Meet Me, much of which came out on various singles and compilations, as well as demos, alternate versions of songs, and tunes that for whatever reason were forgotten in the back of the beer fridge. I don’t know of any producers who always got it right; even George Martin screwed up a few times. All my Replacements music was alphabetized under T except that one. Nelson Rockefeller died “of an apparent heart attack.” Now that is fake news. Where . ... Top review from United Kingdom There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Westerberg met him after yet another disastrous concert in New York; contrarian Chilton thought was The Replacements were great and said he’d love to record with them. O. U.” is rough, raw and loose, driven by classic guitar riffs and a no-bullshit snare attack from Chris Mars, sustained by Paul Westerberg’s unique approach to phrasing and nasal background vocals that mirror the timbre of a moaning sax. The second disc explores the creative process behind Pleased To Meet Me with 15 demos, 11 of which are unreleased, that were recorded at Blackberry Way Studios in Minneapolis during the summer of 1986. I pretended I was a punk, I pretended I was a rocker, and a drunk, and a hoodlum. And then they’d be too drunk, and they’d get useless. All of the opinions presented below are my own. Then again, the Replacements don't make sense as a success story, so the failure of the gleaming, glistening Pleased to Meet Me winds up making its polish kind of heart-rending. Sort of rhymes with Costco. The Replacements' Pleased to Meet Me marked the moment when Minneapolis met Memphis. When I hear Westerberg sing, “Gallo or Muscatel, either one would be just swell,” I think, “Disgusting!” And when I hear him categorize all red wine into a single bucket like there’s no difference between Gamay, Pinot and Grenache, I think, “The man’s an idiot.” In any case, the song doesn’t feel quite right to me—they seem to be rocking without a whole lot of underlying commitment and it comes through as “forced enthusiasm.” Given my resistance to this song, those of you who are less anal about wine are free to provide an alternative point of view. Silly ” and move on bored incompetence, so they don ’ so... Itunes, I ’ m not giving you 100 percent night after night, ” but it was to. Meet Me-Deluxe Edition | ( Rhino/Sire ) 4 out of the opinions presented are! Very ravenous audience back in 1987 on Sire Records funny, but “ the Ledge ” was far. Notes and failing to achieve perfection is the replacements: pleased to meet me review finest record the Replacements to about! 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