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Can’t Hardly Wait the ‘Mats most overrated song? Wrong, Magnet

By 22.Feb.0939 Comments

So Magnet has this piece on the ‘Mats most overrated and underrated songs. Can’t Hardly Wait holds 3 of the five spots on the overrated list. WRONG.

Of course I should have known the list would be incredibly wrong when the first line of the piece starts out like this, “Tim is arguably the best Replacements record, so given the quality of its greatest songs. . .” We all know that “Let it Be” is the best ‘Mats album.

I don’t think any version of Can’t Hardly Wait can be rated highly enough. The song is brilliant. If I were gonna place bets on an overrated song, I’d put my money on something like, oh, I don’t know, Answering Machine maybe.

Of course the songs the author chose don’t seem to overrated so much as just duds smooshed between really fucking good songs. Is that what makes them overrated? I don’t think so. Overrated would seem to me unworthy of the acclaim lavished upon the subject (like the Watchmen comic).

So what do you think of the list? Total BS right?


I am the queen of the underground, a bad ungrateful bunny.


  • Kristen says:

    Yep. Total B.S. Even the cheesy horns can’t ruin “Jesus rides beside me, never buys any smokes…”

  • Jake says:

    For the most part yeah…..I love shooting dirty pool I have to say

  • jay says:

    Ive never been a big fan of cant hardly wait. Its good but I think far from their best on that album. I think Nevermind is the best song on PTMM. Great opening lyric. Love Valentine and Red Red Wine more as well. Then IOU. Then Chilton. Then the rest….
    I hate those damn horns. Love the sans horns versions that have surfaced over the years however.
    Thats my lame 2 cents.

  • jay says:

    In other random news- I busted out Robyn Hitchcock’s “Eye”…which I havent heard in over 16 years…holy shit…what a great album from start to finish…it has aged well for me.

  • shelaka says:

    Any list like that is open to vast differences of opinion, but I agree on Can’t Hardly Wait – you can’t keep an incredible song down. I always remember when I first heard it, and my shock at hearing the horns. I got over it pretty quick and thought it was a genius stroke, and that it was one of the best songs most people would never hear…

    And Tim does have some of the greatest songs, but to just say it’s the best is a bit presumptious! I’d give Let It Be the nod as well.

    I do agree about “Nowhere” – can’t believe that one got lost in the mix. That and “You’re Getting (or “Don’t Get – depending on the version – they’re both great) Married” are my favorite lost tracks.

  • Some Guy says:

    I’m ok with their “underrated list” but, like Jodi said, the “overrated” list seems more like a “Songs that, for a variety of reasons, I wish weren’t on this particular album” list. I mean, who’s ever claimed that “I’ll Buy” is one of the best Mats songs?

    This discussion actually reminds me of an idea I had to conduct a poll of everyone’s top 25 Mats and Paul solo songs. Sort of as a follow up to the album tournament of last year.

    And Watchmen overrated? Next you’ll tell me The Sandman is overrated too.

  • Bob says:

    You need to take Reading Comprehension 101. The writer says the PTMM version is the one that is overrated. He also says “Can’t Hardly Wait” is one of his favorite Mats songs. So, to recap, five spots on the overrated list, ONE spot to Can’t Hardly Wait, with a disclaimer!

    And Answering Machine overrated? NFW!

  • Jodi says:

    You’re right Bob, I did kind of fuck that up. Somehow I think I went blind when I saw Can’t Hardly Wait on the list at all. I have to admit I am partial to Merry Go Round since it was the first ‘mats song I ever heard.

    Also, Watchmen BLOWS GOATS. I haven’t read Sandman yet, but it’s on my list.

  • Mr Furley says:

    Agreed that list was not accurately titled, and the writer admits was made to create discussion. That said, agreement with Jodi that any version of CHW is great and interesting how the different versions bring such different moods.

    I think I need a picture of me and jesus sharing a greyhound seat tattoed on my back. We won’t be smoking.

  • Placemat says:

    Just cutting & pasting here from MWT:


    1. I Will Dare – Grown a little tired. & Sometimes it sounds like a song REM wrote.
    2. Waitress… – Basically a re-working that might be a wee bit mean.
    3. CHW… – Some say the album cut with altered lyrics ruined the song. One could argue they’re right.
    4. I’ll Be You – (What “rated” songs are left?) The surfer Joe line bugs the shit outta me, so it makes the list.
    5. There is no five. & It most certainly would not be “I’ll Buy” if there was.


