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Albums Of The Week: The Replacements | Pleased To Meet Me Deluxe Edition

Punky demos & cool covers add new dimensions to The Mats' pivotal release.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Pleased To Meet Me is the critically acclaimed fifth studio album by the American rock band The Replacements. Released in 1987 by Sire Records, Pleased To Meet Me is the only album recorded by the band as a trio, after original guitarist Bob Stinson acrimoniously left the band.

Following last year’s widely acclaimed Dead Man’s Pop release, Pleased To Meet Me has received a similar ‘deep dive’ treatment with a deluxe boxed set, which will tell the story of the album in ways not previously possible with more than 50% of the content previously unreleased. The set includes a new remaster of the original album by Justin Perkins, who was also behind the boards for Dead Man’s Pop regimaging; a 1986 demo session with Bob Stinson — his last recorded Replacements performance; additional 1986 demos with the band as a trio; a previously unreleased rough mix of the album with alternate track listing; studio outtakes from the recording sessions (Memphis, 1987); rare single mixes.

The making of Pleased To Meet Me was a transformative journey for The Replacements, one that began with the combustible Minneapolis combo on the brink of collapse and culminated in one of the definitive albums of the band’s career. Pleased To Meet Me was recorded over three months at Ardent Studios in Memphis with legendary producer Jim Dickinson before it debuted in June 1987. The collection opens with a newly remastered version of the original 11-track album along with a selection of B-sides and a version of Can’t Hardly Wait that was remixed by Jimmy Iovine.

The second disc explores the creative process behind Pleased To Meet Me with 15 unreleased demos recorded at Blackberry Way Studios in Minneapolis during the summer of 1986. The first seven of these demos represent the last recordings made by all four original members of The Replacements. After those demo sessions stalled out, singer/guitarist Paul Westerberg, bassist Tommy Stinson and drummer Chris Mars made the painful decision to part ways with lead guitarist Bob Stinson after recording five albums together. The disc’s remaining eight demos feature the band as a trio and include Shooting Dirty Pool, two versions of Kick It In, and Even If It’s Cheap, whose opening line (“Pleased to meet me/the pleasure’s all yours”) would ultimately inspire the title of the album.

The collection’s final disc features 13 previously unreleased rough mixes by studio engineer John Hampton that include the majority of the album along with non-album tracks like Election Day and Birthday Gal. Rounding out the collection are several unreleased tracks (Westerberg’s Run For The Country and Learn How To Fail, Stinson’s Trouble On The Way) along with a selection of outtakes (Beer For Breakfast and I Don’t Know) that debuted on the 1997 compilation All For Nothing/Nothing For All.