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Being There
     

Being There

4.5 6
by Wilco
 

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For Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy -- a member of alt-country founding fathers Uncle Tupelo -- being one of the leading lights of the No Depression movement just wasn't enough. After one album, A.M., that picked up where Tupelo left off, Tweedy stepped back to rethink his musical direction and turned more directly toward rock. The result

Overview

For Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy -- a member of alt-country founding fathers Uncle Tupelo -- being one of the leading lights of the No Depression movement just wasn't enough. After one album, A.M., that picked up where Tupelo left off, Tweedy stepped back to rethink his musical direction and turned more directly toward rock. The result is Being There, a raucous, sprawling double-disc set that pumps some new life into rock's hoariest of concepts, the "on-the-road" album. Songs like the horn-driven "Monday," the soulful "Say You Miss Me," and the slow-igniting "Hotel Arizona" find Tweedy sleeping alone, making lots of long-distance calls home, and swearing that rock 'n' roll's quotidian madness won't change him even as you listen to how much it has. Elsewhere, the band blasts through the pumping "I Got You (At the End of the Century)," performs two versions of "Outtasite (Outta Mind) -- first as a Replacements-style rocker, then as a Beach Boys-fashioned pop song -- and offers "The Lonely 1," a string-laden ode that proves Tweedy hasn't forgotten what it's like to be on the other side of the spotlight.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Ankeny
While Wilco's debut, A.M., spread its wings in an expectedly country-rock fashion, their sophomore effort, Being There, is the group's great leap forward, a masterful, wildly eclectic collection shot through with ambitions and ideas. Although a few songs remain rooted in their signature sound, here Jeff Tweedy and band are as fascinated by their music's possibilities as its origins, and they push the songs which make up this sprawling two-disc set down consistently surprising paths and byways. For starters, the opening "Misunderstood" is majestic psychedelia, built on studio trickery and string flourishes, while "I Got You (At the End of the Century)" is virtual power pop, right down to the handclaps. The lovely "Someone Else's Song" borrows heavily from the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood," while the R&B-influenced boogie of "Monday" wouldn't sound at all out of place on Exile on Main Street; and on and on. The remarkable thing is how fresh all of these seeming clich�s sound when reimagined with so much love and conviction; even the most traditional songs take unexpected twists and turns, never once sinking into mere imitation. "Music is my savior/I was named by rock & roll/I was maimed by rock & roll/I was tamed by rock & roll/I got my name from rock & roll", Tweedy sings on "Sunken Treasure," the opener of the second disc, and throughout the course of these 19 songs he explores rock as though he were tracing his family genealogy, fervently seeking to discover not only where he came from but also where he's going. With Being There, he finds what he's been looking for.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/29/1996
Label:
Reprise / Wea
UPC:
0093624623625
catalogNumber:
46236
Rank:
42555

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wilco   Primary Artist
Jay Bennett   Organ,Guitar,Harmonica,Piano,Accordion,Drums,Vocals,Lap Steel Guitar
Ken Coomer   Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Gary Grant   Trumpet
Jesse Green   Violin
Jerry Hey   Trumpet
Dan Higgins   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Max Johnston   Banjo,Dobro,Fiddle,Mandolin,Vocals
Greg Leisz   Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar
John Stirratt   Bass,Piano,Violin,Vocals
Jeff Tweedy   Bass,Guitar,Vocals
Bob Egan   Pedal Steel Guitar
Larry Williams   Tenor Saxophone

Technical Credits

Jerry Hey   Horn Arrangements
Jim Rondinelli   Engineer
Chris Sheppard   Engineer
Lou Whitney   Engineer
Wilco   Producer

Customer Reviews

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Being There 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my first introduction to Wilco and it is an incredibly interesting and awesome collection. The songs grow on you and remain fresh everytime rather than some pop 40 stuff. Wilco is now my favorite band.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Recorded in the mid-90's, ''Being There'' is still quite crisp. Calling it country-rock would be selling this record short. The two disk set retails for about the same price as many single disks, so I must recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great cd. I bought this in 1996, but still listen to it at least once a week. Few cds have the ability to continue grabbing your attention a few weeks after its purchase, but this is a definite exception. Purchase it, give it a few listens and you'll be hooked on Wilco.
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