Following an indifferent reception to Wilco's debut album "A.M", and chastened by the success of Jeff Tweedy's former band member Jay Farrar, this double album reaffirms the brilliance that was the hallmark of Uncle Tupelo, Tweedy's former band. With Jay Bennett ably assisting with the songwriting, Being There is a double CD romp through all that is best about American music. A blend of country, roots rock, 1970's rock and roll and soulful blues, this album established Wilco as the foremost purveyors of genuine Americana amidst so many other pale imitators.
The dynamics across each tune are stunning - from Misunderstood, where acoustic guitars give way to ragged Crazy Horse style feedback, through to the Rolling Stones-esque rock and roll tunes (Monday, Outtamind (outta sight)) Wilco create beautiful renditions of music from an age gone by but manage to keep it sounding fresh and contemporary through clever arrangement and Tweedy's vocal yearnings. Rather than repeat this sound on their next album, Wilco moved in favour of a more rock orientated sound for Summerteeth. However, if you are looking for a definitive homage to old school American rock and roll/country, there is no better album for you to own. As well as being a fascinating history lesson in music, it stands head and shoulders above most other albums of this type released in the 1990s. Long after people have forgotten that bands such as the Counting Crows existed, someone somewhere will still be playing this album to death.