The Replacements - Let It Be (1984) (1 Viewer)

hugh

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It took me quite a while to "get" The Replacements too. They were one of those bands that I thought I should like (based on them being lumped in with lots of things I do like and based on lots of people who opinions I respect rating them) but they never quite clicked with me. Then a few years ago I fell for them in a big way. What @egg_ said about them sounding like the demo tape of a teenage garage band is kinda right though. However, I would say that this is a large part of their charm. They just ooze that ramshackle messing-about thing that every beginning band has. I think this is why they are one of those bands that people in other bands love so much. It reminds them of that. The Replacements however had such great songs and such a great backstory/legend that they are like the fucking Platonic ideal of a garage band. And Westerberg is a brilliant songwriter and singer.

By the way, this seems like an appropriate time to mention that myself and a drummer friend of mine have been been kicking around the idea of forming a Replacements covers band for some time now. If anyone wants in, gimme a shout!
 

egg_

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What @egg_ said about them sounding like the demo tape of a teenage garage band is kinda right though. However, I would say that this is a large part of their charm.
Ay, as I've been listening to can see more and more how anyone who spent their youth in a band would dig this. Like your own band, but cooler than you were, and with better melodies (mostly).

Their coolness kinda grates on me though
 

tommytrousers

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You ether 'get' or dig the ramshackleness and the back story but Westerberg is the finest lyricist of his generation by a long,long shot- Before I purchased all the records I had two different friends do me their own 'best of' compilation cassettes- both tapes were amazing but it makes it impossible for me to this day to pick a favourite complete album of theirs.

This album was out of print for a few years on vinyl and in the end I found an autographed copy for $20 in a Chicago record shop c.1998. I was pissed off to pay 'over the odds' at the time but it's a nice keepsake now ...
 

rettucs

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Its been interesting coming back to this for a second time. I first heard it about 10 years ago when @Jill Hives gave me a bunch of stuff to listen to. I listened a good bit back then, but until it came up in album club, it's probably 5 or 6 years since I'd last heard it.

I can remember the first few times I listened. It wasn't something that instantly hit me. It works it's way into your brain, then one day a song might pop into your head from nowhere and you find yourself humming along. Like @Lili Marlene, the standout track for me is 'Sixteen Blue'. Its the catchiest song on there and it was the first song I found myself coming back to.

Listening to it again in the past week, its kind of revealed itself in a different light, as often happens. Maybe its the older ears, but now it sounds really great. Its an album without a bad song IMO, which wouldn't have been what I would have thought before.

I know nothing else by The Replacements. I did hear one (or maybe even more than one) of Westerberg's solo albums but I didn't give it much time. So I don't have the same context as other's who have shared opinions on it. I'm not a musician so I can't relate to the comments about it being a 'musicians album', but all those comments make total sense. Even moreso when I read the comment in the link I posted yesterday where Jonathan Donahue of Mercury Rev gave his thoughts.

it was the first time that the bands we loved actually made a real record. Their songs were going to stand the test of time, songs that we were all going to cover. I know it was like that being around a lot of the bands during the mid-'80s. They had that magnetism Sonic Youth had, but had songs we could all cover, sing and play
I can imagine that being a big thing for a band starting out. I'm sure cover versions feature heavily for any younger band, while members are getting familiar with each other, etc. Being able to cover songs by a band that is actually 'cool', is, well, cool.

In the blurb that @pete posted, this line

Let It Be featured more complex arrangements and songwriting than the band's previous albums
They aren't that complex are they? Maybe relative to other stuff they'd done up to this album, but one thing that struck me listening was that the songs weren't that complicated. Guitar, bass, drums, thats it. And thats why the comments about bands covering Replacements songs, and about it being a 'musicians album', made sense.

And this, also from that blurb

It is a post-punk album.
I always think I know what 'post-punk' means until someone mentions it somewhere. To me this feels like a rock and roll album that drifts towards different flavours, or sub-genres of rock and/or punk, at different points. Like 'Sixteen Blue' and 'Androgynous' sound like they could be west-coast rock. I don't know if anyone has ever been in california, where the radio stations are so genre-specific, and you tune into a 'soft-rock' station. I can imagine these songs being on their playlist. They remind me of late-90s 'soft-rock', which they doubtless influenced.

