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The Replacements - Pleased to Meet Me (Cover Artwork)

The Replacements

The Replacements: Pleased to Meet MePleased to Meet Me (1987)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: chrisarenachrisarena
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The story of the Replacements is a modern American legend. A group of misfit Midwest kids that had been told would never amount to much of anything form a deep and committed underground following, release a number of influential punk-Americana records and become the showcase for one of the most prol.
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The story of the Replacements is a modern American legend. A group of misfit Midwest kids that had been told would never amount to much of anything form a deep and committed underground following, release a number of influential punk-Americana records and become the showcase for one of the most prolific songwriters of a generation. The Replacements were the band that offered a voice for the everyday, pushed aside worker; they were the voice of frantic desperation during a time when individuality and tradition were replaced with conformity and the homogenization of American culture.

It's often said that culture operates in cycles as politics, music and fashion find ways of coming back in some new form. So is it a surprise that today there is so many bands that carry (or attempt to carry) the torch of the Replacements? From the Hold Steady to Against Me! to the Gaslight Anthem, the Replacements are only now receiving the attention and credit they deserve, 20 years after their heyday. With the recent reissues of the first four releases by the Mats, the buzz for the Replacements has been as strong as ever. But there are certain omissions when the story of the Replacements is told. The emphasis is always placed on their independent releases, which culminated with their magnum opus, Let It Be, followed by their masterpiece and major label debut, Tim. Pleased to Meet Me somehow gets left out the conversation.

Recently, I was rummaging through a local used record store and came across a copy of Pleased to Meet Me. "How could this be?" I thought to myself. What person would let any album by the Replacements go to waste in the rack of some used record store? I snatched up the record without a second thought and headed straight to the counter. In my mind, it seemed that I had come across a secret treasure that could be snatched from me at any moment. I paid the clerk, got in my car and returned home as fast I could. I immediately went to my turntable, took the record out of its sleeve and placed it on the player. I lifted the needle, as the whir of the belt clicked into gear and the platter began to spin.

As the opening track, "I.O.U." kicked in, I knew that this listening experience was going to be different from all the other times that I'd listened to the Replacements. The quality of the vinyl brought the band to life and gave the songs an organic energy that no CD or MP3 has ever been able to capture. That first listening (on vinyl) was incredible. I sat on the edge of my bed staring at the record as it spun around, the needle gently bumping up and down over the grooves of the record. This was how the Replacements should be listened to, with full attention absorbing every sound that comes out of the speakers.

Pleased to Meet Me is different from other Replacements records. The urgency and desperation, while still at the core of the group, is subdued. It's not as raucous as their earlier records and not as mellow and Tom Petty-ish as Don't Tell a Soul and All Shook Down. Instead, Pleased to Meet Me is the Replacements' most ambitious record; they shift from standard punk-injected rock tunes to soul cocktail jazz and acoustic anthems. The first Replacements album to be recorded outside of Minneapolis, Westerberg, Tommy Stinson and Chris Mars retreated to Memphis following the departure of original guitarist Bob Stinson. The only album to feature the Mats as a trio, the influence of the city of Memphis is deeply felt on the record. Aided by the help of famed local musicians Alex Chilton (after whom the second track on the album is named after) and Jim Dickinson, the Replacements included saxophone and horn parts on a number of songs on the album, most notably "I Don't Know," "Nightclub Jitters" and the finale "Can't Hardly Wait."

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. Instead, Westerberg and company grew up on this record. They still have the same desperation that bound them together, except here it's not the desperation of youth but the desperation of growing up, of finding your ground somewhere. This push and pull between staying true to their working class ways while still pursuing a successful career is felt on every song. This album embodies the crossroads that the band was at both personally and musically. Which direction to go? What path to take? In the end the answers don't matter; instead, as the Replacements proved, it's how you pave your path along the way.

 

 
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The Replacements - Let It BeThe Replacements - TimThe Replacements - Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the TrashThe Replacements - StinkThe Clash - London CallingFucked Up - David Comes to LifeDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeJawbreaker - Dear YouMinutemen - Paranoid TimeHot Water Music - No Division

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
bobby72 (September 20, 2013)

Perfect Album!

spoon_of_grimbo (April 27, 2009)

oh, and score ^

spoon_of_grimbo (April 27, 2009)

gritty, your comment makes me want to hunt you down and beat you mercilessly. you might not like the band, but there's no way they're overrated.

gritty (May 16, 2008)

One of the most overrated/hyped bands. They got too much credit. Very weak band.

PoopDudDad (May 16, 2008)

The review says something like, "only now are the Replacements getting the credit they deserve."

