19 Songs, 1 Hour 2 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Graveyard Shift”—the barn-burning first track on Uncle Tupelo's heralded debut—may come as something of a surprise to the uninitiated. The band that later birthed Wilco and Son Volt is credited with pretty much inspiring an entire genre of alt-country (dubbed No Depression) that few may remember being so raucous. It was the era of Dinosaur Jr. and Mudhoney, and you can hear that in the muscular guitars of “Graveyard Shift,” “Factory Belt,” and other tracks. But interspersed throughout are laconic, campfire smoke–scented numbers with pedal steel guitar, harmonica, and fiddles. Jay Farrar’s tumbleweed voice was well suited to songs about porches, trains, and whiskey bottles, and after No Depression, the band moved even further into drawling, countrified territory. Jeff Tweedy’s contributions here—outstanding on the speed-cowboy rave-up “Train” and the woozy, effervescent “Flatness”—pointed the way, in retrospect, to a future with two highly talented musicians wrangling over artistic control. (Farrar and drummer Mike Heidorn went on to Son Volt, Tweedy to Wilco.)

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Graveyard Shift”—the barn-burning first track on Uncle Tupelo's heralded debut—may come as something of a surprise to the uninitiated. The band that later birthed Wilco and Son Volt is credited with pretty much inspiring an entire genre of alt-country (dubbed No Depression) that few may remember being so raucous. It was the era of Dinosaur Jr. and Mudhoney, and you can hear that in the muscular guitars of “Graveyard Shift,” “Factory Belt,” and other tracks. But interspersed throughout are laconic, campfire smoke–scented numbers with pedal steel guitar, harmonica, and fiddles. Jay Farrar’s tumbleweed voice was well suited to songs about porches, trains, and whiskey bottles, and after No Depression, the band moved even further into drawling, countrified territory. Jeff Tweedy’s contributions here—outstanding on the speed-cowboy rave-up “Train” and the woozy, effervescent “Flatness”—pointed the way, in retrospect, to a future with two highly talented musicians wrangling over artistic control. (Farrar and drummer Mike Heidorn went on to Son Volt, Tweedy to Wilco.)

TITLE TIME
15

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