This week contains a double shot of Can’t Hardly Wait. They are taken from the recording sessions for Pleased To Meet Me in Memphis produced by Jim Dickinson, producer of Big Star’s Third/Sister Lovers. The lyrics have changed, references to climbing a water tower, and the possiblity of jumping off (I can’t hardly wait…..’til it’s over) are gone replaced with the more hopefully anxious writing of a letter.
The first one here is the base track consisting of Paul Westerberg’s guitar and vocal, Tommy Stinson’s bass, Chris Mars’ drums, and Memphis Slim’s keyboard.
This second mix (released as a 7 inch single with Chris Mars’ Cool Water on the flipside) pulls out all the stops as Dickinson adds various guest stars. The Memphis Horns punctuate each line, Alex Chilton adds a shimmering rhythm guitar soaring over the mix, Dickinson’s teenage son, Luther (later of the North Mississippi All-Stars) adds electric guitar fills. The keyboards from the base track are either removed or buried under this wall of sound. Overall, a very Big Star-ish treatment. Many of these elements are pulled back on the album mix, leaving Westerberg’s guitar and the horns prominent.