on 8 May 2010
It's no exaggeration to say this is one of the most important rock albums of all time. The Replacements had already shown on previous records that they were capable of something extraordinary, but with "Let It Be" they produced an album which set a template for all alternative American rock. The great thing about "Let It Be" is that it all just sounds so effortless. From the opening track "I Will Dare" right through to the final astonishing "Answering Machine", these are eleven songs which capture the spirit and power of rock and roll played with such a nonchalant grace that it leaves you breathless. I could go on about the way it influenced all of your favourite guitar bands.. or the incredible lyrics.. or the bands amazing humour and diversity, but I really shouldn't need to. This is a fantastic album from a band on top form, you MUST have this album. Five stars.
on 5 November 2009
No one else has reviewed this yet, so I must. This is one of the best rock records you will ever come across. If you love rock and roll at its most essential and expressive then buy this cd. The band plays loose and powerful and Paul Westerberg is in my opinion a top songwriter in general and perhaps the best from his time and genre of college/independent rock - a good combination of powerful hard rock and a raw emotion. It may take a few listens, but you will find it full of treasures and something to come back to again and again. I remember the first time hearing 'Unsatisfied' in the mid-80s and it was breathtaking. It still makes my hair stand on end.
on 24 June 2001
The Replacements for the previous years had tinkered away making good albums with some stand out tracks. Then like many of their contemparies (Husker Du - Zen Arcade, Minutemen - Double Nickels, Meat Puppets - Meat Puppets II) 1984 was to be the year it all clicked together. Make no mistake, this is a defining moment in American Punk.
From the upbeat 'I Will Dare' through to the closing 'Answering Machine' they never bettered this.
There problem was that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time and so success eluded them, but this was a blessing as they were one of the coolest underground bands around. Fronted by one of America's greatest songwriters Paul Westerberg and backed up by the Stinson brothers and Chris Mars this album was the first in the Holy Trinity which included 'Tim' and 'Pleased To Meet Me'. Songs of despair, growing up, sexuality and love-lost all in 30 minutes of music.
Argueably two of their finest songs were on this album in 'Answering Machine' and 'Unsatisfied', but as with all great albums there were no fillers.
The vinyl album was murder to find in the UK, but thankfully all of their records are easily available on CD now. But as I said this is the pick of the bunch and in my opinion among the best three records of the last 20 years. It's ironic now how many bands name-check them, but if only that had been transferred to sales then and given the band the success they deserved.
I had the great fortune to see them playing many of these songs live, but now almost twenty years later they sound just as fresh which is undoubtatly the sign of a great album.
Anyway, I've given you my opinion, so if want to own one of the real classics, this is the one!
This 1984 album by Paul Westerberg’s Minnesotan quartet is, for me, the finest thing the man (or band) ever did. Let It Be’s mix of the band’s earlier punky sound and the increasing maturity (and, admittedly, mellowing) of (in particular) Westerberg’s song-writing adds up to a collection of sublimely dynamic and melodic moments, but still retaining an intoxicating sense of spontaneity in the band’s sound. Indeed, it is Steve Fjelstad’s 'raw’ production on this album (plus Westerberg’s passionate vocals) that is one of the main reasons why I prefer Let It Be to the more polished production sound of its follow-up, 1985’s Tim (perhaps surprising given that Tim was produced by the Ramones drummer, Tommy Erdelyi).
The development of Westerberg’s song-writing into more commercial territory is probably best illustrated by the infectious album opener I Will Dare, whose jaunty rhythm contrasts with the man’s disaffected lyrics (a trait which runs through much of the album) – and which features Peter Buck’s guitar solo. As if to remind us of the band’s heritage however, we’re back into more 'straight (and exuberant) alternative rock’ territory with what follows – Favourite Thing, We’re Comin’ Out (a particular favourite of mine), (the humorous) Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out and (later), the admittedly rudimentary, Gary’s Got A Boner. Slightly 'straighter’ (and, certainly, timeless) rock is more in evidence on Westerberg’s tales of 'frustration with all things modern (in 1984)’, Seen Your Video and Answering Machine, plus the stunning cover of Kiss’ Black Diamond (three songs on which Westerberg and Bob Stinson’s guitars are truly magnificent). And then to cap it all, three of the most outstanding (and uniquely 'Westerbergian’) ballads you will hear anywhere, each an honest and affecting tale of 'youth angst’ to compare with any by, say, Dylan, Springsteen or Morrissey – Androgynous, Unsatisfied and Sixteen Blue.
