- The Replacements: Paul Westerberg (vocals, guitar, lap steel, mandolin, piano, percussion); Bob Stinson (guitar); Tommy Stinson (bass, background vocals); Chris Mars (drums, maracas).
- Additional personnel: Peter Buck (guitar); Chan Poling (piano).
- Producers: Steve Fjelstad, Paul Westerberg, Peter Jesperson.
- Recorded at Blackberry Way Studios, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- All tracks have been digitally remastered.
- The Replacements were one of America's greatest bands of the 80s, irrespective of genre, though during their lifetime they received thin acknowledgement from anyone but informed critics. LET IT BE demonstrates the unique hybrid of sloppy punk attitude and classic rock sensibilities that drove fans to devotion and critics to supplication. It was 1984, and the Replacements were poised to erupt from the Minneapolis punk scene onto the national stage. Paul Westerberg's songs lose all timidity as he tackles subjects like failure, confusion, and despair with a lyrical directness and a voice capable of ravaged emotion, unbridled fury, and effecting vulnerability. "I Will Dare" addresses an aging loser's complexes, while the tender ballad "Androgynous" chronicles a punk-rock love affair. "Unsatisfied"--perhaps Westerberg's best song--is a sweeping contemplation of shattered dreams. Profundity aside, there is also a huge sense of fun about LET IT BE, with throwaway material like "Gary's Got A Boner" and their cover of Kiss's "Black Diamond" foregrounding the quartet's signature drunken levity amid the angst. The Mats' finest hour, LET IT BE is easily on the shortlist for best albums of the '80s.
Rolling Stone (p.85) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[The album] captures the perfectly turned punk-pop bravado, the bleeding-heart letters-in-a-bottle, and the proud junk food."
Rolling Stone (11/91) - Ranked #15 in Rolling Stone's "100 Best Albums Of The 80's" survey.
Rolling Stone (9/19/02, p.108) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...The great teenage f***-up record of the Eighties..."
Q (6/93, p.120) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...It was Westerberg's most mature songwriting so far, and his band's tightest playing. The boyish tomfoolery is still there....Best of all is 'Unsatisfied,' a yearning evocation of adolescent dissatisfaction..."
Q (10/95, p.46) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...LET IT BE is their finest work. No American alternative act made a better album in 1984..."
Uncut (1/03, p.97) - Included in Uncut's "100 Best Albums of the Year"
Uncut (12/02, p.162) - "...One of the most awesome wedges of wild and dangerous rock 'n' roll ever committed to disc..."
Vibe (12/99, p.158) - Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century
Q (Magazine) (p.120) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he quantum leap in Westerberg's self-confidence in delivering such emotionally bruised material as 'Unsatisfied' and 'Answering Machine' ensures the record's indelible impact."
Mojo (Publisher) (10/02, p.115) - "...A classic of the decade..."
NME (Magazine) (4/23/93, p.30) - 8 out of 10 - "...LET IT BE [is] elegiac, quietly tragic [and] romantically bombed-out....Healthy cynicism still lingers, albeit wiser and more weary..."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.88) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "The songs are breathless paeans to romance and dissatisfaction, and deserve to be discovered by generations to come."