Being difficult was a key part of who they were. 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. Oh, well. Replacements fans are not horrible drunks and screw-ups. The inspiration for “I. 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. The seminal album Pleased To Meet You from The Replacements was unleashed on a very ravenous audience back in 1987 on Sire Records. '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. 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. What takes the song to another level is the fade, where Westerberg repeats the line “I’m in love. But mostly I just happen to like the tune, and I think it sounds great. And the strings on the original “Can’t Hardly Wait” stepped on the dropout when Westerberg sings the title. By the way, do you know what the “R” stands for? Westerberg hated the strings as much as I do, confirming my opinion of him as a man with excellent taste in music. . I don’t know what they were thinking with “Never Mind,” but it sounds like they weren’t. I also remember “Nightclub Jitters” being played sloppily on purpose, which was funny, but it was still musical. 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). 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. Writing for Rolling Stone, David Fricke described it as "an album alive with the crackle of conflicting emotions and kamikaze rock & roll fire." It has a unique ring to it. 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. Perhaps the best review I have read about Pleased To Meet Me comes from David Fricke (Rolling Stone Magazine) who gave it a glowing review, saying "Tracks like "I.O.U." 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. Essentially, Westerberg poses a series of questions to which his bandmates usually respond with “I don’t know.” An amateur detective would put two and two together and conclude that the opening laughter combined with poorly-articulated responses indicates that the boys were probably shit-faced drunk at the time, a daily reality that Dickinson learned to work with. Learn how your comment data is processed. The Replacements Pleased To Meet Me. I’m in love with that song.”. Musically, it’s easily the tightest song on the album, featuring an exceptionally sensitive and emotionally expansive performance from Westerberg; lyrically, Westerberg does a marvelous job by having his suicidal narrator comment on the indifference that surrounds him while standing on the ledge (“Wind blows cold from the west/I smell coffee, I smell doughnuts for the press”) as opposed to reciting a long litany of grievances or delving into excessive self-pity. I bought it years ago and forgot about it. It was noted that Replacements fans are not like the Replacements, and they never were. 342 Comments. “Alex Chilton” is alternative power pop at its best, an explosive, bouncy number with a delightful rhythmic kick in the chorus accentuated by sharp, reverberating hand claps. The Beatles could afford the bad press because they had built up tons of goodwill; The Replacements couldn’t afford the controversy. You write these amazing songs. The feeling isn’t so much discomfort as “what-the-hell, it-is-what-it-is, this-far-and-no-further.”. Having now reviewed three Replacements albums and listened to all the others, I can safely say there never was nor should there have ever been a perfect Replacements album. I’m in love with that song” several times over a background of acoustic rhythm guitar and uncredited mandolin. 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. IHateRadiohead September 28th 2015. I’ll just say he should be very proud of “Skyway” and omit the urge to comment (again) on male silliness. Up in the skyway. That’s what he wanted out of the Replacements. I’ve never met a Roscoe. Later in the chapter covering Pleased to Meet Me, producer Jim Dickinson recalled that “When we started, ‘art’ was a word he wouldn’t let me use . “I just can’t fuckin’ mean it every night.”, Westerberg viewed performing, as he did everything, in stark black-and-white terms. Some producers are helpful, some are not. Then they’d be good and drunk, and it would be great. It’s a “wow” moment guaranteed to get you out of your seat, shake your fanny and clap like there’s no tomorrow. The Replacements. So true. Even the demos they cut as a three-piece show how playful they could be; the two versions of Westerberg’s anti-TV screed “Kick It In” demonstrate how they could give a song a facelift on a whim, playing it straight on the first demo and adding bongos and more guitar textures to the second. . 4.8 out of 5 stars 71. 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. Taken as a whole — along with Replacements’ biographer Bob Mehr’s ever-excellent liner notes (which shed some light on Bob Stinson’s departure) — the holistic skyway-view of the album shows a band that was a little looser than they would want to let on. 'Can't Hardly Wait' is an awesome song too. Westerberg’s vocal is appropriately weary and tinted with heartache, completely free of any hints of sardonic compromise. Mehr, together with Rhino’s Jason Jones, produced this new collection. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. ( Log Out /  When the Yankee Clipper was asked why he consistently played so hard, he replied, “There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time. Sort of rhymes with Costco. The Replacements ‎– Pleased To Meet Me Label: Sire ‎– R2 643412 / 60349784647, Rhino Records (2) ‎– R2 643412 / 60349784647 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. Originally from San Francisco, I am now a French/EU citizen living in Nice. Well, that would be my plan until the end of the first bridge when Prince Gabe makes his entrance. To appreciate the importance of the cover, think of Paul Westerberg as the anti-Joe DiMaggio. What’s that song? . But as he spit out the  words again to Rieger, it went far deeper. And he wasn’t willing to put himself on the line emotionally. 