'Favourite Thing' and 'We're Comin Out' are the most 'punk' song on there IMO. 'Favourite Thing' reminds me a bit of SLF. And (at the risk of upsetting some folk), 'We're Comin' Out' reminds me a bit of Pearl Jam, again, who I'm sure they influenced.

Jonathan Donohue again

The thing with The Replacements is if you ask Wayne Coyne, Michael Stipe or J Mascis, they were the ones that would say: "The Replacements, that would be the band to be in."
I get the comments made about the vocal. Initially I thought the same. He's not a great singer, but after a couple of listens I didn't even notice. His voice suits the songs perfectly.

We've had a couple of albums on here that are like metaphorical embryonic stem cells, in that their influence spawned so many other great bands and albums. I'm guessing this is another of those. Today I plan on reading as much as I can about it, to find out the background, who it influenced, etc, etc.

I'm sure there was a 33 1/3rd book done on it, was there?

This album is great. I think 9/10 is about right but because we're doing things out of 5, I'll give it 4/5 (cos 5/5 is reserved for Joanna Newsom albums).
 

egg_

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Westerberg is the finest lyricist of his generation by a long,long shot
You think? The lyrics I've noticed do pretty much nothing for me. "Johnny's wearing a dress", "Let's get this over with, I tee off in an hour" ... sounds like pretty standard teenage sticking-it-to-The-Man fare to me (only written by a 25 year old). Point out a song where I should listen more closely, will you?
 

Bernie Lomax

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Hut..yeah...c'mon

C'mon little kiddie, get your head on right
C'mon little kiddie, get your head on straight
You're gonna get her down
You're gonna finger to her
You're gonna suck me down
You're gonna see her out...

Forget about the lights, girl, and the cars
You never heard somebody so far
Grab a hold, gonna hold
You're gonna stick it to her
You're gonna stick it to her

Gary got a boner
Cause Gary's got a boner
Gary's got a boner
Gary's got a boner now

You locked that door, rolled up that window
Tied your sister up by the fender
I don't know if I will
You're gonna stick it to her
Yes, you're gonna stick it to her

Gary got a boner
Gary's got a boner
Gary's got a soft-on
Enough for more, more, more, more
Let it go
 

Cornu Ammonis

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I really didn't get much from this album, quite surprised to see so many people gushing about it. Yeah, the songs are fairly easy to listen to and the playing/vocals are good but it doesn't stick with me at all, within seconds of it finishing it vapourises from my mind. It does sound like they nailed a lot of the grunge/alternative rock sounds ahead of the posse, the vocals in particular are like Kurt Cobain to me, but it's not something that I'm ever likely to listen to again.

Even trying to find things to talk about on the album is tough, I didn't really like NoMeansNo but could get to grips with different elements of it. This is just a fairly one-dimensional thing that happened. If you told me that this was a demo from a band that didn't make it, I'd understand why they didn't make it. Seeing that so many people hold it in high regard baffles me. I didn't even tap my foot to it, let alone feel like it was anything close to a defining moment in music.
 

Lili Marlene

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You didn't even tap your foot to I Will Dare*?

Impressive.




*the actual catchiest song, give it up @scutter, you clearly didn't even listen to the album and just based your review on what I wrote.
 

Cornu Ammonis

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You didn't even tap your foot to I Will Dare*?

Impressive.




