Rancid – Let’s Go

28 Apr

Rancid - Let's Go

Rancid – Let’s Go

Let’s Go
Epitaph Records

Tim Armstrong – vocals, guitar,
Lars Frederiksen – guitar, vocals
Matt Freeman – bass, vocals
Brett Reed – drums

1. Nihilism
2. Radio
3. Side Kick
4. Salvation
5. Tenderloin
6. Let’s Go
7. As One
8. Burn
9. The Ballad of Jimmy & Johnny
10. Gunshot
11. I Am the One
12. Gave It Away
13. Ghetto Box
14. Harry Bridges
15. Black & Blue
16. St. Mary
17. Dope Sick Girl
18. International Cover-Up
19. Solidarity
20. Midnight
21. Motorcycle Ride
22. Name
23. 7 Years Down

After Rancid hired a second guitarist, Lars Frederiksen, they returned to the studio in October 1993, with producer Brett Gurewitz to begin work on its second studio album. It took the band just six days to record the twenty-three songs selected for the album.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic described the album as “sheer energy”. He praised the music as a “less-serious, party-ready version of The Clash”. The album received a rating of four and a half out of five stars while “Salvation” earned Rancid its first moderate success. In November 2011, Let’s Go was ranked number eight on Guitar World magazine’s top ten list of guitar albums of 1994. In April 2014, Rolling Stone placed the album at No. 24 on its “1994: The 40 Best Records From Mainstream Alternative’s Greatest Year” list

While Rancid was writing for the Let’s Go album, Billie Joe Armstrong joined them to co-write the song “Radio,” which resulted in Armstrong playing a live performance with Rancid. Tim had previously asked Lars Frederiksen to be Rancid’s second guitarist, but he turned down the request initially as he was playing with the UK Subs at the time. After Billie Joe turned down the request, Frederiksen changed his mind and joined Rancid.

Frederiksen played with the band on Let’s Go. That year, its then-label-mates, The Offspring, experienced huge success with its album Smash. Rancid supported The Offspring’s 1994 tour, which helped Let’s Go reach number 97 on Billboard’s Heatseekers and the Billboard 200 charts, respectively. The album also provided its first widespread exposure when MTV broadcast the video for the single “Salvation.” Let’s Go was certified gold on July 7, 2000, and with the success of the album, the band was pursued by a number of major record labels, including Madonna’s label Maverick Records. Many rumors circulated during this time period. Some of the rumors were Epitaph employees were not allowed to discuss matters with the press, Rancid convinced an A&R man from Epic to shave a blue Mohawk, and Madonna sent the band nude pictures of herself
If you don’t own it, go and pick it up.

Rating: ** * two out of three stars

On to the story . . .

Back in late 1975, my mom, who was a member of the Columbia House Record Club, received her monthly catalog. The deal was every month Columbia House would send a catalog and you would have to pick an album or they would just randomly send you one.

Well, the December 1975 catalog had a picture of the Kiss Destroyer album as its cover. My brother and I saw this picture and we were hooked. We didn’t know if this was a comic book, and record or just a very cool Frazetta rip-off. I think we both begged to own that little 5 by 7 booklet.

Eventually, we got that album into our house. Our grandparents sent us some money and dad took us to some record shop to get whatever we wanted. My brother grabbed a copy of Destroyer on 8-track, I ran to get a copy on cassette — but my dad stopped me by saying that it was stupid to get two copies of the same album. We should share. Shit.

So, I was forced to buy a copy of Alive on cassette. Turns out I dug the album, but Destroyer had a better cover and that’s what counts right?

Once we got back to my dad’s place my brother put on his tape and the opening sounds of the investigator talking at the car crash scene and sounds of broken glass and the car door shutting, and then starting. It was like those old-school Power Records on 45 we used to have. We were hooked.

I don’t listen to Kiss anymore, but when I see the Destroyer cover it takes me back to March of 1976 when I first heard the opening chords of Detroit Rock City. Superheroes came to life that day.



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One Response to “Rancid – Let’s Go”

  1. 1
    Eddie Cook Says:

    Great story!

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