"The greatest "rock and roll" record of all time? This is as close to making a properly produced Stones album as the boys would dare. Paul wasn't a combination of Mick and Keith, he was more like Keith without the Mick. They (intentionally) lacked the stylistic showmanship that would make them that big. They were more stagger than swagger, and the fact that they could do an album this perfect sounding proved what the fans knew already: they had it in them. I feel sorry for those who believe this to be the beginning of the end for the band. This album actually shows the boys writing several songs together, and the production may be dated, but by 1980's standards it isn't overdone at all. What I think of first when reflecting on this album is that Bob's "removal" was a blessing in disguise: who knew Paul could play guitar this good? Although I love Slim Dunlap, I simply don't know why they bothered to get a fourth person. This album has the best guitar playing of all their albums. The solo at the end of The Ledge? Skyway's delicacy? I.O.U. demonstrating that the crunch didn't follow Bob out the door The variety of styles on this album is also surprising. Nightclub Jitters perfectly reproducing that intimate and cheap setting, the studio sing-along trash of Red Red Wine, the pop brilliance of Alex Chilton and Valentine. Skyway is the greatest American standard that no one's ever heard, a classic in every sense of the word. And the lyrics feature some of Paul's greatest lines, Can't Hardly Wait possibly being his finest hour. I Don't Know tells you the band's lack-of-mission statement is the same as it ever was. I disagree with the previous poster taking Chris Mars drumming to task. I love the snap crackle pop sound of the drums on this album. I can't help air drumming along to Valentine every time I hear it. Let's not forget the album cover's lifting of Elvis' G.I. Blues lettering, and the original dustjacket's photo collage. And how many bands managed to utilize a horn section without overusing it (like the Stones)? One more thing to add in defense of this time period in the band's history: the All For Nothing/Nothing for All compilation shows all the great B-sides from the 1986 Ardent sessions, more than enough to have made this a double album a la Exile on Main Street. But that would have been too ambitious..."
A Track by Track Appreciation
Charles Sikkenga | Grand Haven, MI USA | 02/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"PLEASED TO MEET ME: A track By Track Appreciation (I haven't listened to it in a while, and this sorta got me thinking wistfully about it. . .)
SIDE ONE (The Good Side)
1) I.O.U. A slamming punk stomper. Sounds like a statement of purpose to prove they can still rock after firing lead axeman Bob Stinson--a move many fans never forgave. Actually, the weakest song on the record. 2) Alex Chilton--perfect ragged power pop paen to alt rock patron saint. ("I never travel far/Without a litte Big Star"). If you were cool, you couldn't escape this song in 87-88. 3) Nightclub Jitters--cool change of pace with this cocktail jazz inflected slow burner 4) I Don't Know--boredom and ennui collide with a stripped to the bones rocker punctuated by Teenage Steve Douglass' sweet baritone sax bleats. 5) The Ledge : tense suicide suicide note where Westerberg's spiraling guitar is as tightly wound as the narrators emotions.
SIDE TWO (The even better side --and yes, like in the old days, a record with distinct sides)
1) Never Mind: Great power popping, heart-on-the-sleeve love song. And it rocks in an endearingly sloppy sorta way. 2) Valentine: more of the the same with great lines thrown out like they come from an endless stream("Well you wish upon a star/That turns into a plane". . . "If you were a pill/I'd take a handful at my will/and knock you back with somethings sweet as wine). 3) Shooting Dirty Pool. Down and dirty rocker--a great illustration of how Jim Dickinson's production is perfect for this record--the bass is muddied, the treble in the guitar is jacked up and the drums are given a huge, sledgehammer whallop. The song itself isn't Westerberg's best, but the sound is great--a wonderful change-of-pace album cut. 4) Red Red Wine (not the Neil Diamond classic but another searing rocker that just sounds balls-out perfect at Max volume). 5) Skyway: Out of nowhere, Westerberg slows down for his most beautiful solo-acoustic ballad. A simple heartstopper, whispered over a delicately picked guitar figure. A million lovesick teenage boys made mix tapes for unattainable girls in the late 80s. This song figured prominently in 94% of them. 6) Can't Hardly Wait: A hopelssly romantic pop-rocker over another bubbling guitar line and a swinging rhythym section. The chorus totally gushes and although some people hate them , I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Memphis Horns on the backing part. A perfect end to what is, to me, a perfect record.
