The Replacements-Let It Be Song By Song Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Rose River Bear, Jun 11, 2019 at 3:44 PM.

  1. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Let It Be (The Replacements album)
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Released October 2, 1984 (1984-10-02)
    Recorded August 1983 – February 1984
    Studio Blackberry Way Studios, Minneapolis
    Label Twin/Tone
    Producer Steve Fjelstad, Peter Jesperson, Paul Westerberg

    Let It Be is the third studio album by American rock band The Replacements. It was released on October 2, 1984 by Twin/Tone Records. A post-punk album with coming-of-age themes, Let It Be was recorded by the band after they had grown tired of playing loud and fast exclusively as on their 1983 Hootenanny album; the group decided to write songs that were, according to vocalist Paul Westerberg, "a little more sincere."[1]

    Let It Be was well received by music critics and later ranked among the greatest albums of the 1980s by AllMusic and Rolling Stone magazine.[2][3] Now considered a classic, Let It Be is frequently included on professional lists of the all-time best rock albums,[4] being ranked number 241 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[5] The album was remastered and reissued in 2008, with six additional tracks.

    The Replacements started their career as a punk rock band but had gradually grown beyond the straightforward hardcore of initial albums like Stink.[6] Westerberg recalls that "playing that kind of noisy, fake hardcore rock was getting us nowhere, and it wasn't a lot of fun. This was the first time I had songs that we arranged, rather than just banging out riffs and giving them titles."[7] By 1983, the band would sometimes perform a set of cover songs intended to antagonize whoever was in the audience. Westerberg explained that the punks who made up their audience "thought that's what they were supposed to be standing for, like 'Anybody does what they want' and 'There are no rules' [...] But there were rules and you couldn't do that, and you had to be fast, and you had to wear black, and you couldn't wear a plaid shirt with flares ... So we'd play the DeFranco Family, that kind of ****, just to piss 'em off."[8]

    Peter Buck of R.E.M. was originally rumored to produce the album. Buck later confirmed that the band did consider him as a possible producer, but when they met Buck in Athens, Georgia, the band did not have enough material. Buck did manage to contribute to the album in a limited capacity; he said, "I was kind of there for pre-production stuff, did one solo, gave 'em some ideas."[9]

    Music and lyrics
    Let It Be is a post-punk album.[10] Westerberg's lyrics feature themes of self-consciousness and rejection as felt by awkward youths, and deal with topics such as generational discontent on "Unsatisfied", uncontrollable arousal on "Gary's Got a Boner", and amateurish sexuality on "Sixteen Blue".[11] According to music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, the album's coming-of-age theme is aligned between adolescence and adulthood, and unlike many other adolescent-themed post-punk records, Let It Be remains less on the subject of angst and incorporates humor and more varied music.[2]

    Packaging and title
    The cover of Let It Be is a photograph of the band sitting on the roof of Bob and Tommy Stinson's mother's house taken by Daniel Corrigan. Michael Azerrad stated that the cover was a "great little piece of mythmaking," showcasing each bandmember's personality via how they appear in the photograph.[12] The album's title is a reference to the 1970 album Let It Be by The Beatles; the reference was intended as a joke on the Replacements' manager, Peter Jesperson, who was a huge Beatles fan.[1] Westerberg has stated the name was "our way of saying that nothing is sacred, that the Beatles were just a fine rock & roll band. We were seriously gonna call the next record Let It Bleed."[7]

    Critical reception

    Reviewing for The Village Voice in 1984, music critic Robert Christgau said that the band has matured by incorporating melody in their music and felt that they succeed by writing about their likes and dislikes rather than adhering to garage rock principles.[22] Debby Miller of Rolling Stone magazine called it a "brilliant rock & roll album" and wrote that, instead of the rugged, up-tempo rock of the band's first two albums, Let It Be has "an amazing range" of musical ideas.[23] Bruce Pavitt, writing in The Rocket, called the album "mature, diverse rock that could well shoot these regional boys into the national mainstream."[12] Let It Be was voted the fourth best album of the year in The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics' poll for 1984.[24] Christgau, the poll's creator, ranked it second best on his own list,[25] and in a decade-end list for the newspaper, named it the tenth best album of the 1980s.[26] He later said that, along with X's 1981 album Wild Gift, Let It Be represented the peak of American indie rock.[27]

