In case you missed it, I wrote about the rad new reissue of the Replacements’ Pleased To Meet Me over at Pitchfork, a punk record infused with producer Jim Dickinson’s country and R&B pedigree. To paraphrase the great Tom T. Hall: that’s how they got to Memphis. Check it out if this sounds like your glass of red red wine.
Dickinson turned out to be a perfect choice as a producer—unmoved by their antics, perceptive of their strengths, and imbued with vision and patience. Having helmed the hectic sessions for Big Star’s Third and played tack piano on the Stones’ “Wild Horses,” he knew a thing or two about wringing the best out of self-destructive geniuses. After an episode in which Westerberg’s vomit supposedly hit the wall, Dickinson kept the tapes rolling. There was no fresh hell that they could show him, although they certainly tried. The net result of his stewardship is a best-practices onslaught of hooks and aphorisms which arrived in time to inspire Nirvana and Green Day but too soon to capitalize on the mainstream’s growing appetite for aggressive, melodic rock.