Had they ever written something as catchy as “Surrender,” they would’ve been too embarrassed to play it in public. April 18, 2020. (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 This new box set shows how the album could have been even better. . There are lots of versions of “Can’t Hardly Wait” without strings, as well as versions without horns. The producer and Memphis mainstay entered the picture after abortive demo… .” The cause behind the failure to connect isn’t about physical separation or even class in and of itself, but the separation caused by the shame of perceiving himself to be “less than.” That last verse serves as sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy of personal shaming. Over in the far corner you see a worse-for-the-wear Westerberg at the upright piano, the slop from a glass of bourbon on the rocks barely glistening in the dim pink spotlight shining on the dust-encrusted piano top. 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. The others felt that way too, with the possible exception of Tommy, who may have been happy to go along for the ride regardless of what they decided to do. He could live with drunken insouciance or bored incompetence, so long as it was real. The Replacements turned out to be one of the best bands to never have a Top 20 single or Top 20 album—pretty solid evidence that the sellout wasn’t much of a sellout. Its release as the lead single—a pretty questionable decision from any perspective—has been blamed for the weaker-than-anticipated sales of Pleased to Meet Me. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Anyway, Westerberg remained an admirer, deciding to transform a song he’d been working on with the curious title “George from Outer Space” into a tribute to the underappreciated Chilton. For their second major label album, fifth overall, first without founding member Bob Stinson, and lone offering as a trio, the 'Mats called upon Jim Dickinson. Every Replacements record is extraordinary in its way, but none exemplifies their garbage-to-grandeur alchemy like Pleased To Meet Me, which rocks like early Kinks, swaggers like T. … And he wasn’t willing to put himself on the line emotionally. Compare that to the orientation of Mr. Westerberg, as captured in Bob Mehr’s Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements. Oddly enough, Westerberg’s defense was pretty solid—he wrote about suicide because it was happening and no one seemed to give a damn. Change ). " Pleased to Meet Me is the finest record The Replacements ever made," writes The Current's David Campbell. Internal strife also wasn’t helping things much. Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite – Get Up! IHateRadiohead September 28th 2015. 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. . Then they’d be good and drunk, and it would be great. Westerberg sounds drunker than usual, straining to hit the notes and failing to achieve any sense of coherence in his phrasing. It’s not as good as side one, but I think it’s solid all the way through, including “Can’t Hardly Wait.” Under the glossy (by their standards) exterior is a classic Replacements lyric that seems to be about wanting something very badly but not being sure what it is, against a backdrop of failure and decadence. Was quite enjoying the style of the review up to this. Point of fact, Pleased to Meet Me also has the unique distinction of being the last new album I bought on vinyl in the spring of 1987 before switching over almost exclusively to CDs a month later (though, of course, I returned to purchasing vinyl again before the decade was out). The opening track manages to affirm their disdain for commercialism and their rejection of the DiMaggio Doctrine while confirming their ability to dish out nasty, bad-ass rock ‘n’ roll without Bob Stinson lending a hand. 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. Perfection is the most pernicious lie of all, and the quest to achieve perfection is the ultimate fool’s errand. Pleased to Meet Me could be heard as an overcompensation for Tim's failings. Mehr, together with Rhino’s Jason Jones, produced this new collection. 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. I went to a Twins game when they were still in the Metrodome (horrid place) and it was unlike any experience I’d ever had in a ballpark—everyone seemed to be so delighted to be there, rooting for the home team, if they don’t win it’s a shame kind of vibe. Jim Dickinson took over and added horns in all the wrong places and (gasp) strings to a song that simply couldn’t handle their weightiness. 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. 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. “I Don’t Know” definitely needed something to ground the drunken exuberance and Dickinson made the right call when he brought in future Rock Hall of Famer Steve Douglas on baritone sax. the place I’d catch my ride most everyday Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young to Die, Maddy Prior and June Tabor – Silly Sisters, Joni Mitchell – The Hissing of Summer Lawns, PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, Sinead O’Connor – I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, Louis Armstrong: The Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings, Charlie Parker: Best of the Complete Savoy & Dial Studio Recordings, John Coltrane – A Love Supreme – Classic Music Review, Les McCann and Eddie Harris: Swiss Movement, Little Walter: His Best, The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection, Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton by John Mayall. Reading Bob Mehr’s book a few months ago made me lean more in the direction of answering “No” to that question. But sometime after recording their beloved Tim album, Paul Westerberg decided they ought to grow up a little, the group parted ways with founding guitarist Bob Stinson, and the ‘Mats became self-aware. 