For Colin Meloy, growing up in Montana - a state that's strangely missing from the tour itineraries of almost every band - the album was a lifeline and an inspiration. In this disarming memoir, Meloy lovingly recreates those feverish first years when rock music grips you and never lets go.
The fact that the Replacements had to endure that sort of Midwestern environment while trying to keep up a hard-case punk-rock image really appealed to my predicament. That they had to live through 40 below winters and frozen pipes, while surrounded by what I perceived as being a wholesome cultural backwater, brought the Replacements closer to me, closer to Montana. They seemed like the kind of band that could be practicing in my garage, my basement, and still be crunching out the same indelible music.
"33 1/3" is a series of short books about a wide variety of albums, by artists ranging from James Brown to the Beastie Boys. Launched in September 2003, the series now contains over 50 titles and is acclaimed and loved by fans, musicians and scholars alike.
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Colin Meloy, frontman and mastermind of the Decemberists, writes about his lifelong relationship with this Replacements album with an endearing eloquence, as he moves through the various stages of his social life and its relationship to the music he loves. Ultimately, the book is more a memoir of Meloy's time growing up in Montana than it is about Let it Be, but these accounts still manage to make clear his adoration for the album. Some of my favorite parts were his descriptions of elementary and middle school life, as he grappled for an identity amongst his peers, wanting to be a 'punk' and not a 'poser', a common trouble among those crazy kids growing up in the 80s.
-Mike Shea, Atomic Books Blog