WTF?

As an old man I can tell you that the Replacements were VERY popular in their day.

This "Shouldd-wouldda-couldda," "beautiful losers" myth that surrounds the band is bunk. They rode around the country in buses, snorting coke all day and night and appearing on Saturday Night Live.

Yes, they were a fine band.

They were NOT, however, "the best band ever" or a band that was ignored in their day. they were college radio favorites and made a small pile of money in the process.

I don't think anoyne in that band has held down a real job since their breakup. (I'm not saying they should. Being a "ex member of" is nice work if you can get it. Congrats to 'em.)

SloaneDaley (May 14, 2008)

my favourite Replacements album, as for Squirrel Bait I reviewed their S/T about a year ago. You can find it in the review section love this kind of music. Bands of a similar spirit others might want to check out besides Squirrel Bait are the Asexuals out of Montreal and Moving Targets out of Boston.

rinjonjori (May 14, 2008)

"I was rummaging through a local used record store and came across a copy of Pleased to Meet Me. “How could this be?” I thought to myself. What person would let any album by the Replacements go to waste in the rack of some used record store?"

Apparently you were fine with the letting the full priced copies sit in record stores and warehouese. The used copies sit online:
http://www.google.com/products?q=the replacements pleased to meet me&btnG=Search Products

Just kidding... I really love this album. My favorite REplacements album. I believe someone wrote a review of Let It be about a monht back. I love that this site will help reintroduce the classics back into the fold. Now where is that Squirrel Bait review.

Ollywood (May 14, 2008)

"i thought the Replacements bio in "Our Band..." kind of sucked towards the end. the "Tim" coverage is kind of lackluster and after that there's only about a page."

Sounds like the book matches the span of their career

I've been wanting to read the book for a while now.

Dante3000 (May 14, 2008)

they're called the 'mats, becasue early critics derogatorily referred to them as the placemats, which the band and the fans took back and turned into an endearment.

Like a punk rock Jugallo.

Anyhow, that makes sense I guess. Though I'd just as soon type out the whole name. Thanks
-Dante

DrGunn (May 14, 2008)

i love this album. it's not as good as let it be or tim, but it's fucking close, and alex chilton is easily my favorite 'mats song. bob stinson isn't on the record, but he was still in the band when they wrote these songs, so i think his stamp is still there. the last great 'mats album.

they're called the 'mats, becasue early critics derogatorily referred to them as the placemats, which the band and the fans took back and turned into an endearment.

Dante3000 (May 14, 2008)

Oh man, I love the mats. Who doesn't love the mats? The Mats are gold!
Seriously, M, A, T and S aren't even in order in the bands name. How hard is it to type "Replacements"? Next up, I cant wait for the new album, "The '59 sound" from GALS. Fuck, acronyms and nicknames are becoming retardedly common in punk.

Anyhow, I don't think the writer was comparing Against Me! or Gaslight Anthem to The Replacements. He was saying they're modern bands who pay tribute to them (I believe they all cover Replacements songs either recorded or live).
-Dante

theonetruebill (May 14, 2008)

One foot in the door/The other one in the gutter

That's definitely in the running for the ultimate Paul Westerberg lyric of all time.

lostandclowned (May 14, 2008)

i believe it's short for "Replace mats" maybe they make it "replacemats." not too sure.

spoon_of_grimbo (May 14, 2008)

this, and their other major label releases are getting re-released this summer apparently, so i'm gonna hold off getting this til then. really got into these guys recently though, thanks to my uncle's awesome 80s punk/rock/alt. record collection that i've plundered for new stuff!

i don't understand why they're known as "the 'mats" though...?

King_Rodney (May 14, 2008)

Well, it's the Mats...

osloboditelj (May 14, 2008)

The last flawless 'Mats album. Everything up to and including this is absolute gold.

lostandclowned (May 13, 2008)

he covers "Candy Apple Grey" and "Warehouse: Songs and Stories" fairly well, though.

scientistrock (May 13, 2008)

Well, Azzerad was pretty clear that he was only covering the indie years. Also, the butthole surfers section makes it worth it.

lostandclowned (May 13, 2008)

i thought the Replacements bio in "Our Band..." kind of sucked towards the end. the "Tim" coverage is kind of lackluster and after that there's only about a page.

billnye (May 13, 2008)

why do you compare the mats do shitty bands?
hold steady's aight, but the rest = lol no way jose

scientistrock (May 13, 2008)

When an album this strong is one of a band's weakest, that band is awesome. Everyone should read Our Band Could Be Your Life.

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