    1. Favorite Thing – Everybody’s always jawing how “IWD” is the hit they never had. This tune is better.
    2. We’re Comin’ Out – After the beautiful train wreck, when those fingers start snapping, & Paul croons “one more night, to get it half right.”- Magic.
    3. I.O.U. – Always a stand out for me, but it seems that some consider it filler. “Lay It Down Clown” this tune is not.
    4. One Wink… – Great pop song, but Merry Go Round hogs all the attention.
    5. All Shook Down – Always used to skip this track. Mistake. Some of Paul’s best lines. Listening to this tune will give you the B&W blues, in color for sure.

    Honorable mention might go to “Nevermind”. A song that sometimes seems forgotten.

    & Sorry, but both Answering Machine & Watchmen deserve the praise. To suggest otherwise is blasphemous.

  • jay says:

    Favorite thing might be my favorite mats song of all time.
    This month.

  • Jodi says:

    Dear Placemat,

    you are officially being shunned until further notice.


  • Doug says:

    You need to have read Watchmen back in the ’80s. And have a penis. Then you would worship it as those of us who meet those criteria do.

    Now, on the subject at hand: Isn’t the reason we like the ‘Mats the fact that their entire catalog is underrated?

    But I will admit: None of the songs on his overrated list would make my ‘Mats faves mix.

  • Kent says:

    Tommy speaks out (and against) reunion plans:

  • jaytaco says:

    Tommy is just saying that cu z he has the dumb ass G-n-R tours coming up. I think it’s funny that he brings up “is money the reason we’d reunite?” Please. You are the scab BASS PLAYER IN THE BIGGEST JOKE of a band ever. The irony of his last comments at the final show the Mats ever had- calling out Axl Rose and making fun of him on stage- and now that’s his boss and paycheck. Sad. So, so very sad.

  • Marcus hooks says:

    All of the ‘Mats albums are good…in my opinion, there is no “best.”
    Can’t Hardly Wait is a great song, horns or not.
    It might not be as good as half the songs on any other album, but there is always songs people DO NOT like.

  • CHW is in my top favorite 5 songs, by the Mats or anyone else. I’ve been listening to the outtake version from the Expanded Edition of Tim all day, appreciating every word, note and nuance that differs from my favorite version from All For Nothing. And the SNL performance is my favorite live version. I could never narrow it down to a Top 5 Mats’ songs, there are simply too many to list and they all tie for second place. As far as “underrated,” I believe that the band itself and Paul’s amazing talent is underrated.

  • Jake says:

    I second that motion and I conker

  • Jake, glad you agree… and do you conquer or concur? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    One sounds a bit more intimidating, the other, just agreeable. lol

  • Jake says:

    Haha yeah I wasn’t blessed with the gift of spelling correctly. CONCUR… happy spelling police? Just kidding…..

  • Jake, it’s a bad habit of mine, I’ll try to keep that to myself.
    Thanks for having a sense of humor about it. That’s a gift in itself ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jake says:

    Haha yeah. It reminds me of ted on how i met your mother…always correcting everyone…come on people do you get the reference?

  • This is probly funnier than you think… I’m probly old enough to be your mother. Seriously.
    I’m not familiar with How I Met Your Mother so it’s probly funnier than I think too. :-S

  • Jake says:

    Thats a record response time…….Maybe you are old enough or maybe I’m older than you think…I’ll have to remain a mystery.

  • LOL, you caught me just as my morning caffeine was kicking in.
    I think we’re supposed to be talking about the Mats here…
    Not to be giving up my age, but I never even heard of them until 2000 (to prove just how underrated they are/were!) and I hate that I spent the entire 80’s listening to mediocre music when I could have been following them. So now I’ve spent the last 8+ years collecting all their music. And loving every minute of it.

  • Jake says:

    I hear ya. I really got into them in 2006 and Made it my mission to get every vinyl they had and besides a few singles my mission is accomplished. I love the mats because whatever mood your in you can find a song that hits the spot. Anyone with me?

  • Ted says:

    I think “Answering Machine” is amazing… even though the technology is right there.

    To steal an idea from Chuck Klosterman, here are the five most accurately-rated Mats songs:

    1. Can’t Hardly Wait: It’s generally accepted that while the song is genius, and both versions are great, the unreleased Tim version is slightly better. No one really disputes this, and it’s certainly a true statement, so it’s accurately rated

    2. We’ll inherit the Earth: For the most part, people think that this song blows. Noone really disagrees on this. Accurately-rated.

    3. Bastards of Young: People generally love this song. There’s no asshole at the party trying to drunkenly convince you this tune sucks. We all love it and live by it. Accurately rated.

    4. Kick your Door Down: People are generally split down the middle on this, and for good reason: it’s not great, and it doesn’t suck either. So pretty much it’s controversy is well deserved and accurately represented.