4.8 out of 5 stars 71. Pleased to Meet Me starts off strong with "I.O.U", a song that frequently exposes the Replacements' deep roots in classic rock. 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. ( Log Out /  With dogmatic hard rocker Bob Stinson out of the band, Westerberg felt more comfortable expanding his songwriting playing field with touches of soul, folk and (most noticeably) cocktail hour accompaniment. So, fuck it—he jumps with a scream to his death, the reporters have their story, the cop did the best he could, viewers of the nightly news shake their heads and ask, “What’s for dessert?” Yes, “The Ledge” is an uncomfortable song indeed, but a damn fine piece of work from a guy who had attempted suicide but somehow managed to distance himself enough from the subject matter to write a believable, evocative story. 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. Well, that would be my plan until the end of the first bridge when Prince Gabe makes his entrance. . 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. I don’t know what they were thinking with “Never Mind,” but it sounds like they weren’t. 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 key to interpreting the song lies in what appears to be a throwaway line in the first verse. The band’s previous five LPs were snarky slacker masterpieces full of chintzy songs about hating music ’cause it’s got too many notes, ironic Kiss covers, and the occasional tender ballad, and their concerts were more like drunken hootenannies — all of this sloppiness was what won them their legend. Sort of rhymes with Costco. 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. Nelson Rockefeller died “of an apparent heart attack.” Now that is fake news. Another interesting comment was from the author of the book, but was also backed up by Tommy Stinson. 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. 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. Getting back to “Nightclub Jitters,” I love how the song immediately transports you to a dark and smoky joint that may have a neon sign out front advertising the place as a “cocktail lounge,” but the two or three burned-out letters tell you that it’s a dive bar way past its prime. File it under “Men Can Be So Silly” and move on. For years I pretended I wasn’t. As luck would have it, Kirby passed away a few weeks after the recording sessions, so I’m hoping he went to heaven and challenged Gabriel to a cutting contest. 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. yep . Review by JohnXDoesn't USER September 28th, 2015 | 11 replies. Westerberg needed to face that reality without embracing it and learn to live with the tension. Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements. And the country-rocking “Even If It’s Cheap” is a nice addition, if only to hear Tommy Stinson sing the album title: “Pleased to meet me, the pleasure’s all mine, I’ve seen you here before.” The winking nature of the way he sings the verse and the bridge that sounds a bit like “Jesse’s Girl” maybe explain why it didn’t make it much farther. 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. But they were never going to be Cheap Trick. I’ve never met a Roscoe. The Replacements' 'Pleased to Meet Me' box set shows new depth to the band's last great album. It’s a “wow” moment guaranteed to get you out of your seat, shake your fanny and clap like there’s no tomorrow. They were contrarians right from the start. And it wasn’t just Paul. If I were to record this review in a podcast, I’d try to make my voice sound like Edward R. Murrow when delivering that opening sally, but I’ve never been able to chain smoke and my voice is just too damned girly. What takes the song to another level is the fade, where Westerberg repeats the line “I’m in love. The Replacements – Classic Music Review – Pleased to Meet Me. . I love that name. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The feeling isn’t so much discomfort as “what-the-hell, it-is-what-it-is, this-far-and-no-further.”. That was really the only song on the album where he just didn’t get it. 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. Independent music reviewer on altrockchick.com and 50thirdand3rd.com. I’ve got 9 non-string versions on my iTunes alone. Sexy, sinuous and sensitive wins out over lean and hungry every time. 4.5 superb. The most interesting stuff here is in the Blackberry Way Demos, some of which came out on a previous expanded edition of the album. 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. "It lands in that sweet spot where technology, team, craft, chops, guts, attitude, ideas, creativity and some major label money all intersected at the … In “Skyway,” Paul Westerberg positions himself on a one-way street below the Skyway, “the place where I’d catch my ride most every day.” His wait coincides with the schedule of a woman who uses the Skyway regularly to get to wherever she’s going, most likely to work. Label and pressing variation, '®' in Sire label logos, differs from The Replacements - Pleased To Meet Me which has 'TM' in label logos and embossed 'A' on labels. 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. A part of them wanted to be hugely popular, but a part of them didn’t. Boston, MA: DaCapo Press, 2016. … The paradox couldn’t be starker. © Copyright 2021 Rolling Stone, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. 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