Ugly Buildings, Whores & Politicians: Greatest Hits 1998-2009

Ugly Buildings, Whores & Politicians: Greatest Hits 1998-2009

by Drive-By TruckersDrive-By Truckers


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With their decidedly goofy name and album titles like Gangstabilly and Pizza Deliverance, it wasn't hard to read the Drive-By Truckers as a joke band early on, especially given their workmanlike but often unfocused mixture of Replacements-style slop and Lynyrd Skynyrd-influenced Southern rock, even if the occasional fine song suggested they had the potential for greater things. It wasn't until 2001's Southern Rock Opera that the DBTs finally managed to hit upon the right formula and began writing, singing, and playing like the great hard rock band they wanted to be as they pondered the political and cultural legacies of life in the Deep South. Once they finally cracked the code, they bacame one of the most consistently satisfying American bands of the new millennium, delivering a string of smart, impassioned albums that prove a band can be smart, hit hard, and speak with an accent at the same time. Between 2003 and 2008, the Drive-By Truckers recorded four studio albums for New West Records, and those albums provide the backbone of Ugly Buildings, Whores and Politicians: Greatest Hits 1998-2009, a compilation that offers an efficient overview of their career before jumping ship to ATO Records in 2010. While this collection offers one selection each from the DBTs first two studio albums (including "The Living Bubba," their first genuinely first-class song), this album really kicks into gear with "Ronnie and Neil" from SRO, and from then on it delivers a track listing not necessarily devoted to fan favorites or the group's most accomplished material, but to tunes that might well have been hits in an era where bands like this still got played on the radio, and in this context "Marry Me," "The Righteous Path," "Outfit," and "3 Dimes Down" sound like they should be blasting out of your car stereo right now. The album also allows the personalities of the group's three primary songwriters of this era to shine through -- Patterson Hood and his tales of decent folks living under hard times, Mike Cooley's wicked, often funny and sometimes bitter stories of rednecks long on pride and short on money, and Jason Isbell's thumbnail sketches of people caught between a blighted past and a flawed present in the South. Considering that the Drive-By Truckers have released two more studio albums since the last disc represented here, and they continue to slowly but surely keep building an audience, Ugly Buildings, Whores and Politicians: Greatest Hits 1998-2009 is by no means a definitive look at the band's body of work, but as a survey of their formative years, it's great listening and a testament to the power of a band to achieve something great by daring to try; few bands have grown as much through a single act of grand ambition. (Incidentally, that clumsy-sounding title is a reference to a line uttered by John Huston in the film Chinatown: "Politicians, ugly buildings and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.")

Product Details

Release Date: 08/02/2011
Label: New West Records
UPC: 0607396619726
catalogNumber: 6197
Rank: 9819

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Drive-By Truckers   Primary Artist
Anne Richmond Boston   Background Vocals
David Barbe   Guitar,Piano,Background Vocals,Hammer
John Neff   Pedal Steel Guitar
Spooner Oldham   Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
Amy Pike   Background Vocals
Jyl Freed   Background Vocals
Clay Leverett   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

David Barbe   Producer
Dick Cooper   Producer
Kevin Morris   Management
Mike Cooley   Composer
Andy Baker   Producer
David Fricke   Liner Notes
Drive-By Truckers   Composer,Producer
Andy LeMaster   Producer
Patterson Hood   Composer
Wes Freed   Artwork,Paintings
Jason Isbell   Composer
Earl Hicks   Producer
Lilla Hood   Art Direction
Christine Stauder   Management
Traci Thomas   Publicity

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