Overall, my favorite mats record. There might be more peaks on Tim (Bastards of Young, Left of the Dial) or Let it Be (I will Dare, Unsatisfied, Answering Machine), but there are also some valleys there as well. "
One of the best from the best rock band ever
lazarus072 | 11/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How could The Replacements not take themselves seriously? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they never did, but when you're capable of music this wonderful, you would think it would go to your head. I guess that was the magic of the band--greatness wrapped in self-doubt. The songs here are perfect--some rowdy, some touching, all heartfelt. How can you not love an album with lyrics like, "If you were a pill, I'd take a handful at my will/And I'd knock you back with somethin' sweet and strong"? I've never heard "love" described better. And I've never heard better music than this."
After 11 years, this is still my all-time favorite album.
lazarus072 | 11/18/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We've all heard this cliche before: "This album changed my life." Usually it's in the context of the classic rock albums the baby boomers prefer. Well, this is the album that changed my life, and maybe had the same effect on our generation -- the group of us who were born after the baby boom but before the "generation X" group, that late 50's, early 60's crew who blessedly have been forgotten by the trend-setters and marketing pros(as a result, we've made our own rules). Anyway, I digress. Anyway, let's with my review -- by '87, the '80s were getting pretty boring. The music was about the only interesting thing going. The whole "yuppie" culture was not for me --never was. I couldn't afford the exceesses and didn't see the point in pursuing them. Paying the bills and being able to see and buy music was enough for me and my friends. Along comes "PTMM." I "fell in love" with the album on my first listen not only because of the incredibly catchy but rocking music (you gotta listen to understand what I mean), but the whole rebellious, but realistic nonconformist attitude that it proclaimed. Paul and the guys didn't waste time on the "let's take over the world and have a revolution" punk attitude. Rather the album has a more "We don't have to do things your way" rebellion. It changed my attitudes toward a lot of the things people thought were imporatnt back then, but in an entertaining "Let's party" kind of way, rather than heady,boring, folk-singer introspection. The album has its quieter, introspective moments, however. "Skyway" is a beatiful ballad (and served as a great lullaby sung to my son years later when I became a mom). Contrast that, hovever, with the raucousness of "Shooting Dirty Pool" and you have an idea of the scope of this album. The other songs are between these exteremes and are all great, even 11 years later. Sometimes I listen and think "Has it really been 11 years since this album came out?" It sounds that fresh. It made me a Replacements (and subsequent solo career) fan to this day, and enabled me to develop frienships which have lasted through the years with others of "like mind" I suppose. Back then it was the Replacements and where are we going to see bands this weekend. Now it's home-buying, husbands, and figuring out where all the laundry comes from. But "PTMM" still sounds great -- not only because of the great memories, but because the attitudes embodied in the lyrics and the music still hold true, even though the scenery in our lives has changed for the most part."
Tezcatlipoca | Espinho,Portugal | 06/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No band has been more unlucky not to achieve world fame than the Replacements since their rambunctious and catchy rock n'roll seemed positively condemned to success almost from day one.
Somehow they never did manage to play in the major leagues as far as popularity and sales are concerned but they left behind and enormously enjoyable back catalogue rivalled only by the other great american band of the 80's-Husker Du.
But the Replacements typical song wasn't as frenzied and angry as one from the Huskers usually was nor was it weird and inscrutable as one from the Pixies tended to be.
In comparison they were even radio friendly but somewhere along the way their legendary booze fueled stage antics,Kiss covers and general carelessness lead the mainstream audience to disregard them as a serious concern.
Yet in terms of what really counts-the quality of the music-their worth is undeniable being"Pleased to meet me"one of their best albums,possibly falling slightly shortof"Let it Be"and"Tim"but still up there with their best efforts.