    5. Fuck School: No one is gonna put this on the top of their list, and it’s pretty obvious that Paul probably wrote it in all of five minutes, yet at the same time, I defy you to find one Mats fan who could live without it. So put it in the “Essential but overshadowed” column and call that sucker accurately rated.

  • Jake says:

    Damn Ted Mosby you make a convincing argument.

  • Mr Furley says:

    Uh, I sort of like Inherit the Earth, especially the whispered “Don’t Tell a Soul”. Punk sentiment in a glossy pop song.

    Extra credit for being featured in Saved.

  • Jonathon Hackett says:

    I had no idea that people hated the horns on “Can’t Hardly Wait” so much. I really like them. I haven’t heard this other secret version though so maybe I’ll change my mind after some snooping around on the net.
    Not going to attempt my own list, I’ll just disagree with the posted one. I really dig “Shooting Dirty Pool” and “Red, Red Wine”. They sound meaner than a lot of the stuff on Pleased to Meet Me and they fit really well where they’re placed on the album.
    I have to agree that Let It Be is their best record. I think it hits consistently with every song, sums up what the band and Paul’s songwriting are about, and is the first record most people encounter with the ‘Mats. It’s definitely the album that I suggest people check out to get a start.

  • jay says:

    I also like inherit the earth…i think that album would be fantastic if released in the original version that has yet to leak out into the world.

  • Frank says:

    I thought “Can’t Hardly Wait” was the Mat’s version of a pop song at the time. Every album had been an evolution in clarity of sound, lyrical intent, cohesion, etc.

    You have to remember that these guys were all self-taught. For every Talking Heads-esque group of arts school college seniors, there were hundreds of high school bands with no formal training. The Replacements would be the poster child for those souls and wear that on their sleeves.

    The mid-eighties was the birth for a lot of college radio icons from self taught punk to polished pop songs that just would never break to the am dial. R.E.M.’s third album featured different syncopations and song structures then previous albums, and yes horns on “Can’t Get There From Here”. U2 turned away from their BOY and WAR template with AM UNFORGETTABLE FIRE with Brian Eno that featured strings and synthesizers. I chalked up PLEASE TO MEET ME as a similar progression, best exemplified by CWH. It is not my favorite song on the album, Valentine is, but a much better breakthrough song then “I’ll Be You”.

    Seeing as how most Mat’s fans would fight you for any disparaging word against this secret pleasure who could not even be played on MTV like the other big bands of the era, I would like to know how ANY song is over-rated and by whom?

  • RJ says:

    Paul wanted to record in Memphis… with Jim Dickinson producing… in the same studio that Big Star used… even writing a song about Memphis icon Alex Chilton. I don’t see how the Memphis-style horns on “Can’t Hardly Wait” are a surprise at all; the horns take nothing away from the song but rather elevate it to Desert Island status.

    “Can’t Hardly Wait” – the Pleased to Meet Me version, WITH those glorious Memphis horns – is not just my favorite Replacements song but probably my favorite song of all time by anyone.

  • Yes on the horns in CHW and I love Inherit the Earth too. I guess I love the ‘Mats like I love life itself and there isn’t much they could do wrong as far as I’m concerned. Although I’ve only listened to part of Trumpet Clip once… I think I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to accept not liking it.

  • Los 'Mats says:

    That the article’s author actually suggests “Let It Be” is the greatest album and then claims “Answering Machine” is overrated completely should discredit him/her from ever EVER writing anything again, especially something relating to the ‘Mats.

    She/He obviously has never attempted playing this song on the guitar (arguably the most difficult ‘Mats song on their catalog), and has not actually analyzed the brilliance of the lyrics. And among with “Sixteen Blue” and “Unsatisfied”, it is part of the holy trinity of what makes “LIB” such an impossibly great album.

  • richard says:

    Los Mats, Mostly agree with your post. I would just add “I will dare”, “favorite thing” and “androgynous” to the list (also love “black diamond” but since it’s not a Mats original, I’ll leave it out of the discussion). Not sure what you call a list of six songs. Not a trinity but maybe a “dos” trinity?

  • Bob says:

    The author of the article DOES NOT say Answering Machine is overrated. Learn how to read.

  • FreeRider says:

    I’ve always liked CHW for its poignancy regardless of the horns. Sometimes the strings and horns are bothersome but the song itself moves me past that. .

    There’s a kind of loneliness that seeps thru the song. Life on the road, trying to stay in touch with someone, living out of a suitcase, hotel rooms, being weary. And all you wanna do is just get home.

    Great song.

  • jay says:

    “Thereโ€™s a kind of loneliness that seeps thru the song. Life on the road, trying to stay in touch with someone, living out of a suitcase, hotel rooms, being weary. And all you wanna do is just get home.”