250 Word Album Review: Drive-By Truckers – Ugly Buildings, Whores and Politicians

Drive-By Truckers - Ugly Buildings, Whores and Politicians (Greatest Hits)

Drive-By Truckers Greatest Hits gets 4 1/2 stars

I do a best of feature on this site and have attempted to make a single disc greatest hits-type compilation for the Drive-By Truckers and it is extremely difficult. The news recently came down the pipe that Ugly Buildings, Whores and Politicians(Greatest Hits 1998-2009) was going to get released. The album is not out but I feel I can review this solely based on the tracklisting, I have all of the songs so this is mainly a review of the song selection put out by New West, their old label that will release the album.

So first the kudos: “Marry Me” “Zip City” “The Living Bubba” “3 Dimes Down” and “Lookout Mountain” give the album big points. None of the songs are bad but there are a couple of questionable inclusions: “Ronnie and Neil” “Uncle Frank” and “A World of Hurt.”

“A World of Hurt” should not be on this disc. That is one the bands best 16 tracks; it might not make my top 50. Other than that, every other song is justifiable.

Jason Isbell gets 2 songs, a fair shake for his time with the band. “Outfit” and “Never Gonna Change” are both great but the exclusion of “Decoration Day” is a little painful for me; I’m justifying it by saying the song was too long. Mike Cooley gets 6 tracks, another fair share, Patterson Hood controls the other 8. Cooley is the secret weapon of the band and gets his anthem “Marry Me” included.

Here is the tracklist:

01 The Living Bubba (a must)
02 Bulldozers and Dirt (good inclusion)
03 Ronnie and Neil (questionable)
04 Zip City (a given)
05 Let There Be Rock (a given)
06 Marry Me (a must)
07 Sink Hole (good inclusion, easily could have been left off)
08 Carl Perkins’ Cadillac (makes sense)
09 Outfit (a good inclusion)
10 The Righteous Path (good inclusion)
11 Gravity’s Gone (Remix) (Yes!)
12 Never Gonna Change (Yes!)
13 3 Dimes Down (Yeah)
14 Lookout Mountain (album wouldn’t work without it)
15 Uncle Frank (Alternate Version) (um, alright)
16 A World of Hurt (what?)

Big exclusions: “Decoration Day” “Women Without Whiskey” “18 Wheels of Love” “Goddamn Lonely Love”

I will post my Greatest Hits list for the Drive-By Truckers soon(I’m at 26 tracks right now(hint: “A World of Hurt” isn’t on it)

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