Monday, May 10, 2010

Uncle Tupelo - No Depression (1990)

Before there was a Wilco or a Son Volt, there was an Uncle Tupelo. Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar's hatred for each other wouldn't reach critical status until three years after this here record so it's nice to see whatever vitriol they had wasn't for each other. Yet.

No other American band has been able to mix punk, college rock and country so thoroughly and convincingly like UT, plus this was years before Jeff cleaned up so the booze was flowing almost as steady as the fists, women, ideas, van rides and resentments; Jay was more or less the big man on campus during these days, and eventually... well, we all know more Wilco songs than Son Volt tunes, am I right? Most fans will point to 1993's Anodyne as their best work, but No Depression catches the band in a more embryonic state, hinting at what was to come.

So here's a nice slice of electrified Americana, in case you were wondering where bands like The Jayhawks, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, Old 97's and Lucero got all their best ideas...

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