Uncle Tupelo didn’t quite empty out the vault when they reissued their slender catalog a decade ago. The influential alt-country band, whose split yielded Wilco and Son Volt, kept back an important document of their early years: Not Forever, Just for Now, a 10-song demo tape that the original trio of Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy and Mike Heidorn recorded in 1989 with producer Matt Allison.
Those 10 demos, including this rough-edged version of “I Got Drunk,” are included on No Depression: Legacy Edition, a two-disc compilation that builds on Uncle Tupelo’s 1990 debut. In addition to the original album (and bonus tracks that appeared on the 2003 reissue), the Legacy Edition also collects a pair of songs from a self-released 1988 cassette, Live and Otherwise, and five tunes from Uncle Tupelo’s earliest recording, the 1987 demo Colorblind and Rhymeless.
This take on “I Got Drunk” showcases the blend of roots influences and punk instincts that helped anchor alt-country in the early Nineties. The song starts with a fast-paced acoustic intro that gives way to the overdriven guitar riff and pummeling drums that carry through the small-town, hard-drinking lament.
No Depression: Legacy Edition is due out on January 28th on Sony Legacy.