Label: Twin/Tone / Rhino
Reissued 2016, originally released 1984
Let It Be looms large among '80s rock albums, generally regarded as one of the greatest records of the decade. Nothing about Let It Be is clean; it's all a ragged mess, careening wildly from dirty jokes to wounded ballads, from utter throwaways to songs haunting in their power. This blend of bluster and vulnerability is why The Replacements were perhaps the most beloved band of their era, as they captured all the chaos and confusion of coming of age in the midst of Reaganomics, and Let It Be is nothing if not a coming-of-age album, perched precisely between adolescence and adulthood. There's just enough angst and tastelessness to have the album speak to teenagers of all generations and just enough complicated emotion to make this music resonate with listeners long past those awkward years, whether they grew up with this album or not.