    In a retrospective review, eMusic's Karen Schoemer said that Let It Be is "as classic as rock & roll could be" and cited it as a cornerstone album of alternative rock, along with R.E.M.'s Murmur, the Pixies' Surfer Rosa, and Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation.[28] Eric Boehlert of Salon called it a "post-punk classic".[29] Singer-songwriter Colin Meloy wrote of Let It Be in an edition of the 33⅓ series dedicated to the album: "I listened to Let It Be endlessly. The record seemed to encapsulate perfectly all of the feelings that were churning inside me [...] Paul Westerberg's weary voice sounded from my boombox and I trembled to think that here I was, thirteen and the 'hardest age' was still three years in the making."[30] In a 2005 review, Rolling Stone's Christian Hoard wrote that the Replacements "had no use for the principles or oblique artiness" of contemporary indie rock bands such as Sonic Youth and Hüsker Dü, and concluded that "few albums so brilliantly evoke the travails of growing up, and even fewer have so perfectly captured a young band in all its ragged glory."[18]

    Let It Be has frequently been included on professional lists of the all-time best rock albums. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it at number 239 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time and called it "a post-punk masterpiece".[5] In 1989, the magazine had also rated it at #15 on its list of 100 best albums of the '80s.[7] In the 1999 miniseries "VH1's 100 Greatest Albums of Rock and Roll," VH1 ranked Let It Be #79.[31] Pitchfork rated the album at #29 on their 100 Best Albums of the 1980s.[32] Spin ranked it #12 on their list of the 25 Greatest albums of all time.[4] Slant Magazine listed the album at #39 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s".[33] The opening track of the album, "I Will Dare" has been inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.[34]

    Track listing
    Side one
    Title Writer(s) Length
    1. "I Will Dare" Paul Westerberg 3:18
    2. "Favorite Thing" Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, Bob Stinson, Chris Mars 2:19
    3. "We're Comin' Out" Westerberg, Stinson, Stinson, Mars 2:21
    4. "Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out" Westerberg, Stinson, Stinson, Mars 1:53
    5. "Androgynous" Westerberg 3:11
    6. "Black Diamond" Paul Stanley 2:40

    Side two
    Title Writer(s) Length
    7. "Unsatisfied" Westerberg 4:01
    8. "Seen Your Video" Westerberg 3:08
    9. "Gary's Got a Boner" Westerberg, Stinson, Stinson, Mars, Ted Nugent 2:28
    10. "Sixteen Blue" Westerberg 4:24
    11. "Answering Machine" Westerberg 3:40
    Total length: 33:31

    The Replacements
    Additional musicians
    Technical personnel
    • Steve Fjelstad – production
    • Peter Jesperson – production
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  2. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident Thread Starter

  3. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I Will Dare (Westerberg)

    Opens with a jaunty sounding quick changing chord series of G-A7-E minor 7-G. Chris kicks in and a neat sounding theme enters. Sounds unique right? Part of the reason is that this section is in the A mixolydian mode. Very typical in rock and pop though. I am guessing Paul did not know that, but he knew what he heard in his head. Anyway, it sounds unique and striking. It swings to boot. The verse starts in and Paul sounds cool as usual in his gravel like tone. The theme repeats under the lyrics. At :47 the chorus comes in abruptly and shifts to E minor. Fits the lyrics …hey take that dare…please? The verse quickly returns at :59. Paul changes the melody a little. The chorus returns, and this time is doubled. Listen for that borrowed A 7 chord at the end which hints at the mixolydian hook in the verse. Man, this guy was/is a songwriter’s songwriter. Mixolydian hook? I actually said that? Sorry. The break at 1:50 gives a nod to Proud Mary. Is that George playing that rockabilly lead? Chris goes Slim Jim at 1:59. Bucky moves the solo up an octave and the break cooks along. A quick little cadence to D and natural the G chord of the verse follows. Paul gets antsy and pushy in his vocals. He plays a mean mandolin line going Dick Dale on us. At 3:11 a quick run based on a G scale brings the song to and end.

