College Countdown: KROQ-FM’s Top 40 Songs of 1987, 30 and 29

30. “Alex Chilton” by the Replacements
I rarely pass up an opportunity to expound on my immense appreciation for Pleased to Meet Me, the fifth full-length album from the Replacements and their second for major label Sire Records. The first, Tim from two years earlier, had a false start that must have especially pained the band’s frontman, Paul Westerberg. The glum genius songwriter felt a clear, special kinship with Alex Chilton, whose own self-defeating legend was assured by his time as one of the key creative forces behind the early nineteen-seventies rock ‘n’ roll cult heroes Big Star. Chilton was brought in to produce the record, but the label decided fairly quickly that they’d prefer to have a different person in guiding the already notoriously messy band new to their roster. They dismissed Chilton and brought in Thomas Erdelyi, who was better known by his performing name of Tommy Ramone. It probably wasn’t a coinicidence that the Ramones were already a longtime mainstay of Sire Records at that point. The resulting album was top notch, but there had to be some lingering disgruntlement over the jettisoning of a performer who was iconic for Westerberg and his cohorts. As if to prove that he wasn’t exactly thrilled by the jettisoning of his mentor, by the next album Westerberg had a jubilant, hooky tribute ready for Chilton, whose enduring honored status with the band was further evidenced by him being invited to play guitar on album standout “Cant Hardly Wait.”

29. “We Care a Lot” by Faith No More
The guys in Faith No More clearly thought (or knew) they had a good song with “We Care a Lot.” It kicked off their debut full-length and even gave that album its title. The follow-up to We Care a Lot had greater support and distribution that its predecessor, which led in part to it having the title Introduce Yourself and generally being treated by all involved, including the band, as their true debut. (By their next album Faith No More would have a brand new, highly distinctive lead singer, which sort of made that feel like another new beginning.) That was surely rationalization enough for them to give “We Care a Lot” another spin, recording it for Introduce Yourself and releasing it as a single. It was clearly a sound idea, earning Faith No More some respectable radio play. It was a warning shot for the unlikely, massive hit that was still a couple years away.

An Introduction
40 and 39: “4th of July” and “Bizarre Love Triangle”
38 and 37: “Heartbreak Beat” and “Not My Slave”
36 and 35: “Alone Again Or” and “Absolute Perfection”
34 and 33: “Love Removal Machine” and “The Passenger”
32 and 31: “It’s Still Warm” and “Hourglass”

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