Music to Quarantine by — vol. 1 (wk. of 3.16)
While you’re self-distancing and doing the shelter in place thing, and your eyes are tired from binge-watching, here are four solid albums.
While you’re self-distancing and doing the shelter in place thing, and your eyes are tired from binge-watching, here are four solid albums from the days when albums were meant to be listened to.
Pleased to Meet Me
The picture on the front just about sums up the nature of The Replacements career.
After the ouster of Bob Stinson, the three remaining members, Paul Westerberg, Chris Mars, and Tommy Stinson got together at famous Ardent Studios in Memphis with legendary producer Jim Dickinson.
Recording as only three-piece, PTMM is the best sounding and most coherent of The Replacements abilities.
Where Tim was an introduction to the world of major labels (and just an awful sounding record with great songs) and the world’s introduction to The Replacements and Don’t Tell A Soul was an overproduced attempt at commercial success and ultimately redeemed with Dead Man’s Pop —
Please to Meet Me highlights the best of what the band was and captured the way they deserved to sound.
It’s got ballads to barn burners and while legend has it the recording was chock-full of drinking, drugs, and other Replacement-esque shenanigans it’s not evident anywhere on the album.
Like almost any album in The Replacements cannon, this one has its critics and fans. I think the only one every fan agrees on is Let It Be.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a safe entryway into the band that is arguably one of the most influential bands in rock and roll (and certainly one of the best), you can do no better than Pleased to Meet Me.
The 90s was an extraordinary period in music. The number of good albums and artists was almost impossible to keep up with. And listening to some legacy artists discover new voices was just as exciting as finding new ones.
Annie Lennox is one of the best singers in music and Medusa adds a layer to her artistry that, in 1995, had yet to be discovered.
Don’t misinterpret Medusa as simply a “covers” album because it’s much more.
These are re-interpretations of male songs through the voice of a woman. In so doing, it adds a new perspective to the songs themselves. Which is not to discount the musicianship because that’s just as important as Lennox’s voice.
The Clash’s “Train in Vain” is a particular highlight for me, as is Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain”. Somehow Lennox and co. even breathed life into the stale “Whiter Shade of Pale.”
Upon release, it was called “uneven” and back then I probably would’ve agreed. But I had a friend that would play Medusa incessantly at work and after a few times, I realized that the album was flat out brilliant. Sure, you’ve have heard the amazing “No More I Love Yous” but thankfully that is the first song and while it’s an amazing cover, the real gems are what follow.
Don’t be dumb and dismiss this as a covers album because it is anything but that.