pleased-to-meet-me.jpgThere is really not much one can say about The Replacements Pleased To Meet Me that hasn’t already been said a thousand times in a thousand different contexts.

There are two different camps of Mats fans; those who prefer the band’s earlier material rooted in punk, and those who prefer the bands output beginning with the transitional 1984 album Let It Be. I personally fall into the second group, preferring the more pop oriented post-punk sound to the rawer early material. Different strokes.

The third album, Pleased To Meet Me, in the triumvirate comprised of (it), Let It Be, and Tim remains my favorite album overall from beginning to end. And by favorite, I mean a narrow favorite, as the other two come damn close at taking that title. In fact, if you’re reading this and fall into the latter Mats category, I imagine a 1/3 or you are disagreeing with me as you read these words. So, please – List your favorite LP – and thoughts – in the comments.

I’ve been listening to Pleased To Meet Me all weekend, and just now, when I considered what tracks to post off the album, I initially thought to post something more obscure off the LP, say “Nightclub Jitters” and “The Ledge,” but, alas, the power-pop won out, so here is “Alex Chilton” and “Can’t Hardly Wait.” Two songs that if you don’t already have in your life, you need.

Download:
MP3: The Replacements :: Alex Chilton
MP3: The Replacements :: Can’t Hardly Wait

Video: The Replacements :: Bastards of Young
Video: The Replacements :: Replacements Interview 1984
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Amazon: The Replacements – Pleased To Meet Me

www.colormeimpressed.com ++ www.paulwesterberg.com ++ more replacements mp3s

+ Download Replacements tunes via eMusic’s 25 free MP3 no risk trial offer
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+ Visit The Hype Machine for additional Replacements MP3s

26 Responses to “The Replacements :: Pleased To Meet Me”

  1. I’m with you. PTMM gets the nod if only because the throwaway songs are slightly better than on LIB or Tim. But I have had this debate plenty of times before. “Left of the Dial” probably clocks in as my favorite ‘Mats song of all time, so that throws a lot of weight for Tim. Production wise PTMM wins over Tim and LIB as well. People will slag it for the absence of Bob (and the live-with-Bob versions of “Can’t Hardly Wait” are simply amazing as well) but I like it.

    I guess the proof is in the pudding. I own 4 copies of PTMM: CD, cassette, and the two vinyl versions with the differently colored sleeves. I don’t ever like to answer the ‘favorite band’ question, but if forced, the ‘Mats are always my answer.

  2. Impossible to choose from those 3. And I think Don’t Tell A soul is about 90% there anyway, just not 100%. And All Shook Down, in it’s own special different way, is up there with the Big Three.

    Rhino records are doing the first set of reissues later this year

  3. Don’t Tell a Soul I’ve always loved. I’ve always been a bit perplexed at why people disliked it so – the production is a bit heavy at points, but if you’ve ever heard ‘Mats bootlegs from around that time period, those songs seriously soar in a live setting – especially “Talent Show” and “Anywhere’s Better Than Here.”

    The reissues will be nice, but I wish the oft-rumoured boxset of unreleased Twin/Tone era stuff would have surfaced. Peter Jesperson and Westerberg were supposedly working on it at one point. There’s a LOT of great stuff buried from their early years.

  4. I’m with you on the latter stage Mats, but for me, it’s “Tim” in a landslide. Not that I don’t like the other two records you mentioned (though I’ve always felt like I was “supposed” to like “Let It Be” a lot more than I ACTUALLY like it), but minus “Dose of Thunder” and “Lay It Down Clown”, every other song on “Tim” is damn near perfect. Drop those two songs and you’ve got a perfect pop album. Keep them on there and you’ve got a Mats album….which should make sense, I think…

  5. I have to go with PTMM, too, although just slightly ahead of LIB. As good as the horn-fuelled studio version of “Can’t Hardly Wait” is, though, it doesn’t hold a candle to the way they thrashed it out live with Bob. I grew to love that song as a staple of the live set, and remember being disappointed with the PTMM version when it first came out.

  6. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite Mats album though I do prefer the later albums to the earlier stuff. I also like Dont Tell A Soul, as a matter of fact it contains my favorite Mats song of all time, Asking Me Lies. So there.

  7. What a golden period for a wonderful band. Maybe I’m mis-perceiving things, but I almost have the sense that the Mats aren’t quite as revered as they should be–that somehow their cultural status has dropped a bit over time. Am I off base, and if not, anyone have ideas as to why? Have they been left hanging between an indie culture that has favored willful obscurity over directness and a pop culture that has never accepted such raggedness and emotional honesty? Or do those generalizations not cover it? Of course a lot of people still love ‘em, and indie rock seems to be maturing into something that can again embrace well-produced pop (see Shins, The National, etc), but I can’t help but feel that more people should be familiar with them.