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. We want to hear from you! In gearing up for their sophomore major label album the band began recording demos in a hometown studio. He could live with drunken insouciance or bored incompetence, so long as it was real. In Pleased to Meet Me, Bill Sullivan sets out to explain what makes us, well, us. Music Reviews: Pleased to Meet Me (Deluxe Edition) by The Replacements released in 2020 via Rhino. I’ve been cooped up in the house too long. This review can also be found on my blog. The Replacements – Classic Music Review – Pleased to Meet Me. Year in Review: So, How Was Your 2020, Nile Rodgers? Chilton did work with The Replacements on a few demos, but none of the recordings saw the light of day at the time. Yeah, it’s a pretty good song when the Mats just let it flail. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. 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. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – Streetcore, King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King. File it under “Men Can Be So Silly” and move on. 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. 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. 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. As it turns out, this was the last time they could still shoot for the stars and seem like their scrappy selves and, in many ways, it was the last true Replacements album. Just try to imagine Murrow intoning that line as if he were opening one of his broadcasts from the scene of The Blitz: “This . Reading Bob Mehr’s book a few months ago made me lean more in the direction of answering “No” to that question. Altrockchick. 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. And now I can deal with that.”. 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. … Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite – Get Up! Figuring that she would never lower herself to walk the streets, he decides to take the elevator up to the Skyway: Oh, then one day, I saw you walkin’ down that little one-way Paul Westerberg would write several songs about suicide, but “The Ledge” was by far the most controversial. Westerberg sounds drunker than usual, straining to hit the notes and failing to achieve any sense of coherence in his phrasing. They did not have the common touch. Had they ever written something as catchy as “Surrender,” they would’ve been too embarrassed to play it in public. Internal strife also wasn’t helping things much. All my Replacements music was alphabetized under T except that one. Westerberg’s vocal starts out as if someone had nudged him out of a snooze, and remains a low-volume, low-energy effort throughout. Compare that to the orientation of Mr. Westerberg, as captured in Bob Mehr’s Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements. 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. I’ve got 9 non-string versions on my iTunes alone. 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. 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. Westerberg’s tone lies somewhere between devil-may-care and fuck-it-all; his voice is filled with grit and power. 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. ( Log Out /  In stock on November 18, 2020. Why are you sabotaging your own songs?”. “I. Imhotep was bankrolled by the pharaoh Djoser; Michelangelo by Pope Julius II; Shakespeare was bound the 3rd Earl of Southhampton. I love that name. For some necessary clarification, when I use the term classic rock I don't mean the Eagles or the Rolling Stones or whatever the media is calling "classic" now. ... Top review from United Kingdom There was a problem filtering reviews right now. 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. 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. The Replacements' 'Pleased to Meet Me' box set shows new depth to the band's last great album. 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. Pleased to Meet Me starts off strong with "I.O.U", a song that frequently exposes the Replacements' deep roots in classic rock. Rarely in the annals of music history has an album cover said so much. Year in Review: So, How Was Your 2020, Lars Ulrich. 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. Though not all of Dickinson’s enhancements worked out, hiring Steve Douglas was a masterstroke. .” 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. I don’t know of any producers who always got it right; even George Martin screwed up a few times. 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. April 18, 2020. In today’s world, painters sell out to gallery owners, authors to publishing houses and musicians to media companies. 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, ” . Pleased To Meet Me is the critically acclaimed fifth studio album by the American rock band The Replacements. Change ). 4.5 superb. He draws small comfort from the fact that the Skyway isn’t the bourgeois refuge it seems to be (“It’s got bums when it’s cold like any other place”), but still clings to the fantasy of meeting the girl someday. 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. I’m a fucking artist. But they were never going to be Cheap Trick. Pleased to Meet Me was recorded in Ardent Studios in Memphis, and as a member of The Dixie Flyers, producer Jim Dickinson just had to infuse some of the tracks with Memphis Soul. I never liked going to Costco. After he sees the girl walking high up in the Skyway, he turns his attention to his appearance: “In my stupid hat and gloves . When compared to the rest of the band's output, "Pleased to Meet Me" is somewhat disappointing. What’s that song? They may be slightly off-center, but for the most part they are decent people with college degrees and jobs. I wanna be the platinum blonde in that bar consuming Pall Malls and vodka martinis (vodka from the well, of course), blowing off the soldiers in town on a weekend pass and the lonely conventioneers so desperate for a roll in the hay that they’ll bang a platinum blonde way past her prime sitting in a place that’s way past its prime listening to musicians who sound like they’re way past their prime. 