*the actual catchiest song, give it up @scutter, you clearly didn't even listen to the album and just based your review on what I wrote.
Nope. The music just did not connect with me on any level beyond a superficial "This isn't bad but I don't really get it" way.
 

travispickle

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I hadn't heard this particular album before; I came to them at first through their last studio lp, All Shook Down (pretty much Westerberg solo) and the compilation album All For Nothing. I saw them in the Olympia on that last album tour too, though I remember nothing apart from them first coming on stage and taking up the carpet/floor covering before playing.
The only other studio album I have is Don't Tell a Soul.
I've never been a big fan; I like some of their stuff and understand their place and influence on successive bands/generations.
Westerberg wrote some fantastic songs, but I don't think they have one particular album, or run of albums that really stand up or could be considered great (IMO).
Let it Be is good though; it sounds great too; but one of the things I find with the Replacements is the schizoid nature of a lot of their songs. One minute thrashy, one minute poppy, one minute grungey or rocky or whatever. I always found it hard to get into them for that reason, they always seemed all over the map! I can see how that might be appealing but I always found it slightly annoying; though it also seems to feed into that self-destruct myth that the band had.
There are some great songs on this one; I will dare, Unsatisfied, Sixteen Blue. Androgynous is like something Lou Reed would have had on Transformer or Berlin. I love Answering Machine too. Westerberg's tunes could be very affecting at times; beneath all the bluster and the punky attitude there was romanticism, heartfelt emotion and sometimes pure heartache. That's the stuff of theirs that I like.
 

travispickle

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Its been interesting coming back to this for a second time. I first heard it about 10 years ago when @Jill Hives gave me a bunch of stuff to listen to. I listened a good bit back then, but until it came up in album club, it's probably 5 or 6 years since I'd last heard it.

I can remember the first few times I listened. It wasn't something that instantly hit me. It works it's way into your brain, then one day a song might pop into your head from nowhere and you find yourself humming along. Like @Lili Marlene, the standout track for me is 'Sixteen Blue'. Its the catchiest song on there and it was the first song I found myself coming back to.

Listening to it again in the past week, its kind of revealed itself in a different light, as often happens. Maybe its the older ears, but now it sounds really great. Its an album without a bad song IMO, which wouldn't have been what I would have thought before.

I know nothing else by The Replacements. I did hear one (or maybe even more than one) of Westerberg's solo albums but I didn't give it much time. So I don't have the same context as other's who have shared opinions on it. I'm not a musician so I can't relate to the comments about it being a 'musicians album', but all those comments make total sense. Even moreso when I read the comment in the link I posted yesterday where Jonathan Donahue of Mercury Rev gave his thoughts.



I can imagine that being a big thing for a band starting out. I'm sure cover versions feature heavily for any younger band, while members are getting familiar with each other, etc. Being able to cover songs by a band that is actually 'cool', is, well, cool.

In the blurb that @pete posted, this line



They aren't that complex are they? Maybe relative to other stuff they'd done up to this album, but one thing that struck me listening was that the songs weren't that complicated. Guitar, bass, drums, thats it. And thats why the comments about bands covering Replacements songs, and about it being a 'musicians album', made sense.

And this, also from that blurb



I always think I know what 'post-punk' means until someone mentions it somewhere. To me this feels like a rock and roll album that drifts towards different flavours, or sub-genres of rock and/or punk, at different points. Like 'Sixteen Blue' and 'Androgynous' sound like they could be west-coast rock. I don't know if anyone has ever been in california, where the radio stations are so genre-specific, and you tune into a 'soft-rock' station. I can imagine these songs being on their playlist. They remind me of late-90s 'soft-rock', which they doubtless influenced.

'Favourite Thing' and 'We're Comin Out' are the most 'punk' song on there IMO. 'Favourite Thing' reminds me a bit of SLF. And (at the risk of upsetting some folk), 'We're Comin' Out' reminds me a bit of Pearl Jam, again, who I'm sure they influenced.

Jonathan Donohue again



I get the comments made about the vocal. Initially I thought the same. He's not a great singer, but after a couple of listens I didn't even notice. His voice suits the songs perfectly.

We've had a couple of albums on here that are like metaphorical embryonic stem cells, in that their influence spawned so many other great bands and albums. I'm guessing this is another of those. Today I plan on reading as much as I can about it, to find out the background, who it influenced, etc, etc.

I'm sure there was a 33 1/3rd book done on it, was there?

This album is great. I think 9/10 is about right but because we're doing things out of 5, I'll give it 4/5 (cos 5/5 is reserved for Joanna Newsom albums).
That 33 1/3rd book was by Colin Meloy from the Decemberists; I dug it out for a browse and it's pretty good.
 

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