The Second Disc

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Not Forever, Just for Now: Legacy to Expand Uncle Tupelo’s “No Depression”

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Uncle Tupelo - No Depression Legacy EditionAfter several years in the making, the landmark debut album by alt-country pioneers Uncle Tupelo will be released as a double-disc edition from Legacy Recordings in 2014.

No Depression, originally released in 1990 on the Rockville Records label, was the proper debut of the Belleville, Illinois trio, comprised singer/guitarist Jay Farrar, singer/bassist Jeff Tweedy and drummer Mike Heidorn. The trio had played together since high school and, a year before their debut, were hailed by The CMJ New Music Report as the year’s best unsigned band.

Critics and audiences alike lauded No Depression’s fusion of hardcore punk and traditional country, with evocative lyrics that tackled the starkness of small-town middle America and the relationships formed there. Before long, acts like the Old 97’s, Whiskeytown and The Drive-By Truckers were counting Uncle Tupelo as a major musical influence, turning No Depression into the unintentional benchmark of an entire genre. (A magazine devoted to modern roots and Americana music takes its name from the record.) Uncle Tupelo would grow and shift as the 1990s wore on, eventually splitting in 1994, after which the trio would find separate, greater commercial success in two other influential alt-country bands; Farrar and Heidorn in Son Volt, and Tweedy forming Wilco.

This double-disc Legacy Edition, touted by two Record Store Day releases over the years (a 2012 box set of the band’s 7″ singles on Rockville and a new 7″ featuring unreleased covers from the No Depression sessions to be released this year), will feature 22 rare and unreleased bonus tracks, including all of the bonus cuts from a 2003 single-disc reissue of the album. (Vic Anesini does mastering honors for this new package.) Writer Richard Byrne, who was an early champion of the band in St. Louis alt-weekly The Riverfront Times, contributes new liner notes to the package. This new set is available on January 28; hit the jump to order your copy and check out the full track list!

No Depression: Legacy Edition (Legacy 88691 95327-2, 2014)

Disc 1: Original LP (released as Rockville ROCK 5060, 1990) and odd and ends

  1. Graveyard Shift
  2. That Year
  3. Before I Break
  4. No Depression
  5. Factory Belt
  6. Whiskey Bottle
  7. Outdone
  8. Train
  9. Life Worth Livin’
  10. Flatness
  11. So Called Friend
  12. Screen Do
  13. John Hardy
  14. Left in the Dark (from 89/93: An Anthology – Legacy CK 62223, 2002)
  15. Won’t Forget (from A Matter of Degrees: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Atlantic 82245, 1991)
  16. I Got Drunk (single A-side – Rockville ROCK 6055-7, 1990)
  17. Sin City (single B-side – Rockville ROCK 6055-7, 1990)
  18. Whiskey Bottle (Live Acoustic) (from No Depression reissue – Legacy CK 86427, 2003)

Disc 2: Bonus material

  1. Outdone (Matt Allison Demo)
  2. That Year (Matt Allison Demo)
  3. Whiskey Bottle (Matt Allison Demo)
  4. Flatness (Matt Allison Demo)
  5. I Got Drunk (Matt Allison Demo)
  6. Before I Break (Matt Allison Demo)
  7. Life Worth Living (Matt Allison Demo)
  8. Train (Matt Allison Demo)
  9. Graveyard Shift (Matt Allison Demo)
  10. Screen Door (Matt Allison Demo)
  11. No Depression (1988 Demo) *
  12. Blues Die Hard (1988 Demo)
  13. Before I Break (1987 Demo)
  14. I Got Drunk (1987 Demo)
  15. Screen Door (1987 Demo)
  16. Blues Die Hard (1987 Demo) *
  17. Pickle River (1987 Demo)

Disc 2, Tracks 1-10: Not Forever, Just for Now: No Depression Demos produced by Matt Allison, 1989
Disc 2, Tracks 11-12 from Live and Otherwise (self-released cassette, 1988)
Disc 2, Tracks 13-17 from Colorblind and Rhymeless (cassette demo, 1987)
* previously released on No Depression reissue – Legacy CK 86427, 2003

Written by Mike Duquette

November 18, 2013 at 17:22

Posted in News, Reissues, Uncle Tupelo

3 Responses

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  1. I love Uncle Tupelo and, yes, I will buy this. But I really resent Sony squeezing every last dime out of a band that technically never even recorded for their company.


    November 18, 2013 at 18:14

  2. A few errors here in the track info. “Left in the Dark” is not on the 89/93 Anthology. The 1989 demo of “Outdone” (Disc 2, Track 1) IS on 89/93. And the following tracks on Disc 1 should have asterisks for appearing on the 2003 No Depression reissue: “Left in the Dark,” “Won’t Forget,” “Sin City,” “Whiskey Bottle (live acoustic).”


    November 18, 2013 at 23:40

    • Oh, and “I Got Drunk” is on 89/93 as well. That is all.


      November 18, 2013 at 23:44

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