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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Double Perfection
Listening to Wilco has become what can only be considered as an absolute delight. The way that Tweedy and company weave together genres and styles so effortlessly is often breath-taking.
The most surprising element about Wilco's music (and this album is the best example of this) is the way in which they manage to retain their pop sensibilities throughout often...
Published on 18 May 2004 by Cowpunk

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
Bought this hoping for more like the wonderful 'Save the Flowers' (see the great live Youtube vid at Farm-aid.) Unfortunately, not the case- or maybe I'm too old school. I loved Jays tele playing.
Published 7 months ago by Peter Clifton


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Double Perfection, 18 May 2004
By 
Cowpunk (Paisley, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Being There (Audio CD)
Listening to Wilco has become what can only be considered as an absolute delight. The way that Tweedy and company weave together genres and styles so effortlessly is often breath-taking.
The most surprising element about Wilco's music (and this album is the best example of this) is the way in which they manage to retain their pop sensibilities throughout often complicated seemingly detached sonic landscapes. The first track on disc 1, Misunderstood, is a perfect example it manages to initially confuse the ear into thinking it is listening to a radiohead B-side before rewarding every doubt with a beautifully simple lament of confusion and longing, and it is in this juxtaposition that the true beauty emerges. You begin to wish that you had written this song and when you see the chords you are fooled momentarily into thinking you could have. Before i digress into the conclusion i should mention some of the highlights. Red Eyed and Blues emerges as a contender from the middle of disc 1 and Sunken Treasure introduces disc 2 to amazing effect. I often judge an albums greatness based on the first and last songs and this does not disappoint on that level either, when 'the Lonely 1' ends you think there is no way they can top that for a finale, you would be wrong.
Each of the 19 songs has merit and class taking you into backwater Nashville one moment, then into the Midwest for a spell then into the dark recesses of the mind the next. It is in this blend of styles that the excellence of the album lies, yes some of the songs stand out on their own but like all good coffee, it is all in the blend. Being There is at its best when listened to as it was intended, from start to finish.
It is truly a fantastic double album up there with, Exile on Main St. and in some ways similar. Buy it and listen to it on repeat until you want to write a review on Amazon, then and only then will you know how i feel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wilco get there, 31 Jan 2006
This review is from: Being There (Audio CD)
This album provides many of Wilco's greatest moments and represents the best album of their formulative years. Wilco are a band that suffuse country sensibilities with any number of styles; hard rock, bluegrass you name it. I ought to confess now that I am a devout Wilco fan; I've seen them at the Astoria a few years back and own six of their albums. Yet, although this is the album I keep coming back to, this is the album that has several defining Wilco moments. Wilco's sound has evolved since this early album, shedding much of the alt-country tag and moving into more progressive territory.
The first half of this album is divine. Anyone who is sceptical to start with will instantly be won over by listening to Misunderstood, the opener which dispels any notions that this is a superficial or what you see is what you get album. It starts off with a Radiohead like fuzz intro, then gives way to a beautiful, touching melody. The lyrics are heartfelt and intimate; 'when you're back in your old neighbourhood the cigarettes taste so good'.
Many of Wilco's best moments come when they use just two chords and simple chord changes. The country acoustic styles suit the band very well. Red Eyed and Blue is a greast illustration of this, just Tweedy's singing and the guitarist's strumming. Forget the Flowers is another typical country rock track, with twangy guitar lines intertwining and a ukulele behind. The Lonely One is another soft, acoustic number, truly poetic and elegant. The potency of Tweedy's lyrics are fully revealed and the song becomes as much about the words as the music.
However, that isn't to say Wilco can't work outside the box. Far Away is a beautiful track with a soaring melody backed by a keyboard and guitar, influencing by jazz and clearly by Pink Floyd (not just in the title, but in the soft groove). Following along the classic rock lines Somebody Else's Song is rather Beatle's Norwegian Woodesque. I Got You is a straight up rocker, Say You Miss me a gorgeous pop track with an uplifting harmony.
This is one of my favourite albums of all time, an eclectic albums that merges many different styles but delivers them all with the same tear rendering beauty and harmony.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect homage to all things past, 14 Feb 2002
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This review is from: Being There (Audio CD)
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leicester Bangs Review (1997):, 17 Dec 2010
By 
Leicester Bangs "words-R-us" (Leicester, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Being There (Audio CD)
Wilco - Being There (Reprise)
Wow! Jeff Tweedy and the boys have made a very special, very ambitious album - a huge advance on their not-too-shoddy "A.M." debut from two years ago. Without losing their country rock sensibilities they've produced a record comparable in parts to "Exile on Main Street" or "After the Goldrush"

"Being There" has so many great songs it's difficult to know where to start, but the following must get a mention: "Misunderstood" seeps pain and longing before collapsing into the kind of sound-storm others base a complete career around, "Monday" has horns to die for, "I Got You (At the end of the Century)" rocks like it has no idea how to stop and "The Lonely 1" would grace any of the Big Star albums.

