Today we get our first taste of a sub-genre known as “post-punk”, although later records by The Clash probably also qualify with this label. Our next record is “Let It Be”, by The Replacements. The album title is a bit ironic given that I have been watching the Beatles documentary “Get Back” this week (a must-see), but back to today’s band, this album is a powerful and diverse record that doesn’t sound dated. It is rated as album #156 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
The Replacements hail from Minneapolis, which surprised me a bit as their sound definitely has that British punk influence. Lead singer Paul Westerberg and guitarist Bob Stinson are the primary creative forces in the band, and this album strikes me as really good driving music. There are some interesting contributions on the record. On the first song, “I Will Dare”, which was the lead single from the record, the piano solo is played by Peter Buck from R.E.M. Even more notable, on what may be their most melancholy track, “Gary’s Got a Boner”, a co-songwriting credit is given to Ted Nugent, as the opening riff is clearly taken from “Cat Scratch Fever”. Who says punk is dead?
Other tracks I enjoyed included “Favorite Thing”, which also has a bit of an R.E.M. feel, and the dusky opening sounds of “Black Diamond”. I also really like the opening chords and guitar work on “Unsatisfied”. I have always heard a lot about The Replacements, but until today I never gave them a solid listen. That’s exactly what this experience is all about, and it is great to hear what is essentially a new album to me, even if it was released at the height of my music listening days.