    Holy smokes what a song and opener. Mandolin, modal interchange, rockabilly, folk, rock…..there is so much here that I can only just say its The Replacements.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019 at 5:08 PM
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  4. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I Will Dare
    The Replacements
    How young are you?
    How old am I?
    Let's count the rings around my eyes

    How smart are you?
    How dumb am I?
    Don't count any of my advice

    Oh, meet me anyplace or anywhere or anytime
    Now I don't care, meet me tonight
    If you will dare, I might dare

    Call me on Thursday, if you will
    Or call me on Wednesday, better still
    Ain't lost yet, so I gotta be a winner
    Fingernails and a cigarette's a lousy dinner
    Young, are you? Wo oo

    C'mon meet me anyplace or anywhere or anytime
    Now, I don't care, meet me tonight
    If you will dare, I will dare
    Meet me anyplace or anywhere or anytime
    Now, I don't care, meet me tonight
    If you will dare, I will dare

    How young are you?
    How old am I?
    Let's count the rings around my eyes

    How smart are you?
    How smart are you?
    How dumb am I?
    Dumb am I

    Meet me anyplace or anywhere or anytime
    Now I don't care, meet me tonight
    If you would dare, I would dare
    Meet me anyplace or anywhere or anytime
    Now I don't care, meet me tonight
    If you will dare, I will dare

    Songwriters: PAUL WESTERBERG
    © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.,BMG Rights Management
  5. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident Thread Starter

  6. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident Thread Starter

    From Allmusic
    Song Review by Denise Sullivan [-]

    "The unwieldy, ramshackle drunk-rockers known as Minneapolis' Replacements landed themselves at the top of the jangle rock heap in 1984 with the recording of "I Will Dare" for their album Let It Be. A band who always had pop tendencies and an extraordinary songwriter in Paul Westerberg, the 'Mats tamped down their rockingest impulses for an irresistible ditty of a love song with the killer chorus, hooky verse, and proficient guitar from the kingpin of the Rickenbacker, R.E.M.'s Peter Buck. An even unlikelier element to the song was the addition of Westerberg on mandolin. The song -- with its skiffle beat, light country-rock flavor, and bouncy new wave beat -- captured the spirit of the times when music was changing, particularly American guitar rock. Lyrically, it captured the tentativeness of young love, presumably something the band and their fans could relate to from their collective pasts. In essence, the song was simply a high-watermark for the college rock sound of the day and contributed to the band's fourth album, which became a big independent-label hit, spurring them onto a major-label recording deal. "I Will Dare" had all the right elements and the Replacements were in the right place at the right time; it stands as perhaps the band's most beloved song and is a touchstone for their mid-'80s heyday, not to mention its status in the jangle and college rock canons."
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  7. TexasBuck

    TexasBuck Forum Resident

    Dallas, TX
    I will Dare – Good swing to this one, much due to Tommy. Love the use of the double guitars. I also like the use of the mandolin on the last verse to keep things interesting. Not quite as good as the opener on the previous album but a great way to start things off.
  8. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident Thread Starter

    You mean Hold My Life or Hootenanny?
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  9. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    I think Buck's solo is very Yanovskyish, which is highly appropriate given that Zally was most definitely a forefather of the Mats in terms of both his sense of humor and self-sabotaging behavior. His departure from the Spoonful was similar to Bob's departure from the Mats in several ways. Speaking of Bob, I was delighted to find out in Mehr's book that he was the one who came up with and played the propulsive guitar riff that runs throughout this song. A perfect example of how the Mats could make Paul's songs even better when they were working at full capacity.

    Taken around the same time as the album cover, just to underscore the Beatles joke:
  10. Edgard Varese

    Edgard Varese Royale with Cheese

    Te Wai Pounamu
    Looking forward to this thread! :)
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  11. TexasBuck

    TexasBuck Forum Resident

    Dallas, TX
    I mean't "Hold My Life" from the last thread, but I understand the chronological confusion! I should have named the song.
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  12. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    City of Angels
    It was nice to put on this album with not that high of expectations. Then the next day I played it again, and it cast a spell of addiction and I played it almost daily for a few weeks. I'd put it on when getting ready for work not paying that much attention to the lyrics, but just enjoying the romp, and just roll with it. A really refreshing bounce to get you going for the day. I knew and liked KISS's first three albums, and didn't mind hearing Black Diamond at all as a side closer. Paul's vocal delivery is so full of passion, and enthusiasm, it only adds to the excitement as he slides off the rhythm here and there. One can tell that they do like the song.

