Rolling Stone - 5/23/02, p.813 out of 5 stars
- "...Tupelo's blend of old-timey stringed instruments and punk guitars brought them posthumous accolades as alternative-country pioneers..."
Spin - May 2002, p.121
"Sure, they were the fathers of modern alt-country or whatever. But they were also a shit-kicking, teary, beer-guzzling, toilet-hugging rock band of the first order..."
Entertainment Weekly - 3/29/02, p.75
"...[This band] helped kick-start the roots-rock boom with [its] punk-fueled take on rural musical tradition....[a] 21-track distillation of UT's four-album career..." - Rating: A-
Q - May 2002, p.1364 out of 5 stars
- "...Anthology is both a Best Of and a rarities collection and will no doubt thrill both veteran fans and newcomers..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 6/02, p.123
"...This band from the no-mark industrial suburb if Belleville, Illinois, lent a fresh nuance to both post-punk rock'n'roll and country, replacing the latter's folksy cliches with a righteous indignation..."
NME (Magazine) - 5/11/02, p.368 out of 10
- "...Showcases the cream of their time in the mud, blood and beer....All is here, abundantly..."
Uncle Tupelo: Jay Farrar (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars); Jeff Tweedy (vocals, acoustic guitar, bass); Max Johnson (steel guitar, banjo); Andy Carlson (violin); John Stirratt (bass); Mike Heidorn (drums, cymbals); Ken Coomer (drums).
Producers include: Paul O. Kolderie, Sean Slade, Matt Allsion, Nicholas Hill, Brian Paulson.
Compilation producers: Darren Salmieri, Bob Irwin.
Engineers include: Paul O. Kolderie, Sean Slade, Brian Redman.
Includes liner notes by Anthony DeCurtis & Tony Margherita.
Digitally remastered by Vic Anesini (Sony Music Studios, New York, New York.
Personnel: Jay Farrar (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, harmonica); Jeff Tweedy (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar); Sean Slade (vocals, piano, organ, background vocals); John Keane, Brian Henneman (guitar); Gary Louris (electric guitar); Max Johnston (lap steel guitar, banjo); Andy Carlson (violin); Chris Bess, Bill Holmes (accordion); Michael Heidorn (drums, cymbals); Ken Coomer (drums); Paul Q. Kolderie (sound effects).
Audio Mixers: John Keane; Paul Q. Kolderie; Sean Slade; Brian Paulson.
Liner Note Author: Anthony DeCurtis.
Recording information: BravEar Studios, Champaign, IL (03/??/1989-10/15/1993); Cedar Creek recording, Austin, TX (03/??/1989-10/15/1993); Fort Apache North, Cambridge, MA (03/??/1989-10/15/1993); Fort Apache South, Roxbury, MA (03/??/1989-10/15/1993); John Keane's Studio, Athens, GA (03/??/1989-10/15/1993); Longview Farm, North Brookfield, MA (03/??/1989-10/15/1993); SFMU, East Orange, NJ (03/??/1989-10/15/1993); Vic Theater, Chicago, IL (03/??/1989-10/15/1993).
Photographers: Terry Witt; Julian Hibbard; Daniel Corrigan; Marty Perez; John Jackson.
Arrangers: Jay Farrar; Jeff Tweedy.
For those whose memory may not extend beyond the last Ryan Adams record, alt-country as we know it today pretty much started with Uncle Tupelo. In the 21st century they may best known for giving birth to Wilco and Son Volt, but in those halcyon days whose span is indicated by this anthology's title, Uncle Tupelo were premier roots-rockers combining country influences with the indie-rock sounds of the day (Husker Du, the Replacements, you know the drill). The key here is that we're talking alt-country, not country rock. In other words, the punk influence manifest in this 21-song collection was what helped Tupelo (and all their subsequent disciples) set themselves apart from the laid-back country-rock sounds of the '70s, even if Gram Parsons was as big an inspiration to UT as the Minutemen. Uncle Tupelo weren't around long enough to amass much of a discography, so this generous collection is an excellent and definitive place to start learning about them, and by extension, about the roots of modern-day alternative country (-rock).