Recorded at Cedar Creek Recording, Austin, Texas in between May and June 1993.
Personnel: Jay Farrar (vocals, guitar, mandolin); Jeff Tweedy (vocals, guitar, background vocals); Doug Sahm, Joe Ely (vocals, guitar); John Stirratt, Brian Henneman (guitar); Max Johnston (lap steel guitar, dobro, banjo, fiddle); Ken Coomer (drums).
Audio Mixer: Brian Paulson.
Audio Remasterers: Daniel Hersch; Bill Inglot.
Liner Note Author: Richard Byrne.
Recording information: Cedar Creek recording, Austin, TX (05/??/1993-10/15/1993); Emerald Sound, Nashville, TN (05/??/1993-10/15/1993); Sixteenth Avenue Sound (05/??/1993-10/15/1993); Vic Theater, Chicago, IL (05/??/1993-10/15/1993).
Photographer: Dan Corrigan.
Recorded live in the studio amid mounting tension between singer/songwriters Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy, ANODYNE proved to be Uncle Tupelo's last and finest album. These final sessions find Farrar and Tweedy crafting a seamless mesh of country, folk and rock that both encompasses and exceeds the range of previous albums.
With the straight-up country of "Acuff-Rose" (a tribute to the famed songwriting duo), and the folky "New Madrid," Tupelo displays the traditional leanings found on MARCH 16-20, 1992, while both the bass-heavy "The Long Cut" and the barnstorming "Chickamauga" broaden the punk-tinged sound of NO DEPRESSION and STILL FEEL GONE. While ANODYNE also features a raucous collaboration with the late Doug Sahm on "Give Back the Key to My Heart," its most transcendent moments are the world-weary "Slate" and the sublime title track, one of the most beautifully bittersweet songs penned since Neil Young's "Helpless." Although ANODYNE proved to be the end of the line for Uncle Tupelo, it opened up more expansive roads for Farrar and Tweedy, who would go on separately to make such superb albums as Son Volt's TRACE and Wilco's SUMMER TEETH respectively.
Rolling Stone (12/9/93, p.73) - 3.5 Stars - Good Plus - "...On ANODYNE, Uncle Tupelo's fourth album (and first for a major label), the trio continues making contemporary-sounding country rock for the perplexed generation..."
Spin (11/93, p.136) - Highly Recommended - "...[ANODYNE] doesn't feel like a shrine to some black-and-white past...the pleasures of ANODYNE aren't in the words: they're in the cracks between guitar notes and the grain of voices..."
Q (9/00, p.135) - Included in Q's "Best Alt.Country Albums Of All Time".
Q (11/93, p.138) - 3 Stars - Good - "...Uncle Tupelo need only shed some of that Neil Young obsession to take the next step..."
Uncut (6/03, p.113) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...This reissue of their 1993 swan song still sounds spectacular....This record is studded with rare booty..."
Melody Maker (11/6/93, p.31) - "...ANODYNE is country music as open emotional wound....floods the senses like a visitation from an eclipse..."
Village Voice (3/1/94, p.5) - Ranked #28 in the Village Voice's 1993 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
NME (Magazine) (10/16/93, p.31) - 9 - Excellent Plus - "...Uncle Tupelo have crafted a record to rank with the country rock greats..."