Why is The Replacements’ Let It Be on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
From jangle pop to post-punk to quiet ballads, this one has great range (and each range is great).
Some stats & info about The Replacements – Let It Be
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock, Rock Music, Pop, Pop Music, Jangle Pop, College Rock, Post-Punk
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #156
- All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
- When was Let It Be released? 1984
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #780 out of 1,000
The Replacements’ Let It Be on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does The Replacements’ Let It Be mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
With some albums, I come up with a theme or angle I want to get into right away. With others, there’s a very specific story or tie into a moment or era of my life or personal memory that gets things going. And with still others, there’s a very clear moment in pop culture history that becomes the prism to talk about why an album is important to me.
None of those things qualify with The Replacements’ Let It Be. I wasn’t nearly old enough to be into college radio when the album was released, and when I caught onto bands like R.E.M. and Midnight Oil years later, The Replacements frankly slipped through the cracks for me. I had heard of them more than heard them for a long, long time.
When I finally got around to checking out The Replacements’ Let It Be, I knew I liked it right away, but I had a hard time classifying why. So in doing research for the best 1,000 albums ever project, I put on my trusty Nerd-Out Hat, and jotted down the musical genre that I associated with the first five songs on the album.
- Track 1 – “I Will Dare” – jangle pop
- Track 2 – “Favorite Thing” – post-punk
- Track 3 – “We’re Coming Out” – post-punk (hardcore punk?)
- Track 4 – “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out” – ‘80s power pop-meets-punk pop
- Track 5 – “Androgynous” – singer songwriter, with Paul Westerberg mostly alone at a piano
And I realized that the range on this album is really wild. We’ve got ourselves a hook!
“I Will Dare” is my favorite song on Let It Be. Not only am I a sucker for a good college rocking jangle pop song, but I love the energy of this song, the way it builds nicely to the chorus and then especially the fantastic bridge.
The song, which has been described as “decades ahead of its time” describes in positive terms a romantic relationship between two gender non-conforming individuals, and suggests that in future perhaps such relationships will be more accepted.
Wikipedia also notes that “Androgynous has been covered by the likes of Joan Jett and Crash Test Dummies.
It’s really impressive that The Replacements can pull off a post-punk song as good as “Favorite Thing” in the midst of producing songs in these other musical genres. And very good it is, with a driving energy that’s as good as any post-punk music produced in the mid-1980s.
Pop culture stuff that has something to do with The Replacements’ Let It Be
The Replacements the movie has nothing to do with The Replacements the band except that they share the same name. The movie, from 2000, is not great but kind of rewatchable in that when-you-can’t-find-anything-else-to-watch kind of way, starring Gene Hackman, Keanu Reeves, and Orlando Jones. It’s a comedy about “scab” football players who replace the “real” athletes during a labor dispute. Hilarity ensues.