AM WilcoBefore Wilco, there was Uncle Tupelo – a band influenced by punk rock as much as country – who were at the forefront of the so-called alt-country movement of the late ’80s.

In 1994 Jay Farrar left the band and formed Son Volt, leaving Jeff Tweedy with the remaining bandmembers to form Wilco. (Guitarist John Stirratt and Tweedy remain the only original members to this day.) Now Warner are reissuing the beloved group’s first two albums: A.M. (1995) and Being There (1996). As well as the remastered originals, A.M. features eight unreleased bonus tracks, including one from Uncle Tupelo and two from Tweedy’s supergroup Golden Smog. Being There (originally a 2CD release) features outtakes, alternates and demo tracks, a 20-song live concert recording from 1996 at The Troubadour in LA, and a radio performance at KCRW.

Being There WilcoAfter 20-plus years, it’s great to hear these albums polished (plus more). From A.M. to Being There, Wilco were just starting to develop the sound that is theirs today. As Stirratt says of the earlier release: “…We were barely a band at that point, just trying to make some noise.” Yeah, but it was good noise. Take a trip back with Wilco to their early days… it’s a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.

A.M. and Being There (expanded reissues) are out now via Warner.

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