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. The arrangement is one of blessed simplicity: acoustic guitar enhanced with echoing reverb and just a touch of vibraphone. Of the three fully mixed, never-before-released tunes, “Learn How to Fail,” is the best with its jazzy guitar line and Westerberg convincing someone young to grow up a little before they start dating, followed closely by Tommy Stinson’s hard-rocking “Trouble on the Way.” “Run for the Country,” which features some harmonica, feels a little schmaltzy, and the previously unreleased cover of Billy Swan’s “I Can Help” pales in comparison with the raving drunk cover of the same tune they cut with Tom Waits (on last year’s Don’t Tell a Soul box set). You don’t have to be like them in order to relate to them. 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. 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. Pleased to Meet Me … For this tour, Chris Mars had been replaced by Steve Foley, which made the Replacements visually reminiscent of Cheap Trick: two cool guys (Paul and Tommy) and two nerdy guys (Slim Dunlap and Steve Foley). Was quite enjoying the style of the review up to this. 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. . 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. 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. Review by JohnXDoesn't USER September 28th, 2015 | 11 replies. 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. All of the opinions presented below are my own. 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. 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. Oh by the way, I saw the Replacements in 1991, five months before they called it quits, and I remember that bassline from “Alex Chilton” sticking in my head for days afterwards. Perfection is the most pernicious lie of all, and the quest to achieve perfection is the ultimate fool’s errand. 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. Eight of the tracks feature some of Stinson’s last recordings with the band, and his whiplash snarls on “I.O.U.,” rockabilly shredding “Time Is Killing Us,” and tasteful accents on “Valentine” show what the album could have been. While all of the tracks are good they aren't all great, as "Let It Be" and "Tim" were. 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. “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. It was all or nothing.”. 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. is London.” Feel the weightiness of that voice of utter authority and you’ll begin to grasp the significance I am attempting to attach to The Replacements’ album cover. 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. 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. 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. “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. The kudos to Jim Dickinson keep on comin’ with his decision to bring it Edward “Prince Gabe” Kirby to play alto sax on “Nightclub Jitters.” Kirby was a Beale Street fixture for five decades who earned his nickname because someone told him he played trumpet like the angel Gabriel. Three of those were played in clubs, so they don’t have horns, either. Even the collection’s rough mixes — usually the most over larded part of a box set — offer new insights. For years I pretended I wasn’t. On the whole, I think Jim Dickinson’s contributions to music and production have made the world a better place. Pressed by Allied Record Company which differs from the Specialty Records Corporation pressing Pleased To Meet Me. . Uh, oh. With rare recordings featuring guitarist Bob Stinson and previously unreleased songs, the collection shines new light on the beloved indie-rock band’s career turning point. The Replacements' Pleased to Meet Me marked the moment when Minneapolis met Memphis. Now you can finally hear how they tried and where they succeeded. Audio CD. And it wasn’t just Paul. This is how music creates atmosphere, and this is one atmosphere I want to experience! 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. At the end of the song, I’ll say to the band, “That was real nice, boys. Want more Rolling Stone? Enter your email below to be the first to hear about new releases, upcoming events, and more from Rhino. Sign up for our newsletter. If you gotta go, you wanna go out onstage or fucking.”. Pleased to Meet Me was acclaimed by music critics. Devo – Q: Are We Not Men? In many ways Pleased to Meet Me is the most mature of the Replacements albums; they're no longer the drunk, immature kids of their early records (instead they're just drunk), nor do the songs contain the youthful exuberance that Let It Be and Tim held. That was really the only song on the album where he just didn’t get it. " Pleased to Meet Me is the finest record The Replacements ever made," writes The Current's David Campbell. © Copyright 2021 Rolling Stone, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. Please try again later. Meanwhile, Tommy Stinson stares idly at the filthy vinyl floor, occasionally yawning as he plunks gently on his bass and Chris Mars plays no-effort rim shots while keeping his eyes on the faded Longines clock, its hands steadfastly refusing to fast-forward to quitting time, much to his chagrin. As much as I do, confirming my opinion of him as an artist band, “ that ’ a... Are a nice touch, adding a bit of sweetness to balance the power chord attack softening! – Classic music review – Pleased to Meet Me ' box set shows new depth to band... He just didn ’ t Hardly Wait ' is an awesome song too own! Your analysis of side one, but “ the Ledge ” was by far the most thoughtful and considerate in! 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