I just thought you might be interested to know that there's a complete discography review (that's 'disc' -- I couldn't track down a copy of Shit Hits The Fans on tape, but it does include the extras on the reissues) up now on Ground Control. It's fairly comprehensive, from Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash to Don't You Know Who I Think I Was? and everything in between. You can check it out here: groundcontrolmag.com/detail/3/1320
Thanks pm. I have heard similar sentiments from a couple of friends of mine that do really like PTMM. I do know my problem with it though: it's the horn parts on the album, not the songs. The outtakes, demos and alternate versions of the songs that I've heard without the horns are fantastic and let the songs really shine, but I've always felt that the horns distract from that on PTMM. Truth be told, there are only a couple of Westerberg/Replacements with horns in them that I've ever liked; I dug "Trumpet Clip" and "Portland," but I've always thought that both The 'Mats and Westerberg solo tend to be at their best when there isn't a bunch of extra instrumentation crowding the mixes.
we'll i don't know if it's the horns that detract for me on PTMM. i think it's the production. I know lots of fans think PTMM is the best produced, but honestly i prefer the production on Tim and even Don't Tell A Soul. I LOVE big star's third though, so I don't want to come down to hard on that producer.
anyway, once again nice job on the article. matches up with my "gut" feelings on records and, apparently, my "guy" feelings too : )
I've gone on record before as saying that PTMM was overdone. Big Star or no, if I ever meet this producer, I'm going to punch him in the eye for the strings on 'CHW.' And letting your 15-year-old kid make Steve Vai noises on a Mats record? Both eyes are gonna be black. What's up with hating on 'The Ledge?' It's one of my favorite songs from PTMM. Save your bile for the next album and 'Telling Me Lies...' oh, wait; you did. Not a big fan of 'I Won't' either. DTAS is even more overproduced; still, warts and all, we true fans love it. Overall, I liked and mostly agreed with your reviews. Keep up the good work, and remember that even one more person listening to Mats/PW is a victory for us all.
I tend to agree. I mean yes, Big Star did some good stuff, yes, The Replacements were great -- but how does one crutch on Pleased To Meet Me as being a good album because it happened to have a little in common with a Big Star record so it must be good. I also agree that Don't Tell A Soul was a good-ish record, and in fact I liked it better than PTMM. Conversely I like All Shook Down the best post-Tim but that's neither here nor there -- I suppose it's true what they say, you know you're a fan when you can point to a song by a band and openly, freely say you dislike it but still love the band. "The Ledge" is that kind of song for me; I don't know why, but it sounds like something that could easily play in an Eighties Hollywood movie "rough-neck bar" scene (like FEDS or something maybe) or the scene in a similar movie where the protagonist falls from grace (like a character's really self-destructive scene in a John Hughes movie -- if there ever was one). It just never fit with any of the themes I've always loved in The Replacements' music.
I'm with you on ASD. Incidentally, so is Elvis Costello. He calls it one of his favorite records of all time. ASD got (and still gets) a lot of flak because it's really a PW record. Viewed in the context of the prequel to '14 Songs' and as the herald of a brilliant writing career to come, the flak is unjustified. The Mats never were the same band post-Bob. I realize, if thy right eye offend thee it is better to pluck it out than to burn, but why expect the same chemistry from a different mix of people? ASD left behind the half-hearted effort that the band had become, and the songs are strong enough to still be relevant. Who hasn't spent a year or two in Happy Town?