The Replacements

Kiss Me on the Bus

Composed by Paul Westerberg

Song Review by

A romantic love song, "Kiss Me on the Bus" offers an urgent plea from the smitten narrator for his crush to loosen up and join him in a spontaneous and public show of affection: "Your tongue, your transfer/Your hand, your answer/On the bus/Watch our reflection/On the bus/I can't stand no rejection...ooh if you knew how I felt now/You wouldn't act so adult now/Hurry, hurry, here comes my stop." With handclaps, sleigh bells, and a Chuck Berry-like guitar solo, the song -- from the college-radio classic Tim (1985) -- is an effervescent piece of pop from a band at the top of their game; the performances seem effortless and ebullient. The demo version of the song, as heard on bootlegs, was a fairly pedestrian, careening pop-punk arrangement. The original arrangement is worth seeking out for hardcore Replacements fans interested in the germination of the song. The more nuanced album version, however, is a far more rewarding offering. A rockabilly pop song in the style of Nick Lowe, the band is clearly confident in Paul Westerberg's songwriting and, with the prior LP, Let It Be (1984), had already begun to outgrow their uni-dimensional garage band sound. This assured perspective allows the band to balance their raw and unstudied tendencies with closer attention to crafting arrangements and increasingly higher production values. The Tim version of "Kiss Me on the Bus" is a swinging, acoustic/electric hybrid, with alternately muted and ringing guitar and bass parts and a more musical Chris Mars drum part than the demo. The layered textures allow for Westerberg's emotionally expressive vocals to shine through. The song is an example of the band at their peak; for many fans, the band lost a bit too much of their rowdy spirit on their next album, Pleased to Meet Me. While that 1987 album featured some of Westerberg's best songs, it suffered from antiseptic production and performances.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Tim 1985
Sire 2:48
All for Nothing/Nothing for All 1997 Reprise / Sire 2:53
Don't You Know Who I Think I Was?: The Best of the Replacements 2006 Rhino 2:54
The Complete Studio Albums: 1981-1990 2015 Rhino 2:53