Monday, October 21, 2013

"Let It Be" by The Replacements

The Replacements are a legendary band about which I know nothing. Recently a friend of mine mentioned that one of his guitars gets a good Paul Westerberg tone. I then thought really hard, lest I tell my friend I have no idea who this man is, and then I remembered reading an interview with Paul Westerberg in Guitar World when he was recording a solo record. It also seemed to me like Paul was an arrogant person with LSD (Lead Singer's Disease).

I've lost the plot already. Well, my five year mission is to explore strange new bands, but sometimes return to earth to fill up too. So, here we're looking at something that probably everybody in the world has heard but me.

I understand now that when I said 7 years ago I'd heard all the bands that needed to be heard, that my local radio stations were greatly remiss in introducing me to everybody who deserved an introduction. It's like when I found the book "Lies My History Teacher Told Me," except far less serious.

What can I say about this album that has not already been said? To begin with, it flat out rocks. The Replacements knew how to use dynamics, dirty guitars, and crescendos to swell the power of their music. A song, an album, a concert, it's an art form where you see an artist either repaint their painting night after night, or you see someone paint another's painting. The major difference is you can feel the brush strokes. You can hear the emotion that's embedded in the oil.

By using dynamics this album is far more powerful than had the ballad-y songs been left out. This album does more than fit into the background of the sound of the 80's. It's not New Wave or Synth Pop, or anything like that. By sticking with their sound and not caving into popular convention, the Replacements have crafted a hard rocking album that will sound modern in every year until our sun goes supernova. There are a great many musicians, including legends like Jimmy Page, who failed to heed this lesson.

This is an amazing album that never pigeonholes itself into a genre. For lack of a better word, I'm going to call this a punk rock album, but it really is so much more than that.  There is even a very strange cover of Kiss's "Black Diamond" and the remastered version has a cover of "20th Century Boy" by T. Rex. High quality music like this will always transcend boundaries and never feel vintage.

Year: 1984
Genre: Punk Rock

1) I Will Dare
2) Favorite Thing
3) We're comin' Out
4) Tommy Gets His TonsilsOut
5) Androgynous
6) Black Diamond
7) Unsatisfied
8) Seen Your Video
9) Gary's Got A Boner
10) Sixteen Blue
11) Answering Machine


  1. This isn't even their best stuff (IMHO); for my money, the best band of the 1980' that changed my course in music/life. Nice review.