    And this is before the depth of the lyrics hit me.
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  13. Tim S

    Tim S Forum Resident

    East Tennessee
    I admire I will Dare as a song and it's well done. Sorry, it doesn't move me at all, it's just a pleasant way to get the ball rolling. The thing I like most about it is it shows a lot of stylistic range from both Paul and the band.
  14. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident Thread Starter

    That is a good point about the solo. Those triplets were a favorite of Zal. Come from the country.
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  15. Tanx

    Tanx Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    I always heard a lot of "You Like Me Too Much" in "I Will Dare."
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  16. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Its gonna rock. :D
  17. lightbulb

    lightbulb Not the Brightest of the Bunch

    Smogville CA USA
    When I’d first heard of The Replacements, it was when R.E.M. released Murmur. I'd read that Pete Buck played on the track "I Will Dare", so I bought both the album and the 12" single.
    Of course, he soloed for about 4.5 seconds, but it was amazing to my ears, and all the other ‘Mats tunes just floored me.

    “Let It Be” captured The Replacements, still teetering on the edge before they jumped to big label respectability, overproduction, and inevitable artistic maturity.
    (Can you imagine "Boner" on Don't Tell A Soul?).
    This was when rock was truly fun for Westerberg and the boys; before we lost Bob.

    PS -
    Bonus rave for the I Will Dare 12" single - with the non LP tracks that displayed how great the Replacements covers could be:
    >TRex’s "Twentieth Century Boy" just flat out rocks.
    >Hank Williams Sr's "Hey Good Lookin" is a fun goofy track... A nod to their previous "Hootenanny" !
    TexasBuck likes this.
  18. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I first heard the band in mid 1983 at a record store near my home. I asked the sales person who it was and he actually gave me a copy of the album Hootenanny for free since I was a good customer. He probably thought no one would buy it anyway. Have been a fan since then.
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  19. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Classic. Should have been a big hit.
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  20. Tim S

    Tim S Forum Resident

    East Tennessee
    Gotta disagree with you here - I hear nothing here that sounds like a hit. I could see it getting some fair to moderate college radio play if it had any promotion to it.
  21. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I agree. A little too raw and quirky sounding. Too much slick stuff out in that year. That was the thing then.
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  22. SurrealCereal

    SurrealCereal Forum Resident

    “I Will Dare” is probably my favorite Replacements song. I love the driving, jangly guitars and the almost jazzy chorus. The lyrics aren’t the most cutting on the album, but it’s still classic Paul Westerberg at his best, so I have no complaints on that end.
  23. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It is one of my fave uptempo songs by them. Great opener.
  24. Achn2b

    Achn2b Well-Known Member

    N. Conway, NH
    I had moved back to my college town and was living with some buds, and managed to score a late-night DJ shift at the college radio station in the fall of '84. Had never heard the band, but they were in the required play rotation bins at the station, and I had also read somewhere that if you liked REM you would like these guys. So I put I Will Dare on, introducing it by saying just that. As I heard the first notes start, and I cut the mic, I mumbled "aaand... maybe not". First impression was not good.

    Before the end of the year, I had bought this and Hootenanny, moved back home, and they were my favorite band. Still are. In the spring of '86, saw they were going to be playing at The Channel in Boston, bought about 8 tickets for me and that group of buds, and to this day, it's the greatest show I've ever seen.
  25. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian

    Cincinnati Ohio
    "I Will Dare" Oh Boy, Oh Boy Oh Boy!!!!! I've been waiting for this thread! My favorite album by my second favorite band of the 80s and actually what might be my favorite album of the 80s period! I got this album purely because of a review in Rolling Stone back when a positive review from them meant something. I was 15 years old and my only money came from the grass I cut so it was a big deal to buy a brand new full-price album by a band I'd never heard note one from. But buy it i did and was definitely not disappointed. From the moment this song came on I knew I'd discovered a new band that I loved. "I Will Dare" is catchy but not so catchy that it grows old and grates on you. Peter Buck adds a brilliant guitar solo, the band sounds great and Westerberg is in fine vocal form. This song found it's way on to more than a few mixtapes I made for girls I had crushes on. Great album opener and just all round awesome song!

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