So what have we got? Maybe the best American release of the year so far, and a benchmark release for the rest of the genre. I can't wait to see them again. 9/10.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A heartfelt collection of lovelorn classics from Wilco, 9 April 2000
This review is from: Being There (Audio CD)
Georgeous melodies and heartfelt lyrics make being there an excellent reference point within America's much vaunted 'alt-country' scene. The songs here are accesible and bear the scrutiny of repeated listening. Tweedy's voice is distinctive and genuine and the surrounding tunes are varied and often pull hard on the listeners heartstrings. This is an excellent precursor to the magnificent Summerteeth and any fans of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, The Byrds , Big Star etc will find satisfation. The only down point being that less tracks would have made a stronger impression. However this is a minor quibble....go buy!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic-double album..., 15 Jan 2002
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Being There (Audio CD)
'Being There' is the best thing Wilco have released so far- it extends on the promise of 'AM', songs like 'Passenger Side' & 'Box Full of Letters'. It sounds more like the follow-up to 'Anodyne'than their debut...OK, double-albums- slightly indulgent- but always fun. Where would we be without 'Sign'o'the Times', 'Exile on Main St', 'Tusk', 'Warehouse(songs&stories)','Kissme,kissme,kissme', 'Manassas', 'London Calling', 'Physical Graffiti', 'Something/Anything?' etc.???? This album is as good as those- and the best intro to Wilco. Disc One begins with 'Misunderstood', which uses the lyrics to 'Amphetamine' by Peter Laughner (an original member of Pere Ubu & rock journalist peer of Lester Bangs- who like Bangs is no longer with us...). This is what Jeff Buckley's 'Grace' should have sounded like!. 'Far, Far Away' is more country based- as disc2's 'Someday Soon. There are some rock-outs up there with the first albums 'I Must Be High': 'Monday', 'I Got You (at the end of the century) and 'Outtasite (outta mind)'- which is reworked in a Beach Boys fashion as 'Outta Mind (outtasight)'- a definite precursor of 'Summer Teeth'. 'Forget the Flowers' and 'Someone else's song' are mellow-acoustic affairs- not far from Golden Smog (whom Tweedy is a member) and Jayhawks tracks like 'Martin's Song'. 'Red Eyed & Blue' is one of the darker tracks- imagine The Replacements doing 'Borrowed Tune' from 'Tonight's The Night' and then tailing off into Eno's 'Another Green World'. 'What's the World Got in Store' & 'Why Would You Wanna Live' are Beatles-inspired moments- which stand next to tracks like 'She's a Jar' and 'How to Fight Loneliness' on 'Summer Teeth'. 'Hotel Arizona', a knowing nod to The Eagles, is more conventional alt-country fayre- as is 'Kingpin'. 'Sunken Treasure' is the centre-piece of the album- a dark rockout in which Tweedy states "I was saved by rock & roll". 'In Your Dreams' is a drunken-ballad- somewhere between Primal Scream's 'Star' (minus the dub bits)and 'Cry Myself Blind'. 'Say You Miss Me' is a gorgeous ballad- the harmonics are beyond lush- in the mode of The Stones (if arranged by Brian Wilson). 'The Lonely 1' is almost acoustic, an tribute to The Replacements' Paul Westerberg (whose 'All Shook Down' led to 'Anodyne' lead to this...). 'Dreamer in My Dreams' is the big cut-loose at the end- rounding off a 19song classic. This album is as good- if not better than- 'Summer Teeth'. It ranks up there with great albums of recent years: 'Nixon', 'Sound of Lies', 'Heartbreaker', 'Gold', 'Suicane Gratification', 'Stranger's Almanac', 'Red Dirt Girl'. It's an album for those who like songwriters- and Wilco, like the Posies- are a band crying out for some appreciation. (Sadly they were recently dropped- ??????). This classic double-album ought to find its way into everyone's album collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars crucial alt country, incredibly influential!, 12 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Being There (MP3 Download)
The most important, essential Americana album, yet only a signpost of where this band were going next, Jeff tweedy shows his mastery of the roots and frees himself to become the most innovative songwriter of the last twenty years.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, 20 Sep 2013
By 
Peter Clifton "Guitar/amp junkie" (W Sussex UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Being There (Audio CD)
Bought this hoping for more like the wonderful 'Save the Flowers' (see the great live Youtube vid at Farm-aid.) Unfortunately, not the case- or maybe I'm too old school. I loved Jays tele playing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A vital record, 10 Mar 2012
By 
K. K. Jakubczyk "Sofa King" (Subversive Surrey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Being There (Audio CD)
This is an extremely important record to me - I fondly remember my urgency in picking this up when it was originally released. It's purchase triggered an expansion in my musical horizons and my record collection (and also for a number of my friends as well). I am eternally grateful for that.

In spite of it's double album length, the overall quality of tracks is very high. The openers on both records/ discs (So Misunderstood and Sunken Treasure) remain firm favourites. So Misunderstood especially, resonates so strongly - that's the thing with really good pop music, it feels like it was written just for you. Even tough it sounds like the Stones, the track Monday always brings a smile to my face and has me reaching for my air guitar. Ditto for I Got You (at the end of the Century) and Hotel Arizona. The Sesame Street inspired Outasight (outamind) also merits a mention in despatches. Finally, the Lonely 1 deserves a special mention - you can almost feel the ghost of Gram Parsons reaching out to you from the vinyl.

Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Getting There, 22 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Being There (Audio CD)
A much more ambitious album than "am", with a mixture of pop, rock and country with some rather difficult on the ear but expressive acoustic guitar work. Doesn't have the simple magic of the earlier "am" or the sheer imagination of "Summer Teeth" or "YHF" though.
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Being There
Being There by Wilco (Audio CD - 1997)
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