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1995 two CD release from the American Roots/Pop band led by Jeff Tweedy.
Wilco's follow-up to A.M. impresses first with its size: 19 tunes fill the double-album package, and the packaging unfolds like a larger-than-life 1970s-era gatefold album cover. But the love affair with the artwork is short-lived, fading as the music takes center stage, making plain the band's overwhelming stretch into innumerable styles. Jeff Tweedy's love of pop and the mechanics of making pop albums is clear almost immediately, as he and his cohort utilize the studio to create and manipulate undertows and snaky recorded elements throughout many of their tunes (a keyboard touch, a guitar's flair, a cymbal's unexpected crash). There are the plainspoken acoustic numbers, recalling Tweedy's tenure in Uncle Tupelo, and there are also unwinding swoops of tinted, guitar-heavy rock--one of which collapses into chromatic jabs at a piano only to resolve in silence on "Sunken Treasure." Oodles of influences fill Wilco's collective mind, and they're perfectly content to pile the trace elements atop each other and make scrambled pop perfection. --Andrew Bartlett
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Top Customer Reviews
The two focal points of the record, "Misunderstood" and "Sunken Treasure," are powerful, emotionally geared epics that set the course for the whole record- themes of loss, betrayal, and distance. The whole record throbs with an organic closeness- the songs feel like they're no more than a few inches from reach. "Far Far Away" sounds like the band's encircling you in the studio, Jeff Tweedy in front of you strumming an aching melody. "Dreamer In My Dreams" is like a racous live take (hoe-down, even?), with some frenetic violin playing and an improvised feel with Tweedy's hoarse vocal.
One could say the record throbs with pain, as well- the sonic equivalent of pain and trying to be ambivalent about it. It's the band's most intimate recorded performance, and though they will aim for and achieve higher, this will hold a special place in any fan's heart too.
Standout tracks and hooks would be "Misunderstood" (an excellent opener and lyrical rockout, but better live), "Monday" (I dare you not to tap your foot to this one), "I Got You [At The End Of The Century]" (EXCELLENT hook and intro), "Hotel Arizona" (Get a load of that solo), "Sunken Treasure" (the hands down best country or alt.country epic EVER -- "I was maimed by rock and roll"), "Why Would You Wanna Live" (good time melody, cynical lyrics, hopeful turnout - everything I want).
And how could I forget the five minutes and seventeen seconds that *is* "Kingpin". You need to hear this song. Your mother needs to hear it. Your estranged relatives need to hear it. Buy Being There for "Kingpin" alone, and the other tracks will also blow you away.
Get this album. Impress your friends.
I think of Being There sort of along the lines of U2's Joshua Tree, just so freaking good that even though you can hear the influences in it, you can read the tablature for it- you still can't imagine how it was made it just seems so super-human.
Wilco is one of the greatest American bands ever. Their talent, craftsmenship, and passion are to be admired, but the music they put out is the sort of stuff that will be relevent 100 years from now. It's not roots-rock, or alt-country, it's just a complete culmination and distillation of American music into something new, original, and groundbreaking, yet familiar at the same time. Wilco is American music personified.
Most recent customer reviews
This CD is just stupendous. Its awe inspiring almost. The 2nd CD by this amazing Chicago-based band leaves a fresh taste in your mouth. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2004 by Goods
Being a longtime fan of Wilco, I love introducing people to the group. While I was first introduced to 'AM', I think they really moved to another level with 'Being There'. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2003 by Dano M
No one is playing and writing better music than Jeff Tweedy and Wilco these days. The guy has talent. Every song is diverse, yet still retains a style that is his own. Read morePublished on Oct. 24 2003 by train
I wasn't a big fan of "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" nor was I impressed with Wilco until I was dragged to their concert, which was astonishing. Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2003 by Dark Lord
I bought this one at a Wilco concert last year thinking I knew Wilco (I'd already owned SUMMERTEETH & had just purchased YHF a few days before the show) BEING THERE taught me... Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2003 by Scott C Elliott
Granted, this is not your everyday top-40 formula-driven pop drivel, but it's not very good alternative either. Read morePublished on March 11 2003
This is one of the masterpieces of the last decade, a rowdy, wounded, beautiful beast of an album. Jeff Tweedy was writing rings around any of his contemporaries: "Far Far... Read morePublished on July 28 2002 by glubak
"Being There" is often called Wilco's masterpiece, but in many ways it is merely a precursor of things to come. Read morePublished on July 16 2002 by Steven R. Seim