  8. While I think PTTM is the most cohesive album of the three, I don’t think Paul ever surpassed the emotional rawness of Unsatisfied or Answering Machine. Those two songs will haunt you for a long time.

  9. I love both versions of the Replacements. Give me a double feature Hootenanny and Tim anyday. Although I have to admit, the Sensitive Paul phase is my favorite.

  10. I notice that a theme in our responses here seems to be “Well, this album is better, but X and Y songs are really amazing..” It could be we’ve hit an example of the ‘Mats as a “singles” band as opposed to an “album” band. It’s just that they managed, for a period of 4 or 5 years, to crank out album after album of great single songs. “Color Me Impressed” and “Within Your Reach” can go toe to toe with “Unsatisfied” and “Answering Machine”, “Sixteen Blue” and “Here Comes a Regular,” “Alex Chilton” and “Bastards of Young.” They really were just a great songwriting band.

  11. Good point j.neas, there seems to be no one album of mats songs that really stand out from the others as a really complete piece of work a la Exile on Main Street or a Wowee Zowee.

    But if I had to pick one it would totally be Tim. That album just rocks. Hold My Life is an unbeatable opener and Here comes a regular is a magnificent closer. Everything in between is pure gold, even the punkier tracks which take the sting out of other mats albums for me.

    Waitress in the Sky? Little Mascara? Kiss Me On The Bus? Brilliant rock songs with the wittiest lyrics this side of Morrisey.

    But PTMM has Skyway, my vote for the most beautiful and dead-on unrequited love song of all times. Or maybe I’m just a little pathetic.

  12. Im intrigued at the news of these mats reissues. any word of what, or if, any unreleased demos, etc will be added to them? Cant Hardly Wait studio sans horns, etc?

  13. Honestly, I might have gone with “Nevermind”, personally. I’m in the same ‘Mats camp as you are, and that song sometimes just pops into my head at random moments.
    Absolution is out of the question,
    it makes no sense to apologize,
    the words I thought I brought, I left behind,
    so, never mind.
    All over but the shouting, just a waste of time…”

  14. I love PTMM, it is just packed full of great songs and great moments. “Shootin’ Dirty Pool’ always hits me like a sledgehammer. I can’t listen to it at any volume lower than blistering.

    But… Let it Be is better. I tend toward the on-the-edge-of-chaos musically. For a long time the Replacements Stink was my favorite. Let it Be veers into barely-contolled anarchy more than once, and I always suck it in gleefully. Plus, this kind of music needs to be stripped bare. artifice does not suit it well. i thought Tim, though promising, was totally ruined by the production. I would feel the same about PTMM, but it is too damn good. Tim had good songs, but they weren’t good enough for me to ignore the reverb. In stark contrast, Let it Be simply puts Bob over here, Paul over there, and lets Tommy and Chris fight over the space in the middle. Amps hum, bandmates chat and paul counts down. That band really should never have been presented any differently.

  15. Embarassment of riches, I’d say. Having seen many shows from the Twin Tone days through to the last tour, I was also taken by surprise at just how wonderful Westerberg’s first solo lp and tour and were. Plenty of good tunes there and live you got a real, liberated Paul Westerberg and three guys playing their dream gig. Check the SNL performances of Knockin’ on Mine and Can’t Hardly wait (a live Jim Dickinson version almost!) if you can find them.

    Also, to Kevin G. I know what you mean about whether the Mats are standing the test of time. I’ve got two teenagers now who love a lot of really great music and they love Let it Be – but they got no idea what Seen Your Video is all about and it does little good to try and explain it. I think sometimes it’s hard to get past 1980s production values, too.

  16. i’m from portland, and “saw” the replacement three times. i’m pretty sure that instantly ruins me as a potential replacements fan, i liked the records, but was pretty sure the band on record was completely different from the band i saw on stage.

    back then, i thought that “boink!” was the shizz.

  17. for me it is “let it be” all the way. i also love “tim” and “all shook down”. but if you don’t love “sixteen blue” or “unsatisfied” you were probably never a teenager. some of the truest lyrics i’ve ever heard–i have thought many times that paul is inside my head (as i suspect a lot of people have). and the teetering-on-the-brink-of-implosion musicianship always gets me really excited.

    also, the “tim” version of “can’t hardly wait” blows the “pleased to meet me” one out of the water. excited to hear about the reissues.

