Uncle Tupelo: When You Find Trouble
While initially Farrar's band, with a few contributions per record from Tweedy, Anodyne saw Tweedy continuing to develop as a singer and songwriter (which no doubt precipitated the break-up). This compilation takes that trend to its logical conclusion, the songs evenly divided between the two.
The Farrar half was pretty easy; the first two Son Volt albums didn't vary greatly from Farrar's Anodyne tracks, rootsy guitar rock which retained some of Tupelo's trademark Americana while leaning more heavily on straight-ahead rockers. Indeed, 1996's Trace sounds exactly what one would have assumed the Farrar half of the next Tupelo album would have sounded like.
Tweedy was a little trickier. While Wilco's 1995 debut A.M. wasn't a radical departure from Tweedy's contributions to Tupelo, the band was already adding flourishes of power-pop to their sound, and 1996's sprawling double-LP Being There was even more varied, with hints of the more experimental pop-rock that would flourish on later Wilco albums. For purposes of this exercise, I drew primarily from the more twangy, Americana-laden songs on the first couple Wilco albums (and some contemporaneous outtakes), as well as some of Tweedy's like-minded contributions to the Golden Smog supergroup.
The album draws its title from what was apparently the last song Uncle Tupelo recorded, a ballad written by bass player John Stirrat that was finally released on the recent A.M. deluxe reissue.
While I probably should've pared this down a bit, there are enough great tunes on those early Volt & Wilco albums to merit a longer mix, something that could've theoretically filled a 2-LP vinyl release, so I went with the extended version. I think it works pretty well as a unified whole (certainly relative to that Clash creation); maybe not quite as intriguing as similar projects I've attempted for the Beatles and Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett, but one which feels a lot like that post-Anodyne album sounds like in my head.
While we're here, maybe we sit down and watch the entire final Uncle Tupelo gig?