83/93.: An AnthologyArtist: Uncle Tupelo
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Reviews:"I'm going where there's no depression," they sang on theCarter Family song, "to a better land that's free from care."But despite the starkly optimistic outlook, Uncle Tupelo's message wasdepressing. The group's flannel-clad front men, Jay Ferrar and Jeff Tweedy,addressed traditional country music topics: alcohol, bad relationships, anddead end jobs, fueling the flames with driving pop and punk rock-based guitarchords. The combination hit home, and Tweedy and Farrar were soon elevated tothe status of the Waylon and Willie of the alt-country scene.
Four years later, it was all over. The country rock band that spawned an entiremovement dissolved, its founders split in bitter acrimony. There were now twogroups (Farrar's Son Volt and Tweedy's Wilco) instead of one, yet—longafter calling it quits—Uncle Tupelo refused to die. The band's fouralbums became sought-after cult classics, diehard fans rehashing every documentedmovement of the group, trading tapes, hypothesizing on Farrar and Tweedy'sseparate futures, and analyzing every moment of the breakup.
And now, finally, recognition from the home front. The 89/93 anthologycollects 21 of Uncle Tupelo's best cuts, including unreleased demos, out-of-printsingles, legendary live performances, and favored album tracks. With the 16-pagebooklet replete with photographs and flyers, an eyewitness account from UncleTupelo's manager Tony Margherita, and liner notes by Anthony DeCurtis,89/93 is more of a scrapbook than traditional anthology—and it shouldappeal to new listeners and old fans alike. After all, we may all be a littleolder and a little wiser, but flannel never felt so good.
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