  18. I’d second what aaron said about “can’t hardly wait”. “tim” version always did it for me, lyrically and musically.

    gotta give it up to “let it be” as well. it’s just so weird and weighty. you’ve got the dumb throwaway songs that are still strangely awesome – “gary’s got a boner” and “tommy gets his tonsils out” – but then you’ve got songs like “androgynous” and “answering machine”, which are literally perfect. you could not improve on those songs or the recording. and if you think about it, have you ever heard anything that sounds quite like “androgynous” or “answering machine” or “unsatisfied”? to me, nobody comes close.

    and it’s that weird dual nature of the album that I love – half-joking and half-serious, usually both at the same time.

  19. Cameron,
    Did you “see” the Portland show on the Don’t Tell a Soul tour? Great show, I thought, with extra encores and a version of We’ll Inherit the Earth that was unbelievable (and that’s not a tune or LP that I particularly rate with the rest of the catalog.) That’s one reason I still hold them up as my favorite live band. The shows could go from disaster to uninspired to moments that belong in the same orbit as any “best live band” you want to include. And don’t get me wrong, the heights to me are what made the rest of it worth rolling the dice on a ticket.

    Tyler,
    If I had to pick, I think I’d have to go with Let it Be, too. I spent that decade proclaiming it as best record of the 80s.
    I can’t help but notice Westerberg’s nod to the Faces, though on Answering Machine (certainly in my top 5 mats tunes). Check out That’s all You Need on A Nod is as Good as a Wink.
    Cheers

  20. Has anybody else heard Tommy Womack’s song “The Replacements?” It’s a rollicking 8 minute ode to the band where he relates his own live experiences with them. He saw them twice, both times they were awful, and then he finally gambled on a third time and they were the best band he’d ever seen. It’s a wonderful song that almost recalls “Treatment Bound” in its ramshackle storytelling, couldn’t-give-a-damn way. I love it. Well worth hearing.

  21. Let it Be is my favorite. Theres a guitar texture on ‘Seen Your Video’ which just sums up great ‘Mats to me. I love that feeling. The obvious choices for best tracks like ‘Unsatisfied’ and ‘Sixteen Blue’ to me have never been the best on there. The chorus’ of ‘I Will Dare’ ‘Favorite Thing’ sum up the pop melodies they possessed and ‘Seen Your Video’ ‘We’re Coming Out’ and ‘Answering Machine’ are what rock is all about.
    the Kiss cover is cool but drags on.

  22. “stink” almost wins, just ’cause of the stellar opener (kids don’t follow). it kind of goes downhill from there, though, so i think PTMM takes the prize for me.

    /ex-punk with a soft spot for rough edges

  23. Any of y’all ex-Skyway subscribers? Maybe the Skyway’s still going. I agree that Kevin G’s on the money when he suggests the Mats’ legend doesn’t loom quite as large as seems deserved. Pitchfork’s stable of writers seems uniformly to sneer at them, and Paul’s solo ouvre probably hasn’t done much to cement his legacy (though I would argue that the best songs on Eventually rank just a notch–just a hair–below Paul’s best Mats stuff, and that even Suicaine Gratifaction boasts a couple of gems). The two Mats best-ofs haven’t represented the band especially well, either. In fact, contra j. neas, I think the best-ofs highlight how distinct the individual albums are, both musically and emotionally. I can’t choose a favorite among the Golden Trifecta. I rank All Shook Down up near the top, too. It was really ahead of its time, one of the great alt. country albums released 10 years too early.

  24. PTMM is a sentimental favorite for me, being the album they were up to when I discovered them; it’s got that “first love” association for me. It holds many of my favorite Mats tracks (e.g., “The Ledge”, “Nevermind”, “I Don’t Know”). The production is a little slicker than sometimes I like, but it’s not off-putting for me. Let It Be’s goofier numbers are certainly fun but aren’t tracks I could listen to over and over, but “Androgynous” and “Unsatisfied” never get old; “Answering Machine” does have a raw passion that is more powerful than I think was intended. However, I think I’d give Tim a slight edge, because of the insurmountable combination of “Bastards of Young” and “Left of the Dial” and “Here Comes a Regular”. Of the three, that’s the album I can most easily listen to from start to end. (Granted, these days I tend to listen more to music on shuffle.) But I think there’s strong tracks on every one of their albums, and even on Paul’s solo albums.

  25. ANSWSERING MACHINE.

    great song. stays with you.
    what is the phone company lady saying/repeating at the end?

  26. [...] He also produced Big Star’s seminal album “Third” and the Replacements’ “Pleased to Meet Me”. His sons also made their mark: Luther and Cody are two-thirds of the band North Mississippi [...]

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