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Stay Golden, Smog: The Best of Golden Smog - The Rykodisc Years

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Editors’ Notes

Golden Smog brought Kraig Johnson of Run Westy Run, Gary Louris of the Jayhawks, and Dan Murphy of Soul Asylum and cast them among a rotating crew that included Jayhawks’ bassist Marc Perlman, Big Star’s Jody Stephens, the Honeydogs’ Noah Levy, and Uncle Tupelo / Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy for two albums of unpretentious country rock. In step with the emerging alt-country movement of the 1990s, Golden Smog echoed the sweet sorrow of the Byrds’ Gene Clark and Gram Parsons, the roughshod country approximations of ‘70s era Rolling Stones, and the loose folk-blues anarchy of the Faces, all while forging their own distinct path. This collection takes eight tracks apiece from their two albums and adds two bonus cuts, an alternate take of Gary Louris’ epic country-rocker “Until You Came Along” and a worthy cover of Brian Wilson’s “Love and Mercy.” Among the previously issued highlights, there’s the strutting country-rock of “Looking Forward to Seeing You,” the quiet desperation from Louris (“Jennifer Save Me”) and Johnson (“Making Waves”), the Jeff Tweedy solo acoustic performance of “Please Tell My Brother” and the goofy nonchalance of “He’s A Dick.”  Lots of pure joy to spread around.

Customer Reviews

Awesome collection but get the full-length albums

I'm giving this greatest hits collection 5 stars because every song is fantastic, but you should do yourself a favor and buy both "Down By The Old Mainstream" and "Weird Tales" in their entirety. Too good to not have both.

Best of Golden Smog is golden

I got into Golden Smog after hearing them on one of those great Time-Life sampler CDs in the 90s, the Grooves series. I just loved the free-wheeling style of this midwestern "supergroup," which introduced me to Jeff Tweedy. Two songs I would have included in this collection: "Jane and All the Same to Me, both from 1998's Weird Tales. otherwise, a great way to hear these guys at their peak.


Formed: 1989

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A boozy, side-project covers band that gradually evolved into a kind of roots rock supergroup, Golden Smog was a loosely affiliated unit comprised, at various times, of members of Soul Asylum, the Replacements, Wilco, the Jayhawks, Run Westy Run, and the Honeydogs. The group first came together in the Minneapolis area in the late '80s as a country-rock reaction to the punk and hardcore sounds that dominated the Twin Cities' musical scene at the time; eventually Golden Smog became something of a fixture...
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Stay Golden, Smog: The Best of Golden Smog - The Rykodisc Years, Golden Smog
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