And, as if that was not enough, the 2008 remastered CD also has that rarity – bonus tracks actually worth having! Namely, the previous b-side release cover of T-Rex’s 20th Century Boy (which almost achieves the impossible – standing up quite respectably against Bolan’s original), another catchy Westerberg original, Perfectly Lethal, two other outstanding (and inventive) covers – The DeFranco Family’s Heartbeat – It’s A Lovebeat and The Grass Roots’ Temptation Eyes, plus a 'solo home demo’ version of Answering Machine and an alternative vocal version of Sixteen Blue. All-in-all, it’s an essential album for the collection.
on 16 August 2010
This record - bloody brilliant beyond words. BUT, for the attention of both people unfamiliar with the Replacements and the Amazon team - you do know that the artwork displayed is that of "Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash", and NOT "Let It Be", right?
on 21 August 2008
I have to confess, i only got into THE REPLACEMENTS through THE GOO GOO DOLLS. I heard GGDs were very much influenced by this minnesota quartet from the late 70s and 80s and after doing myself a little research on them, found LET IT BE at a fairly reasonable price, bought it, took it home and played it. At first, i have to say, i wasn't very impressed but i stuck with it and after a few more listens, i was in no doubt at all that this was a tuly great album. One of the things i like about it is the fact that the songs are so varied. Album opener I WILL DARE is an up-tempo almost indie rocker, then you have tracks like WE'RE COMIN OUT and TOMMY GETS HID TONSILS out which are largely fast angry punk driven tracks. It then goes into the hard rock guise of the KISS cover BLACK DIAMOND and then to the melancholy ANDRODYNOUS and the masterpiece which is UNSATISFIED. While PAUL WESTERBERG possibly isn't the most diverse singer, he does a good job of all the tracks on the album. Also the more times you listen to it, you can tell where more of todays bands got their inspiration from. Theres elements not only of GGDs but also, GREEN DAY, WEEZER, PAVEMENT and to a certain degree even NIRVANA. The lyrics are hardly original, most to do with the pressures of growing up and teenage angst driven but that takes away none of the shine. Album closer ANSWERING MACHINE is quite possibly the best closer ever with WESTERBERG condemning our reliance on machinery to take care of our problems. I am converted. Go and buy this album and hear where your favourite bands first started.
on 13 November 2003
The Replacements were arguably the best American rock band of the 1980s. Along with REM, Husker Du and Fugazi, they made vital underground rock music which helped shape the fabric of today's rock music while the wider musical population bought up Madonna and Duran Duran by the bucketload.
After three fabulous albums of Brat-punk brilliance, they unleashed Let It Be in 1984 and it broke them in to the wider consciousness, seeing them sign to Warners to following year.
Previous to this, we had only really seen Westerberg open up on few occasions, most notably the lovely 'Within Your Reach' from the underrated Hootenanny! But it was on this record that he finally began to embrace the greatness that was so obviously inside him but was bogged down by bad weed and great beer.
Opening with the fabulous 1-2 punch of 'I Will Dare' and 'Favourite Thing', both of which sound like a rough edged REM, there are still moments of weakness like the near parodic cover of Kiss' 'Black Diamond' where they simply were better than the band they end up imitating.
But these weakpoints in the roundedness of Westerberg's still developing songwriting are counteracted by the magnificence of the other songs. 'Sixteen Blue', his homage to cult 70s guitar pop geniuses Big Star is a touching teen anthem, 'Answering Machine' is a devastating break up paean and the lovely, vaudeville by way of U.S hardcore of 'Androgynous' is touching and wonderfully constructed. The real masterwork though is the awesome 'Unsatisfied', a bitter love song turned anti-Reagan protest song which cuts deep on every level.
They made albums that were as good as this again, but never bettered it. A masterwork of American guitar music.
on 12 August 2012
One of the greatest records of the 80's if only for the acerbic, raging, 'We're Coming Out'. 'Unsatisfied' is incredible too, 'Answering Machine' is angsty perfection, everything else is just as amazing.
I put this up there in the same bracket as 'Never Mind the B*****ks', 'Nevermind', 'Raw Power' and 'Doolittle'. Just incredible guitar rock that never takes itself too seriously.
'Androgynous'... what a song...
on 23 May 2007
I was into the pixies and dino jr, sugar for years and kept on hearing about this band - the replacements - the drunken, shambling rock and roll influenced band - lead by singer Paul westberg - some sort of 80/90 songwriting icon for the original, disenchanted slacker generation (not the 90's middle class white generation who wear nirvarna tops, moan about how sh(t life is and then get univeristy paid for them by their parents)- anyway I felt that as a keen music snob i had to check it out.
very glad i did too - it has some fantastic songs on it. Altough it does not play through as well as it successor Tim - it contains absolute alt -rock gems as 'i will dare', 'Answering machine' and 'androgynous'.
I cant really say much else - if you like alt - rock (rather than modern day - mass produced indie) you really need to get this.
You could keep reading reviews and reviews on it till the cows come home - and people will consistently say good things about it. Just get it - its a steal at the price they sell it at.
on 21 March 2015
This album sweeps you along with its raw, romantic, alcoholic, scruffy charm. Every song is great but my fave is Androgynous, a piano led song about gender confusion (obviously!) its very sweet. Then youve got Unsatisfied one of the great anthems of alternative music (even better than Freak Scene by dino jr i think). If you're sensitive to soulful, impassioned rock music you'll love this. Its fabulous!